When talking about family violence we often hear questions that come up with battered spouses that pertain to why does she stay? How could you let this happen? I can’t imagine they did that. Are you sure you’re not just sensitive? All these questions can cause significant mental health problems to those who are trying to get out of a bad situation. When looking at the myths of family violence and the myths that come from domestic abuse is that battered spouses can leave violent relationships. I believe this topic is controversial because there are many factors as to why leaving may not be an immediate action such as fear of partners response, fear of arrest due to lack of police knowledge, and courts giving the preparatory custody rights.
According to the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, “Domestic violence is highly prevalent in the United States. Statistics show that between 8% and 12% of women but 1 million are battered by their intimate partners each year. ( Yamawaki et al, 2006).” Looking at the statics shown from the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, many women tend to stay with their abuser/partner due to the fear of his response of her/him trying to leave the relationship.
Why the issue is prevalent is because in society we tend to believe that women can leave a bad situation as an easy choice. Looking at how the law treats survivors of domestic violence is a serious problem in our society. Police can cause problems in domestic violence disputes if they arrest the survivor making them feel they’re in trouble and dissolves trust among victims and police. The law also will not strict rights of a parent to see their child which can lead to children growing up abused or taking what they learned and abusing their partners, creating a vicious cycle. Questions frequently asked are why do you stay?
Previously mentioned in the introduction. It is a frequently asked question by people who do not know how to empathize or knowledgeable about domestic partner violence and tend to make things worse for the battered spouse to leave because they feel like they lack support from the people that they thought they could trust or rely on for help. Another question asked by individuals who are uninformed are how you could let this happen to you? people do not understand that the victim/survivor may not realize they are in a toxic relationship. The harm in this question puts the blame onto the battered spouse as if it was their fault they are being abused by their significant other. To help those who are going through domestic violence, it is important to do your research and find key questions that are safe to say that can help the battered spouse in leaving such as, is their anywhere safe for you to go? How can I help? I believe you. With these questions/answers will help ensure that the survivor has a support system and can take the right steps to leave the toxic relationship.
In the article, the domino effect domestic violence harms everyone’s kids: data from the table shows that ‘students exposed to domestic violence do less well on standardized tests more likely to misbehave in school than their peers (Carrell, Scott E., and Mark L. Hoekstra 2009).’ The data pool shows that students from a violent home or upbringing will have a negative effect on their math and reading test scores. The results from the data is ‘that if one troubled student in a classroom of 20 students could result in a decrease in student reading and math test scores of more than 2/3 of the percentile point which would be 2 to 3% of the standard deviation (Carrell, Scott E., and Mark L. Hoekstra, 2009).’ Another result from the data showed that if the child acts out in class then they will likely receive an infraction and continue to accumulate over time by sixteen percent.
The reason this data is important shows why it is hard to leave an unhealthy partnership is that a child might be harmed and if they come from a broken home that they might face custody battles and the child may be at risk. The unfortunate side is that staying together does not save the child from being caught in the middle and getting abused themselves. The child also may pick up on the behavior and believe that they can hit women/men because that is what they were conditioned to believe by being raised in a violent home. When having a child in a toxic relationship is hard to make a choice on what is best for you and the child. It does not help when people think that they are crazy for sticking around and getting beat to keep the family structure for the child. It is a tough situation for the parent and makes it even harder to leave.
Victims of chronic dating violence how women’s vulnerabilities link their decision to stay article talks about how environmental and situational vulnerabilities occur from engaging with 28 women 7 African Americans and 21 Caucasians who were survivors of abuse suffered by the hands of their male dating partners. The data from the vulnerabilities relate to why the women tend to stay in their abusive relationship and look at the racial differences that were shown in the data and how to prevent and come up with new ways to help women become empowered and actively choose to leave the relationship. The results from the study showed that African Americans and Caucasian women describe that in the beginning, the relationships were normal and happy. They also describe that later in the relationship their boundaries were being invaded and progressing to more serious forms of psychological and physical abuse. “Through entrapment these abused women remained committed to their boyfriends, subsuming their personal needs and safety in favor of their relationships. A few participants seemed to be on the moderate-to-high end of the continuum for both dimensions of vulnerabilities, whereas others seemed to be highly vulnerable in one domain but not in the other. This observation transcended race (Rosen, 1996).’ From this data, it shows that no matter what race or ethnicity the relationships all start out the same. The guy is charming and fulfills the needs and expectations of the relationship. A reason to why they stay is that the overall good that the men projected, in the beginning, the women cling to and believe they can help them. It is easy to get lost in a toxic abusive relationship when you are being mentally and physically abused. With proper education and word of mouth can help educate those in seriously toxic relationships be able to leave their abuser. We must remember when it comes to domestic violence it usually occurs within the home and even with increased foot patrols or CCTV’s it cannot detect a crime being committed.
Gosselin talks about the battered women’s movement and how it has helped intimate partner violence decrease in the United States. ‘ the rates decreased by 64% from 1993 to 2010. the victimization went from 9.8 victimizations per 1,000 person’s ages 12 or older 3.6 per 1,000 (Gosselin pg. 161).’ Women’s movement fought for equal rights for women and to end oppression. however, to see data that shows that most survivors of intimate partner violence being female over a male. The battered women’s movement wanted to seek change in social and cultural values to overturn the oppression of those who seek power and control over a person. The goal was to help empower women and women with children to leave their violent relationships and regain their power of social control. from the 1960’s this movement is still widely used today. Ways In which we can help find solutions and confronting the myths about battered spouses being able to leave their violent relationships is through intervention, hotlines, and shelters.
Battered women’s movement works on intervention strategies, some organizations that are involved with helping survivors leave their Partners is the American Medical Association and American Bar Association. Their mission is to seek changes on a legal level in the United States Gosselin talks about how “prevention and protection effects now include civil and criminal actions that were never before available to intimate partner violence (Gosselin pg. 160).” This change to legal reform has helped many survivors leave their partner safely through intervention services through the battered women’s movement.
Gosselin discusses that the ‘National Domestic Violence Hotline is toll-free, confidential, and Anonymous in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands (Gosselin pg. 164).’ This is very important for survivors in terms of being able to reach out and find support to leave their violent relationships. They even offer personalized safety plans that help survivors of domestic violence take control of their life. They are broken down into a two-step questionnaire step one is safety during the violence and the second safety when getting ready to leave. There are also many shelters that will take in survivors and children. ‘Over 5,000 shelters and service programs exist today (Gosselin pg. 166).’ The national network to end domestic violence make sure that the shelters are helping survivors as well as conducting surveys to domestic violence victims taking shelter in a given area. These resources are available and can hopefully educate those who are not aware of the dangers of intimate partner violence and can spread the word to help prevent violence against women and children in the home.
I believe this topic is very influential to the criminal justice field due to the rise in domestic violence cases and in the wedding cake model, it did not start becoming a talked about problem until Stormy Daniels lawyer was accused of domestic violence. When dealing with celebrated crimes, controversial issues come to the forefront and become known to the public. This issue is not new but has been brought into the spotlight. I hope with the actions of the court helping survivors of domestic violence free themselves of the violence and crime that their partner commits in them home, and for police to be aware/ know how to deal with arrests an interview a survivor. Most importantly is up to us as citizens to listen, be aware, and report crimes.
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