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Jessica Olsen
Gary F. Cox
Criminal Justice, 11:30-12:50 p.m.
20 April 2016

Domestic Violence a Societal Problem or a criminal problem?

Ive always wondered with violence frequently around us in the world, countries, states and
communities of society as it has its repetitious factors. How has society persisted with violence?
Does this have a factor in Domestic Violence? With over half a million crimes against women
annually, what does society view as the higher issue, is it with Domestic Violence itself? A
societal problem? Or an act of criminal behavior? Could it even be fragments of all these ideas?
Why is the rate of murders with domestic violence so out of control? Did society bring this upon
ourselves? If so, have we currently been faced with an issue where we need new ways of
thinking and doing things? Or has criminal behavior just always been there as individual
treacherous people waiting to pick out their next domestic victim?
By first understanding the realm of this issue. We first must dive into a passage of it. Lets
first take a look at the history of domestic violence. Mainly what has established in the past as
for what we call domestic violence today is unpunished abuse towards women in history. As we
grew as a society, family violence became recognized by the whole unit, and we began to
categorize certain types of damage from there.

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What domestic violence is at the moment is violent or aggressive behavior which can be
mental and physical abuse within the home involving the partner or the spouse (with
understanding the sex of a person and age do not discriminate.) But it also can be other
increments, such as children even abusing their parents, children exposed to parental violence,
Now, we need first to reflect, ever since we as humans had started placing labels on objects
and people to understand what the impressions that we are looking at are. Which first started
from centuries and centuries ago, as we geared the identifying impression to labeling things, such
as categorizing people. It began to create value or a devalue system for individual people, when I
am explaining this devalue system, one would be how society in the past had viewed African
Americans during slave times, women were on this devalued system.
Historically there were different measurements of what people considered to be valued or
devalued in persons. As for women in history, they continued to be targets of particular forms
of abuse, forms of the devalued system. Violence has occurred universally. According to a
writer for The Readers Companion to Womens History, Wilma Mankiller articulates,
specifically towards women, it has happened for years and years and in a cultural context.
So this brought me to wonder what plays as a societal issue with scopes of violence and if a
societal problem, why has the abuse mainly towards women been the issue? Mankiller lets us
understand more of why this domestic violence has been of societal concern and appeals to us
logically when she exclaims it is because its grounded on traditional use. Men in most
civilizations were entitled to discipline their wives by using physical punishment. Some
research has shown some people starting to see these forms of violence used towards women as

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wrongful and began ending in other countries rather than the United States. One of the first was
in England in 1879, by Frances Power Cobbe and later Susan B Anthony in the United States.
Its incredible to see how far we have come today with the history of violence in just the
United States and all over the world. However, without the crime victims movement in the 1970s
which was the movement that brought about victimology, victim compensation programs, a rise
of the women's movement and the growth of victim advocates and from there made a public
mark in U.S. history without this happening, I begin to speculate. Would it have changed the
United States recognizing in 1990 violence against women as a cross-cultural and cross-national
phenomenon? (Mankiller) Or would it have even come to be existent?
It still is a concern to me when it took so long to recognize this behavioral epidemic in
society; It shows humans have a hard time breaking out of what they have always known. With
my understanding, as a survival tool the human brain ensures humans as individuals will repeat
behaviors, may this be why we are still seeing domestic violence today? Since the research
shows that society viewed this as acceptable behavior as we may continue to believe so in other
situations now, is violence wired into us?
Since this brought so many questions for me, I began to look at diverse, credible individuals
and their information throughout history; one was looking into societys behaviors. In some
research based behavioral observations. A man named David Levinson around 1989 had
recorded categories of violence in families. Levinson, a man of high intellect, found that in 76
societies the use of abuse was common and was occurring in families mainly towards women, in
only fourteen cultures was it rare. (ManKiller)

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Which shows illustrations from the past, that commonly using violence was not viewed as
destructive behavior in societies eyes once again. Did society ever wonder what kind of impact
this had when the abuse was around children? Or think of the results which are not only learned
behavior from parents? Or even if this could create more imprisonments and criminal acts made
towards society? Or is sweeping it under the rug, the proper motive?
Meanwhile, family violence has a harmful impact on children were I come to pinpoint they
become okay with being victimized or they become a perpetrator themselves and unfortunately
society pushing things under the rug or living their lives behind a curtain historically seems to
have made an imprint recurring today. Because with my understanding and the experience, I
have had working crime victims. That they are more likely to render these occurrences as adults
If a person has previously had violence as a child or in their teen years. Meaning that survivors
of domestic violence with partners may have been previously exposed to domestic abuse in their
child or teen years, this also adds to the theory that we only accept what we have ever known,
adding to the repetitious factor of the human brain, but dont just take my word for it. Take a
look at some experts.
During the duration of speaking of previous abuse patterns, we now need to recognize what
kind of influence domestic violence holds on children. Research has found by a respectable
source done by a Study Protocol, the Bio Med Central Psychiatry. When children are subjects to
existing parents, who are violent with each other, or even if one of them is demonstrating this
behavior in front of children that they have. The children become influenced by what these
psychiatrists say are, problems with emotions, behavior and also mental, behavioral impacts,
which can result in psychosocial maladjustment. (Visser et al.) (P.2) In a simple clarification of
this, it is an effect happening on children were it leads to problems in society for them as well as

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their environments, how they handle situations and how they process other people, this may lead
to other harmful brain development disorders such as antisocial behavior. One theory that I have
come to understand with the personal working experience of this is the idea that childhood
trauma has an influence on the serotonin level in our brains; it can not produce enough levels of
this, resulting as an example in violent outbursts.
When we recognize the picture of children, this now becomes an alarming factor for most of
us people. Visser, a writer, and account for Bio-Med. Concludes, as of 2015 that 16 % of
children in the United States had parents that displayed violence during their childhood. So,
now my question is from here where do we start seeing other difficulties continue with
persistence down the lines of these children's development before adulthood? Can we make an
assumption some criminals locked behind bars for life, be a product of domestic violence?
Nonetheless, as these children fall into their teen years, it is not just only in the home front
were violence is a learned behavior. According to a writer Jen Fifield from and a
newspaper, she found that even today teen boys find it funny to hit or abuse their romantic
partners. (P.1) Leading to a rate that, One in every ten high school students is saying that they
have experienced physical or sexually abuse as in 2013, by dating alone. (Fifield) So if at home
with your family, you could be teaching your children and teens non-violent methods and tools
of rationalizing but they can still experience this because of other kids or teens, so can we start to
say the influence is to society as a whole and make a factual answer on this without a fallacy?
Personally, I'm starting to think this cycled violence through history does still hold impacts
for children, teens and adults today. A bewildering matter is that this is causing the people
money. Rendering to Fifield, in the United States for the long run the last logged dollar cost for
the United States was in 2004, and they averaged about $8.3 million towards domestic violence.

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(Fifield) Can this alone push us as a society to look into more precautionary movements when it
comes to violence?
It makes me wonder, even though most of us have had someone teach us that it is unjust to
use violence as of the current time we are in, whether that came from family or an educator.
When we hear stories of abuse in any form, we know it to be wrong, then why in society it is still
happening? Are we sick? Has the infection of violence spread throughout history were we dont
know how to break off from the cycled behavior. It seems that some people are trying to change
these factors. Though even currently some researchers have found a troubling factor.
That is the social order view on domestic violence, some people whod agree that this is an
epidemic. Especially the Disease Control for public health concern, A writer for Ohios
newspaper Rose Russel suggests, society still continues to have thoughts that it is the persons
private matters.Blame the victim and look at it as a personal issue. (Russel) I have heard, that
some believe, placing criminology on behavior will make a softer society on criminals. With
the times, this is a current opinion, which can show people trying to shelter themselves from the
occurrences around them still today. If we view this as a private matter or do not want to
partake in other people's issues if we see violence in a relationship on the street, arent we then,
As of 2016, some may have the idea the media has more of an influence than ever before, and
that is because it numbs us to violence. There are those who believe it also affects society by
representing certain stigmas those geared to hold a stigma towards women as well. Such as in
sports, when coaches yell out, Hey! Dont play like a girl. Or You cant drive because youre
a woman driver. Social stigmas which in fact even women grow accustom to because it has
been a part of the social norm or funny.

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Still I will not just generalize towards women since these stigmas are placed on males too.
Only previous to 2016 in 2012, 36 Million have now accounted for domestic violence as
victims.( Russel) We should keep these in mind when social stigmas are confronted with
whether men or women because even the smallest accusation can have its harm on individual
people for their lifetime. Every extent should count since we perceive domestic violence
discovered as a societal widespread. According to The National Hotline for Domestic Violence,
they have proclaimed, one in every four women and one in every seven males have been
victims of partner abuse in their lifetime in the United States. (p.1)
The reason I am bringing a recollection from a hotline in is to show society has restriction
into the matter of this content because even though we are in 2016, it has been a century since
the world has understood International Women's day and also having a higher awareness of
abuse. We still see varieties of violence and highly excuse violence towards males as well. With
the times of us as humans having more growth. We now are capable of understanding it can be
men or women abused, which leaves no man standing alone.
Abuse affects all victims to realize better with a statistic rate into the frequency for both
female and male victims again, is to show the National Domestic Violence Hotline, More than
12 million men and women are victims of physical or sexual violence from a partner. (p.1)
Although this is randomized, I still wanted to give an idea of several people we dont conclude in
actual statistics. Because if not reported, how do we have a justified number? Some people may
be falling throw the cracks. So can some people's lives be too? Now that I see this, I began on an
exploration of protective actions to look into, not just how the United States takes these courses
but also how other countries may handle this epidemic. Do you believe it's close to how the
United States handles these circumstances?

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When looking at a news broadcast interview paper, NPRS Robert Smith a reporter from
London rejoices a progressive movement made by his country. In 2015, England made a new law
that placed an antecedent before physical abuse even occurs in these toxic domestic partnerships.
Smith exclaims, The law has little to say about what happens before physical attacks start in any
romantic relationship. They accounted for tons of victims statements who claim that prevention
can start even before the violence physically because it starts emotionally and verbally. In
England if a person is caught holding a partner away from their family, putting a hold on their
finances, micro-managing a partner, controlling behavior that makes the partner who is the
victim feel as their life is a complete dominance control by their spouse, if a recurring pattern can
be recognized, England will prosecute these individuals as well as send them to prison for up to
five years. Smith exclaims, Most police in the United States, not all. But most will not
intervene until an abuser has physically harmed a victim. (Smith) Although with this news
reporters alliance to Domestic advocates in the United States. The Alliance in the U.S. says
Englands New Law is a game changer. (Smith)
To individuals in the United States as a society this may mean more police enforcement, but
what depth should we take as a society to prevent homicides from domestic violence? I believe
prevention is what we need to look into the most and make the law stronger from there. While
some other countries may be ahead of the game in some ways when it comes to domestic
violence, the United States is taking several shielding methods and taking averting actions as
they can. Not only by taking pictures and giving protective orders for victims but as of 2016,
now some states are keeping away guns from domestic abusers. An Article in the New York
Times cites the Sun Sister Publications Tribune, saying 760 Americans from 2006-2014 were

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killed by spouses and ex-spouses by a gun, excluding children, 80 percent of these murders were
For more serious domestic abusers it can now be a lifetime limit to have a gun and for others
abusers, they have to turn over their gun within 48 hours of abuse occurrence, which is
something I feel is highly valuable for us as a society. Because we should strive to prevent
domestic violence which usually turns into a homicide. We need to take preventative action as a
must do bases by only allowing guns with a criminal background check, educating children and
teens enhanced on abuse by teaching antecedent thinking. Teach children, teens, and even adults
to look at danger (red flags), in other people. Give tools to people not only society but also
abusers too.
My reflection of the history of violence astounds me, however. Understanding domestic
violence better now, indeed makes me want to help people more and can be applied in my life as
a person day to day. To reach out to people who may be victimized and create change, it first
starts with each of us and by only understanding this can we break the violent cycles. I have
come to consideration that with the prevalence of violence we as people need to get together
about what creates threats to our common humanity, and this is one of them. If we all
understood, that peace is a beautiful mechanism to have in this life and treasured by those who
have known violent conflict. Then maybe if we all changed our ways of thinking about violence
it can make a better life for all humanity.

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Works Cited
Mankiller, Wilma, and others. Violence against Women. The Readers Companion to U.S.
Womens History. Dec 1, 1998: N.P. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web.10 Apr. 2016
Simmons, Ann M. Not Equal in Any Nation. Los Angeles Times. 08 Mar. 2016: A.2. SIRS
Issues Researcher. Web. 110 Apr.2016
Fifield, Jen. To Prevent Teen Dating Violence, Some States Push Education. 08
Feb. 2016: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 10 Apr. 2016Visser, Margaret M., et all.
The Effects of Parental Components In a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Based Therapy
For Children Exposed To Interparental Violence: Study Protocol For A Randomized
Controlled Trial. BMC Psychiatry 15.1 (2015): 1-18. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11
Apr. 2016
Russel, Rose. Domestic Violence everyones Problem. Toledo Blade. 15 Jan. 2012: n.p. SIRS
Issues Researcher. Web. 11 April. 2016
Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from
"Under U.K. Law, Jail Time For Psychologically Abusive Partners." All Things Considered 29
Dec. 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Apr. 2016
Abner, Carrie. Addressing Abuse. State News Vol. 52, No. 9. Oct. 2009: 26-29. SIRS Issues
Researcher. Web. 14 Apr. 2016
Nelson, Eric L. Investigating Domestic Violence: Raising Prosecution and Conviction FBI
Law Enforcement Bulletin. Dec. 2013: n.pag. SIRS Government Reporter. Web. 14

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Keep Guns from Domestic Abusers. Gainesville Sun. 12 Feb. 2016: n.p. SIRS Issues
Researcher. Web. 15 Apr. 2016