Domestic Violence

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 25.06.2018

Domestic violence is violence between husband and wife (or cohabitants) and, perhaps, all violence in the home with children should also be included here. In the late sixties, attention was drawn to assessing the scale and severity of domestic violence, most of which have been hidden from the eyes before and now. Psychological abuse and severe intimidation can also be used for this purpose. These manifestations of behavior are often combined with excessive jealousy, restrictions on movement and control over the expenditure of funds. A detailed review of the literature on this topic is provided by Smith.

Prevalence of domestic violence

The police reported only a very few cases of violence in families. Victims are too intimidated or ashamed to report violence, or they hope that this problem will be resolved by itself. When assessing prevalence, the question always arises: at what level of violence can concrete actions be regarded as domestic violence. According to researchers from the United States, at 25%, at one point, one partner pushes, throws aside or grabs enough the other, although incidents of severe violence (punch, bite, kick, hitting an object, beating or threatening with arms in hand) happen less often - in 13% of marriages. The most severe forms of violence (beating or using weapons) are recorded in 5% of marriages.

Such surveys also show that wives attack their husbands only slightly, but usually there is less violence and the wife's actions are most often provoked by her husband's violence. According to the British Crime Study (BIP), the highest risk of violence for young women (16-24 years old), whose victims in 1997 were 2.3%. In the second place are young men (1.6% in 1997). At the same time, the highest risk of domestic violence was for people who had divorced from their partner, but were not officially divorced. One third of the perpetrators of the violent actions admitted that they were under the influence of alcohol, and 13% - under the influence of drugs. In two thirds of cases, victims of domestic violence were beaten with their fists and / or feet. In 11% of cases, weapons were used. According to researchers, people are less willing to report domestic violence than other types of violence. It is likely that researchers about less severe cases of violence were not informed.

Causes of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is considered the end product of a number of factors. In individual cases, there may be domestic violence in the family of parents (about 50% of cases of abuse of the wife), as well as belonging to the family or culture, which implies the dominant role of men and the use of violence in family conflicts. Additional factors include stress due to lack of paid work, poverty (most men raising their wives belong to groups with low socioeconomic status), problems at work and frustration, and also due to the effect of alcohol showed the BIP). Violence attacks can occur in connection with the disinhibition of alcohol on an angry and "on the brink" of a husband or as a result of the influence of previous factors, for example trivial or imaginary neglect, jealousy or "disobedience." Investigations of people who killed their wives or attacked them show a pattern of recurring violence, alcohol abuse, and the presence of neurotic and personal difficulties. Current mental illness is a rare phenomenon. It is not yet clear what the role of the victim in domestic violence is, how much it contributes to it and to what extent it accepts.

Classification of motives of domestic violence

Scott offers the following classification of motives:

  1. the desire of a suspect to get rid of a dependent;
  2. desire to alleviate suffering (killing from charity);
  3. a motive that flows directly from an apparent mental illness;
  4. expelling the child's own anger, frustration or using it as a tool for retribution / retaliation ("Nothing will come of it - if children can not stay with me, then they do not even see it");
  5. the desire to stop the child's infinitely irritating and frustrating behavior at the moment, for example, continuous crying, crying, the fact that he keeps messing up all the time.

As in most crimes, there can be several motives, and they can reflect all aspects of human emotions - anger, pity, jealousy and resentment, and may also be a consequence of a mental disorder.

Managing the situation

The main priority is the prevention of this crime. Recommendations for recognizing non-accidental injuries to children at risk include measures such as the availability of an effective register of children in risk situations, more health checks, improved kindergartens and nurseries, closer links between school and primary care services, more attention to the problem of side of society and professionals. The legal aspects (the Children's Act 1989) presuppose measures to protect the child and maintain his well-being through the use of various court orders (urgent child protection, medical examination of the child's condition, assistance). It is also possible to prosecute persons who provoke domestic violence.

Examination of the accused

The conclusion about the infliction of injuries to the child is based on the data of the medical examination. The decision to prosecute the perpetrators is taken by the police. To form an opinion about a suspect, you must have the following:

  • a description of the damage;
  • record interviews or statements from people who can give descriptions of children and their relationship with suspects; and
  • record interviews with suspects.

Oliver noted how easy it is to be deceived and to look at abuses against a child in so-called chaotic families in which abuse of this kind is passed on from generation to generation. Abuse of children is usually correlated with large, mobile and not very well-off families. Among other factors that correlate with abuse, it should be noted the lack of work, past criminal experience, early motherhood and the presence of a substitute father.

Management of cases of domestic violence

In general, attempts to reduce the level of domestic violence are reduced to the following opportunities:

  1. Providing refuge to the battered spouse. Such shelters have emerged as a volunteer initiative and are now widely disseminated.
  2. Providing psychological counseling and working with groups of men who beat their wives (with or without the participation of wives). This opportunity is widely proposed, but few husbands agree to it, and the percentage of dropouts out of the counseling cycle is great, so little is known about the effectiveness of this approach.
  3. Support for police detention of a person who displays domestic violence and placing him in a police custody (usually after a family visit). Studies carried out in Canada and the US prove that this approach may prove to be the most effective way to suppress violence. It is not yet known whether an increase in the degree of violence can be considered in court and a severe sentence. There is some evidence that the effectiveness of the work is increased by the presence of a court decision on the compulsory attendance of the psychological counseling group, but here confirmation of the results from other researchers is required.
  4. A major problem is the rehabilitation of victims of domestic violence and children from families in which it is practiced. According to available information, the victim of domestic violence is rather well supported by support from other victims of violence, whether in a shelter or in a counseling group. Particular attention should be paid to children: they need to help bring their individual experiences to the general context and break the vicious circle of transmission of the pattern of domestic violence from generation to generation. It is also necessary to deal with emotional disorders of such children and their feelings in connection with domestic violence (nervousness, distress, guilt).

Non-accidental damage to children

Damage caused to children as a result of violence is covered under non-accidental damages. This concept is the development of the battered baby syndrome (English battered baby syndrome).

It is important to know!

In 2002, 1.8 million cases of child abuse or neglect were reported in the United States, 896,000 cases were confirmed. Children of both sexes suffered with the same frequency. Read more..

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