Domestic Violence

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Posted by kaori 03/03/2009 @ 05:15

Tags : domestic violence, crime, us

News headlines
Domestic violence: Legislation requiring automatic arrest of ... - Chicago Tribune
By Angela Rozas | Tribune reporter Parolees accused of domestic violence would be automatically arrested for violating their parole under a measure sent to Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday. The bill comes a little more than a year after a woman was killed in...
Deputies looking for "worst repeat" domestic violence suspect - Seattle Times
King County sheriff's detectives are searching for a domestic violence suspect who they said repeatedly assaulted his wife in Shoreline, and even forced his dog to bite the woman. On May 6, deputies were called to the Canterbury Apartments,...
Charity to sue over wife's murder - BBC News
Baroness Kennedy QC said cases had been brought in the USA over failures of police to take domestic violence seriously. She said: "I'm not someone who would automatically reach for the law to solve policy problems. "The police failure to act in...
Leading Los Angeles Civil Rights Groups Continue to Raise Domestic ... - HotIndieNews.com
Verizon awarded the grant to the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL), which constitute the Los Angeles Domestic Violence Prevention...
Budget cuts threaten domestic violence programs - NECN
Addressing a crowd at Anna Maria College, Lt. Governor Tim Murray asked the audience not to forget 24 victims killed in acts of domestic violence in 2008. “When you hear the stories of victims, the impact on kids and families it should cause us to work...
More housing for DC domestic violence victims - Examiner.com
May 14, 2009 2:58 AM (12 hrs ago) AP The District government is expanding housing options for victims of domestic violence and their families. Mayor Adrian Fenty announced Wednesday that the city added 12 units this year and will add another 47 units...
Domestic violence victim fears for her life again - WCNC (subscription)
She became the face and voice of domestic violence in Union County, speaking to thousands of people and serving on boards, including the North Carolina Coalition for Domestic Violence. But Heather says she's unable to find anyone to protect her and her...
Slapping Wives For Over-Spending OK In Arabia - YourTango
Interestingly (per CNN), the judge's comments were delivered from not from a pulpit or a bench but during a seminar on domestic violence. Since there typically aren't seminars in favor of domestic violence, it's probably a safe bet that Judge Al-Razine...
Parole board comes down hard on domestic violence - KPUA
By AP HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Paroling Authority has set the minimum prison term for a Honolulu man who killed his wife at 100 years. Roy Hartsock had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the January 2008 stabbing death of Jenny Hartsock....
Group collecting supplies for domestic violence shelters - Sudbury Town Crier
By Staff reports For the ninth year, the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable will again hold the virtual Shower for Shelters from May 9 to May 23. Drop off locations are the three libraries in Sudbury, Wayland and Lincoln....

Domestic violence in Russia

One in four families in the Russian federation experience domestic violence. Amnesty International reports that each day, 36,000 women in the Russian Federation are beaten by their husbands or partners. Furthermore, sociological studies show that 30 per cent of married women are regularly subjected to physical violence. The situation is exacerbated by the lack of statistics and indeed by the attitude of the agencies of law and order to this problem, for they view such violence not as a crime but as 'a private matter between the spouses'.

Yelena Makkey, the legal consultant of the Yekaterina Crisis Centre in the Urals, lamented when facing victims of domestic violence very often police just don’t understand that they should treat the cases as a violation of human rights. Very often, they even do not register the complaints. The number of police inspectors willing to work with us is still small.

Lara Griffith, an AI advocate who is also affiliated with the campaign for human rights in the Russian Federation, explained: - Economic difficulties, experienced by a significant number of Russian families in the past decade, have put additional strain on family relations and have led to an upsurge in domestic violence in which women are most often the victims. Men who beat or rape their wives or harass them in other ways are unlikely to face prosecution. One reason for this is that the law does not recognize domestic violence as a distinct crime. Law enforcement officials and society in general tend to view domestic violence not as a crime, but as a private matter. Many women who have suffered such abuses do not seek redress because they fear further involvement with the authorities.

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Domestic violence

Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, or intimate partner violence) occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another. Domestic violence often refers to violence between spouses, or spousal abuse but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate partners. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexes and classes can be perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is perpetrated by both men and women.

An important component of domestic violence, often ignored is the realm of passive abuse, leading to violence. Passive abuse is covert, subtle and veiled. This includes victimization, procrastination, forgetfulness, ambiguity, neglect, spiritual and intellectual abuse.

Recent attention to domestic violence began in the women's movement, particularly feminism and women's rights, in the 1970s, as concern about wives being beaten by their husbands gained attention. Awareness and documentation of domestic violence differs from country to country. Estimates are that only about a third of cases of domestic violence are actually reported in the United States and the United Kingdom. According to the Centers for Disease Control, domestic violence is a serious, preventable public health problem affecting more than 32 million Americans, or more than 10% of the U.S. population.

Popular emphasis has tended to be on women as the victims of domestic violence. However, with the rise of the men's movement, and particularly masculism and men's rights, there is now advocacy for men victimized by women. In a special report on violence related injuries by the US Department of justice (in August 1997) hospital emergency room visits pertaining to domestic violence indicated that physically abused men represent just under one-sixth of the total patients admitted to hospital reporting domestic violence as the cause of their injuries (see table 7 of this report). The report highlights that significantly more men than women did not disclose the identity of their attacker.

The term "intimate partner violence" (IPV) is often used synonymously. Family violence is a broader definition, often used to include child abuse, elder abuse, and other violent acts between family members. Wife abuse, wife beating, and battering are terms sometimes used, though with acknowledgment that many are not actually married to the abuser, but rather co-habiting or other arrangements. In more recent years, 'battering' or 'battered wife' has become less acceptable terminology, since abuse can take other forms than physical abuse and males are often victims of violence as well. Other forms of abuse may be constantly occurring, while physical abuse happens occasionally. These other forms of abuse have potential to lead to mental illness, self-harm, and even attempts at suicide.

The U.S. Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines domestic violence as a "pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner". The definition adds that domestic violence "can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender", and that it can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse.

In Spain, the introduction of Ley Orgánica 1/2004, de 28 de diciembre, de Medidas de Protección Integral contra la Violencia de Género (Organic Law 1/2004 of December 28, of Measures of Integral Protection against Gendered Violence) defined several key terms. It defines la violencia de género (gendered violence) as una violencia que se dirige sobre las mujeres por el hecho mismo de serlo, por ser consideradas, por sus agresores, carentes de los derechos mínimos de libertad, respeto y capacidad de decisión (a violence that is directed at women for the very fact of being women and therefore being considered by their attackers as lacking the basic rights of freedom, respect, and decision making capability). The new law establishes courts titled Juzgados de Violencia sobre la Mujer (Courts of Violence against Women) and suspends the presumption of innocence for men accused of domestic violence. Courts are empowered to hold closed door hearings before trial and evict men from their homes; suspend parental rights, child custody, or visitation rights; and bar men from possessing weapons.

Domestic violence can take the form of physical violence, including direct physical violence ranging from unwanted physical contact to rape and murder. Indirect physical violence may include destruction of objects, striking or throwing objects near the victim, or harm to pets. In addition to physical violence, spousal abuse often includes mental or emotional abuse, including verbal threats of physical violence to the victim, the self, or others including children, ranging from explicit, detailed and impending to implicit and vague as to both content and time frame, and verbal violence, including threats, insults, put-downs, and attacks. Nonverbal threats may include gestures, facial expressions, and body postures. Psychological abuse may also involve economic and/or social control, such as controlling the victim's money and other economic resources, preventing the victim from seeing friends and relatives, actively sabotaging the victim's social relationships, and isolating the victim from social contacts.

Physical violence is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing injury, harm, disability, or death, for example, hitting, shoving, biting, restraint, kicking, or use of a weapon.

Emotional abuse (also called psychological abuse or mental abuse) can include humiliating the victim privately or publicly, controlling what the victim can and cannot do, withholding information from the victim, deliberately doing something to make the victim feel diminished or embarrassed, isolating the victim from friends and family, implicitly blackmailing the victim by harming others when the victim expresses independence or happiness, or denying the victim access to money or other basic resources and necessities.

Women who are being emotionally abused often feel as if they do not own themselves; rather, they may feel that their significant other has nearly total control over them. Women undergoing emotional abuse often suffer from depression, which puts them at increased risk for suicide, eating disorders, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Economic abuse is when the abuser has complete control over the victim's money and other economic resources. Usually, this involves putting the victim on a strict "allowance," withholding money at will and forcing the victim to beg for the money until the abuser gives them some money. It is common for the victim to receive less money as the abuse continues. This also includes (but is not limited to) preventing the victim from finishing education or obtaining employment, or intentionally squandering or misusing communal resources.

In addition, stalking is often included among the types of Intimate Partner Violence. Stalking generally refers to repeated behaviour that causes victims to feel a high level of fear (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).

Domestic violence occurs across the world, in various cultures, and affects people across society, irrespective of economic status. In the United States, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics women are about six times as likely as men to experience intimate partner violence. Percent of women surveyed (national surveys) who were ever physically assaulted by an intimate partner: Barbados (30%), Canada (29%), Egypt (34%), New Zealand (35%), Switzerland (21%), United States (22%). Some surveys in specific places report figures as high as 50-70% of women surveyed who were ever physically assaulted by an intimate partner. Others, including surveys in the Philippines and Paraguay, report figures as low as 10%. The rate of intimate partner violence in the U.S. has declined since 1993. Almost always, surveys will undercount actual numbers. Results will also vary, depending on specific wording of survey questions, how the survey is conducted, the definition of abuse or domestic violence used, the willingness or unwillingness of victims to admit that they have been abused and other factors.

Domestic violence against women in lesbian relationships is about as common as domestic violence against women in heterosexual relationships.

There is currently limited research on the abuse of lesbian women by their lesbian partners, however an investigation by the Canadian Government saw some 19% of a survey of lesbian women respond to being victims of their partners.

There are a number of presentations that can be related to domestic violence during pregnancy: delay in seeking care for injuries; late booking, non-attenders at appointments, self-discharge; frequent attendance, vague problems; aggressive or over-solicitous partner; burns, pain, tenderness, injuries; vaginal tears, bleeding, STDs; and miscarriage.

According to a July 2000 Centers for Disease Control report, data from the Bureau of Justice, National Crime Victimization Survey consistently show that women are at significantly greater risk of intimate partner violence than are men, while data from the National Family Violence Survey contradict these data and consistently show that men and women are equally likely to be physically assaulted by an intimate partner.

The same report, on phone interviews with 8000 men and 8000 women, reported that 7.5% of men have been raped or assaulted by an intimate at some time in their life time (compared to 25% of women), and 0.9 percent of men had been raped or assaulted in the previous 12 months (compared to 1.5% of women).

In May, 2007, researchers with the Centers for Disease Control reported on rates of self-reported violence among intimate partners using data from a 2001 study. In the study, almost one-quarter of participants reported some violence in their relationships. Half of these involved one-sided ("non-reciprocal") attacks and half involved both assaults and counter assaults ("reciprocal violence"). Women reported committing one-sided attacks more than twice as often as men (70% versus 29%). In all cases of intimate partner violence, women were more likely to be injured than men, but 25% of men in relationships with two-sided violence reported injury compared to 20% of women reporting injury in relationships with one-sided violence. Women were more likely to be injured in non-reciprocal violence.

A 2007-2008 online non-random, self-report survey is being conducted by researchers at Clark University and Bridgewater State College, which seeks to document the experiences and health of men who have sustained partner violence in the past year. Anyone may fill out the survey.

When it comes to domestic violence towards children involving physical abuse, research in the UK by the NSPCC indicated that "most violence occurred at home" (78 per cent). 40 - 60% of men and women who abuse other adults also abuse their children. Girls whose fathers batter their mothers are 6.5 times more likely to be sexually abused by their fathers than are girls from non-violent homes.

Teen dating violence is a pattern of controlling behavior by one teenager over another teenager who are in a dating relationship. While there are many similarities to "traditional" domestic violence there are also some differences. Teens are much more likely than adults to become isolated from their peers as the result of controlling behavior by their boyfriend/girlfriend. Also, for many teens the abusive relationship may be their first dating experience and have never had a "normal" dating experience with which to compare it.

The World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the same year, concluded that civil society and governments have acknowledged that violence against women is a public health and human rights concern. Work in this area has resulted in the establishment of international standards, but the task of documenting the magnitude of violence against women and producing reliable, comparative data to guide policy and monitor implementation has been exceedingly difficult. The World Health Organisation Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women 2005is a response to this difficulty. Published in 2005 it is a groundbreaking study which analysed data from 10 countries and sheds new light on the prevalence of violence against women. It seeks to look at violence against women a public health policy perspective. The findings will be used to inform a more effective response from government, including the health, justice and social service sectors, as a step towards fulfilling the state’s obligation to eliminate violence against women under international human rights laws.

The form and characteristics of domestic violence and abuse may vary in other ways. Michael P. Johnson (1995, 2006b) argues for three major types of intimate partner violence. The typology is supported by subsequent research and evaluation by Johnson and his colleagues, as well as independent researchers.

Distinctions need to be made regarding types of violence, motives of perpetrators, and the social and cultural context. Violence by a man against his wife or intimate partner is often done as a way for men to control "their woman". Other types of intimate partner violence also occur, including violence between gay and lesbian couples, and by women against their male partners.

Another type is situational couple violence, which arises out of conflicts that escalate to arguments and then to violence. It is not connected to a general pattern of control. Although it occurs less frequently in relationships and is less serious than intimate terrorism, in some cases it can be frequent and/or quite serious, even life-threatening. This is probably the most common type of intimate partner violence and dominates general surveys, student samples, and even marriage counseling samples.

Types of male batterers identified by Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart (1994) include "family-only", which primarily fall into the CCV type, who are generally less violent and less likely to perpetrate psychological and sexual abuse. IT batterers include two types: "Generally-violent-antisocial" and "dysphoric-borderline". The first type includes men with general psychopathic and violent tendencies. The second type are men who are emotionally dependent on the relationship. Support for this typology has been found in subsequent evaluations.

Others, such as the CDC, divide domestic violence into two types: reciprocal violence, in which both partners are violent, and non-reciprocal violence, in which one partner is violent.

There are many different theories as to the causes of domestic violence. These include psychological theories that consider personality traits and mental characteristics of the offender, as well as social theories which consider external factors in the offender's environment, such as family structure, stress, social learning. As with many phenomena regarding human experience, no single approach appears to cover all cases.

Psychological theories focus on personality traits and mental characteristics of the offender. Personality traits include sudden bursts of anger, poor impulse control, and poor self esteem. Various theories suggest that psychopathology and other personality disorders are factors, and that abuse experienced as a child leads some people to be more violent as adults. Studies have found high incidence of psychopathy among abusers. Dutton has suggested a psychological profile of men who abuse their wives, arguing that they have borderline personalities (between psychotics and neurotics), which are developed early in life. Gelles suggests that psychological theories are limited, and points out that other researchers have found that only 10% (or less) fit this psychological profile. He argues that social factors are important, while personality traits, mental illness, or psychopathy are lesser factors.

It should be noted that Borderline Personality Disorder as used in this context is outdated. Whilst it was originally believed that a person's psychological state was between neurotic and psychotic it is now recognised that BPD is the most severe and intransigent of the personality disorders.

Looks at external factors in the offender's environment, such as family structure, stress, social learning, and includes rational choice theories.

Resource theory was suggested by William Goode (1971). Women who are most dependent on the spouse for economic well being. Having children to take care of, should they leave the marriage, increases the financial burden and makes it all the more difficult for them to leave. Dependency means that they have fewer options and few resources to help them cope with or change their spouse's behavior.

Couples that share power equally experience lower incidence of conflict, and when conflict does arise, are less likely to resort to violence. If one spouse desires control and power in the relationship, the spouse may resort to abuse. This may include coercion and threats, intimidation, emotional abuse, economic abuse, isolation, making light of the situation and blaming the spouse, using children (threatening to take them away), and behaving as "master of the castle".

Stress may be increased when a person is living in a family situation, with increased pressures. Social stresses, due to inadequate finances or other such problems in a family may further increase tensions. Violence is not always caused by stress, but may be one way that some (but not all) people respond to stress. Families and couples in poverty may be more likely to experience domestic violence, due to increased stress and conflicts about finances and other aspects. Some speculate that poverty may hinder a man's ability to live up to his idea of "successful manhood", thus he fears losing honor and respect. Theory suggests that when he is unable to economically support his wife, and maintain control, he may turn to misogyny, substance abuse, and crime as ways to express masculinity.

Social learning theory suggests that people learn from observing and modeling after others' behavior. With positive reinforcement, the behavior continues. If one observes violent behavior, one is more likely to imitate it. If there are no negative consequences (e.g. victim accepts the violence, with submission), then the behavior will likely continue. Often, violence is transmitted from generation to generation in a cyclical manner.

In some relationships, violence arises out of a perceived need for power and control, a form of bullying and social learning of abuse. Abusers' efforts to dominate their partners have been attributed to low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy, unresolved childhood conflicts, the stress of poverty, hostility and resentment toward women (misogyny), hostility and resentment toward men (misandry), personality disorders, genetic tendencies and sociocultural influences, among other possible causative factors. Most authorities seem to agree that abusive personalities result from a combination of several factors, to varying degrees.

A causalist view of domestic violence is that it is a strategy to gain or maintain power and control over the victim. This view is in alignment with Bancroft's "cost-benefit" theory that abuse rewards the perpetrator in ways other than, or in addition to, simply exercising power over his or her target(s). He cites evidence in support of his argument that, in most cases, abusers are quite capable of exercising control over themselves, but choose not to do so for various reasons.

An alternative view is that abuse arises from powerlessness and externalizing/projecting this and attempting to exercise control of the victim. It is an attempt to 'gain or maintain power and control over the victim' but even in achieving this it cannot resolve the powerlessness driving it. Such behaviours have addictive aspects leading to a cycle of abuse or violence. Mutual cycles develop when each party attempts to resolve their own powerlessness in attempting to assert control.

The model attempts to address abuse by one-sidedly challenging the misuse of power by the 'perpetrator'.

Critics of this model suggest that the one-sided focus is problematic as resolution can only be achieved when all participants acknowledge their responsibilities, and identify and respect mutual purpose.

The power wheel model is not intended to assign personal responsibility, enhance respect for mutual purpose or assist victims and perpetrators in resolving their differences. It is an informational tool designed to help individuals understand the dynamics of power operating in abusive situations and identify various methods of abuse.

Other factors associated with domestic violence include heavy alcohol consumption, mental illness, classism, various political and legal characteristics such as authoritarianism and dehumanisation.

It is also important to this topic to understand the paradoxical effects of some sedative drugs..Serious complications can occur in conjunction with the use of sedatives creating the opposite effect as to that intended. Malcolm Lader at the Institute of Psychiatry in London estimates the incidence of these adverse reactions at about 5%, even in short-term use of the drugs. The paradoxical reactions may consist of depression, with or without suicidal tendencies, phobias, aggressiveness, violent behavior and symptoms sometimes misdiagnosed as psychosis. The contribution of these reactions is one possible component.

Modes of abuse are stereotyped by some to be gendered, females tending to use more psychological and men more physical forms. The visibility of these differs markedly. However, experts who work with victims of domestic violence have noted that physical abuse is almost invariably preceded by psychological abuse. Police and hospital admission records indicate that a higher percentage of females than males seek treatment and report such crimes.

Unless or until more men identify themselves and go on record as having been abused by female partners, and in a manner whereby the nature and extent of their injuries can be clinically assessed, men will continue to be identified as the most frequent perpetrators of physical and emotional violence.

See also the section "Gender Differences" in this article, and some of the statistics in the subsection "U.S." in the "Statistics" section.

Frequently, domestic violence is used to describe specific violent and overtly abusive incidents, and legal definitions will tend to take this perspective. However, when violent and abusive behaviours happen within a relationship, the effects of those behaviours continue after these overt incidents are over. Advocates and counsellors will refer to domestic violence as a pattern of behaviours, including those listed above.

Although it is easy to see the outbursts of the Acting-out Phase as abuse, even the more pleasant behaviours of the Honeymoon Phase serve to perpetuate the abuse. See also the cycle of abuse article.

Many domestic violence advocates believe that the cycle of violence theory is limited and does not reflect the realities of many men and women experiencing domestic violence.

The role of gender is a controversial topic related to the discussion of domestic violence.

Erin Pizzey, the founder of an early women's shelter in Chiswick, London, has expressed her dismay at how she believes the issue has become a gender-political football, and expressed an unpopular view in her book Prone to Violence that some women in the refuge system had a predisposition to seek abusive relationships. She also expressed the view that domestic violence can occur against any vulnerable intimates, regardless of their gender.

A Freudian concept, repetition compulsion, has also come up in modern psychology as a possible cause of a woman who was abused in childhood seeking an abusive man (or vice versa), theoretically as a misguided way to "master" their traumatic experience.

There continues to be discussion about whether men are more abusive than women, whether men's abuse of women is worse than women's abuse of men, and whether abused men should be provided the same resources and shelters that years of advocacy, money-rasing, and funding has gained for women victims sekä Carney (2007).

Clearly, shelter houses full of battered women demonstrate the need for their continued existence. Moreover, outside of North American and Northern Europe, gender inequality is still the norm (Archer, in press). However, within those countries that have been most progressive about women’s equality, female violence has increased as male violence has decreased (Archer, in press). There is not one solution for every domestically violent situation; some require incarceration of a terrorist perpetrator, others can be dealt with through court-mandated treatment, still others may benefit from couples therapy. However, feminist inspired intervention standards that preclude therapists in many states from doing effective therapy with male batterers are one outcome of this paradigm. The failure to recognize female threat to husbands, female partners, or children is another (Straus et al., 1980 found 10% higher rates of child abuse reported by mothers than by fathers). The one size fits all policy driven by a simplistic notion that intimate violence is a recapitulation of class war does not most effectively deal with this serious problem or represent the variety of spousal violence patterns revealed by research. At some point, one has to ask whether feminists are more interested in diminishing violence within a population or promoting a political ideology. If they are interested in diminishing violence, it should be diminished for all members of a population and by the most effective and utilitarian means possible. This would mean an intervention/treatment approach based on other successful approaches from criminology and psychology.

Theories that women are as violent as men have been dubbed "Gender Symmetry" theories..</ref> In the most serious violence the men do dominate for example in 1999 in the US, 1,218 women and 424 men were killed by an intimate partner, regardless of which partner started the violence and of the gender of the partner. On the other hand, Michael Kimmel of the State University of New York at Stony Brook found that men are more violent inside and outside of the home than women.

A problem in conducting studies that seek to describe violence in terms of gender is the amount of silence, fear and shame that results from abuse within families and relationships. Another is that abusive patterns can tend to seem normal to those who have lived in them for a length of time. Similarly, subtle forms of abuse can be quite transparent even as they set the stage for further abuse seeming normal. Finally, inconsistent definition of what domestic violence is makes definite conclusions difficult to reach when compiling the available studies.

Both men and women have been arrested and convicted of assaulting their partners in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. The bulk of these arrests have been men being arrested for assaulting women. However, in the case of reciprocal violence, frequently only the male perpetrator is arrested. Determining how many instances of domestic violence actually involve male victims is difficult. Male domestic violence victims may be reluctant to get help for a number of reasons. Another study has demonstrated a high degree of acceptance by women of aggression against men.

Some researchers have found a relationship between the availability of domestic violence services, improved laws and enforcement regarding domestic violence and increased access to divorce, and higher earnings for women with declines in intimate partner homicide. However, both men and women are far less likely to be abused when married to each other. The bulk of injuries from domestic violence involves co-habitation or the distresses of relationship break-ups.

Gender roles and expectations can and do play a role in abusive situations, and exploring these roles and expectations can be helpful in addressing abusive situations, as do factors like race, class, religion, sexuality and philosophy. None of these factors cause one to abuse or another to be abused.

Domestic violence also occurs in same-sex relationships. In an effort to be more inclusive, many organizations have made an effort to use gender-neutral terms when referring to perpetratorship and victimhood.

Historically domestic violence has been seen as a family issue and little interest has been directed at violence in same-sex relationships. It has not been until recently, as the gay rights movement has brought the issues of gay and lesbian people into public attention, when research has been started to conduct on same-sex relationships. Several studies have indicated that partner abuse among same-sex couples (both female and male) is relatively similar in both prevalence and dynamics to that among opposite-sex couples. Gays and lesbians, however, face special obstacles in dealing with the issues that some researchers have labeled "the double closet". A recent Canadian study by Mark W. Lehman suggests similarities include frequency (approximately one in every four couples); manifestations (emotional, physical, financial, etc.); co-existent situations (unemployment, substance abuse, low self-esteem); victims' reactions (fear, feelings of helplessness, hypervigilance); and reasons for staying (love, can work it out, things will change, denial). At the same time, significant differences, unique issues and deceptive myths are typically present. Lehman points to added discrimination and fear gays and lesbians can face; dismissal by police and some social services; a lack of support from peers who would rather keep quiet about the problem in order not to attract negative attention toward the gay community; the impacts of HIV status or AIDS in keeping partners together, due to health care insurance/access, or guilt; outing used as a weapon; and encountering supportive services that are targeted and/or structured for the needs of heterosexual women and which may not meet the needs of gay men or lesbians.

The authors conclude with what they call "very recent information" on the course of violent marriages which suggests that "over time a husband's battering may abate somewhat, but perhaps because he has successfully intimidated his wife. The risk of violence remains strong in a marriage in which it has been a feature in the past. Thus, treatment is essential here; the clinician cannot just wait and watch." The most urgent clinical priority is the protection of the wife because she is the one most frequently at risk, and clinicians must be aware that supporting assertiveness by a battered wife may lead to more beatings or even death.

The response to domestic violence is typically a combined effort between law enforcement agencies, the courts, social service agencies and corrections/probation agencies. The role of each has evolved as domestic violence has been brought more into public view.

Domestic violence historically has been viewed as a private family matter that need not involve government or criminal justice intervention. Police officers were often reluctant to intervene by making an arrest, and often chose instead to simply counsel the couple and/or ask one of the parties to leave the residence for a period of time. The courts were reluctant to impose any significant sanctions on those convicted of domestic violence, largely because it was viewed as a misdemeanor offense.

Activism, initiated by victim advocacy groups and feminist groups, has led to a better understanding of the scope and effect of domestic violence on victims and families, and has brought about changes in the criminal justice system's response.

Medical professionals, who have contact with abuse victims through medical visits, have a role to play in helping domestic violence victims. Many cases of spousal abuse are handled solely by medical professionals and do not involve the police. Sometimes cases of spousal abuse are brought into the emergency room, while many other cases are handled by family physician or other primary care provider.

Doctors and other medical professionals are in position to empower victims, give advice, and refer them to appropriate services. The health care professional in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere has not always met this role, been uneven in quality of care, and in many cases has been unhelpful due to misunderstandings they have about domestic violence. Myths that have prevailed in the past and influenced how a doctor approaches a case, where domestic violence may be involved, include the belief that domestic violence is rare, that women are responsible for the violence, and it is inevitable. Washaw (1993) suggests that many doctors prefer not to get involved in people's "private" lives. Clifton, Jacobs, and Tulloch (1996) found that training for general practitioners in the United States about domestic violence was very limited or they had no training. Abbott and Williamson found that knowledge and understanding of domestic violence was very limited among health care professionals in a Midlands, United Kingdom county, and that they don't see themselves as being able to play a major role in helping women in regards to domestic violence. Furthermore, in the biomedical model of health care, injuries are often just treated and diagnosed, without regard for the causes. As well, there is substantial reluctance for victims to come forward and broach the issue with their physicians. On average, women experience 35 incidents of domestic violence before seeking treatment.

A number of medications have been used for control of aggression. Good evidence exists on the efficacy of clozapine. Evidence also exists for SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake ihibitors), like "Prozac", hormonal antiandrogenic agents, beta-blockers, quetiapine and ariipiprazole. Lithium and anticonvulsants are widely used but their efficacy is not strongly supported.

In the 1970s, it was widely believed that domestic disturbance calls were the most dangerous type for responding officers, who arrive to a highly emotionally charged situation. This belief was based on FBI statistics which turned out to be flawed, in that they grouped all types of disturbances together with domestic disturbances, such as brawls at a bar. Subsequent statistics and analysis have shown this belief to be false.

Statistics on incidents of domestic violence, published in the late 1970s, helped raise public awareness of the problem and increase activism. A study published in 1976 by the Police Foundation found that the police had intervened at least once in the previous two years in 85 percent of spouse homicides. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, feminists and battered women's advocacy groups were calling on police to take domestic violence more seriously and change intervention strategies. In some instances, these groups took legal action against police departments, including in Oakland, California and New York City, to get them to make arrests in domestic violence cases. They claimed that police assigned low priority to domestic disturbance calls.

The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment was a study done in 1981-1982, led by Lawrence W. Sherman, to evaluate the effectiveness of various police responses to domestic violence calls in Minneapolis, Minnesota, including sending the abuser away for eight hours, giving advice and mediation for disputes, and making an arrest. Arrest was found to be the most effective police response. The study found that arrest reduced the rate by half of re-offending against the same victim within the following six months. The results of the study received a great deal of attention from the news media, including The New York Times and prime-time news coverage on television. Many U.S. police departments responded to the study, adopting a mandatory arrest policy for spousal violence cases with probable cause. By 2005, 23 states and the District of Columbia had enacted mandatory arrest for domestic assault, without warrant, given that the officer has probable cause and regardless of whether or not the officer witnessed the crime. The Minneapolis study also influenced policy in other countries, including New Zealand, which adopted a pro-arrest policy for domestic violence cases.

However, the study was subject of much criticism, with concerns about its methodology, as well as its conclusions. The Minneapolis study was replicated in several other cities, beginning in 1986, with some of these studies have producing different results. In the replication studies, arrest seemed to help in the short run in some cases, but those arrested experienced double the rate of violence over the course of one year. Criminologists do not fully understand the reasons why deterrent effects do not last over time. But they suggest that abusers may initially fear punishment, though many cases do not make it all the way through the criminal justice process. If the victim is uncooperative during investigation, the prosecutor may choose not to pursue the case. If the case is pursued through the criminal justice system, sometimes the resulting sentence is minor. Subsequently, any fear that the abuser has of punishment may have diminished.

Along with protecting the victim, law enforcement officers have to ensure that the alleged abusers' rights are not violated. Many times in cases of mutual combatants, it is departmental policy that both parties be arrested and the court system can establish truth at a later date. In some areas of the nation, this mutual combatant philosophy is being replaced by the primary abuser philosophy in which case if both parties have physical injuries, the law enforcement officer determines who the primary aggressor is and only arrest that one. This philosophy started gaining momentum when different government/private agencies started researching the effects. It was found that when both parties are arrested, it had an adverse affect on the victim. The victims were less likely to call or trust law enforcement during the next incident of domestic abuse.

It coordinated agencies dealing with domestic situations, drawing together diverse elements of the system, from police officers on the street, to shelters for battered women and probation officers supervising offenders.

This program has become a model for other jurisdictions seeking to deal more effectively with domestic violence. Corrections/probation agencies in many areas are supervising domestic violence offenders more closely, and are also paying closer attention to the victim's needs and safety issues.

There has been controversy as the Duluth framework depends on a strict "patriarchal violence" model and presumes that all violence in the home and elsewhere has a male perpetrator and female victim. Also evidence of success of the model is limited, with scholarly analysis and critique.

Many victims leave their abusers, only to return. Research has shown that a major factor in helping a victim to establish lasting independence from the abusive partner is her or his ability to get legal assistance. Economists at the Brennan Center for Justice analyzed Bureau of Justice Statistics data to determine what accounted for the nationwide reduction in reported abuse. Their findings revealed that one significant factor was the availability of legal services to assist abuse victims. Another major study by economists at Colgate University and the University of Arkansas flatly stated that the only public service that reduces domestic violence in the long term is legal aid. Legal assistance can provide essential safety planning, buttress a family’s economic position through child or spousal support, allay fears planted by the batterer about loss of custody, and help victims to secure needed government benefits.

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Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment

The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment (MDVE) was a study done in 1981-1982, led by Lawrence W. Sherman, to evaluate the effectiveness of various police responses to domestic violence calls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The study was performed with cooperation from the Police Foundation and the Minneapolis Police Department, and funding by the National Institute of Justice. The results of the study had a "virtually unprecedented impact in changing then-current police practices." Subsequently, numerous states and law enforcement agencies enacted policies for mandatory arrest, without warrant, for domestic violence cases in which the responding police officer had probable cause that a crime had occurred.

Domestic violence historically has been viewed as a private family matter that need not involve government or criminal justice intervention. Before the early 1970s, police in the United States favored a "hands-off" approach to domestic violence calls, with arrest only used as a last resort. At the time, domestic violence cases were classified as misdemeanor assault cases. A 1978 court order in New York City mandated that arrests only be made in cases of serious violence, thus officers instead made effort to mediate family disputes.

In the early 1970s, clinical psychologists argued that police should make an effort to mediate disputes.

Statistics on incidence of domestic violence, published in the late 1970s, helped raise public awareness of the problem and increase activism. A study published in 1976 by the Police Foundation found that the police had intervened at least once in the previous two years in 85 percent of spouse homicides. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, feminists and battered women's advocacy groups were calling on police to take domestic violence more seriously and change intervention strategies. In some instances, these groups took legal action against police departments, including in Oakland, California and New York City, to get them to make arrests in domestic violence cases. They claimed that police assigned low priority to domestic disturbance calls.

In 1978, Alfred Blumstein and the National Academy of Sciences issued a report, Deterrence and Incapacitation: Estimating the Effects of Criminal Sanctions on Crime Rates, which argued for an approach to domestic violence and other crime, based on social control theories and use of deterrence for crime control.

The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment looked at effectiveness of methods used by police to reduce domestic violence, using 25 randomized field experiments. Cases used in the study were misdemeanor assault calls, which make up the bulk of domestic violence calls for service. Both the victim and offender needed to still be present when the police arrived, in order to be included in the study.

Interviews were conducted during a 6-month follow-up period, with both victims and offenders, as well as official records consulted to determine whether or not re-offending had occurred.

The study lasted approximately 17 months, and included 330 cases.

Arrest was found to be the most effective police response. The study found that arrest reduced the rate by half of re-offending against the same victim within the following six months. Other methods, such as counseling or temporarily sending assailants away, were deemed less effective.

The results of the study received a great deal of attention from the news media, including The New York Times and prime-time news coverage on television. Many U.S. police departments responded to the study, adopting a mandatory arrest policy for spousal violence cases with probable cause. New York City Police Department Commissioner Benjamin Ward quickly issued a new mandate for officers to make arrests, after reading the results of the study in a Police Foundation report. Ward stated his belief that "arresting violent members of a household would be more effective in protecting other family members and help safeguard police officers called in to stop the highly charged quarrels. I thought it was about time to put policemen out of the counseling business and into what they really are best at, which is making arrests, then let the judge decide." With this mandate, Ward also included cohabitants and same-sex couples in the police definition of family. The Houston and Dallas Police Departments were also quick to change their approach to domestic disturbance calls, and make more arrests. Within a year, the number of police departments using arrest as a strategy in domestic violence cases jumped from 10 to 31%, and to 46% by 1986. Numerous other police departments had partially changed their approach to domestic violence cases.

In 1984, the U.S. Attorney General's Task Force on Family Violence report drew heavily upon the Minneapolis study, in recommending that domestic violence be handled with a criminal justice approach. Within eight years, 15 states and the District of Columbia enacted laws new domestic violence laws that proscribed mandatory or presumptive arrest of violent domestic offenders. By 2005, 23 states and the District of Columbia had enacted mandatory arrest for domestic assault, without warrant, given that the officer has probable cause and regardless of whether or not the officer witnessed the crime. The Minneapolis study also influenced policy in other countries, including New Zealand, which adopted a pro-arrest policy for domestic violence cases.

The study was subject of much criticism, with concerns about its methodology, as well as its conclusions. The follow-up period of six months was short, and not able to capture the episodic and cyclical patterns that may occur with domestic violence. Also, Minneapolis may have been unusual, in that they kept arrestees overnight in jail, whereas in other jurisdictions arrestees might be sent home much quicker.

Randomized experiments look at causal effects for the group as a whole. Conclusions may be made that may apply to most individuals in the group, but not all individuals, with some possibly experiencing negative effects of the intervention. In some cases, arrest may provoke the abuser and increase the possibility of more retributive violence.

Mandatory arrest is based on deterrence theory, which includes the assumption that the offender is making rational decisions. In the case of domestic violence, the offender often shows little rational behavior.

Through the Spouse Assault Replication Program (SARP), the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment was replicated in several other cities, beginning in 1986. The cities included Omaha, Nebraska, Charlotte, North Carolina, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. In Metro-Dade, 907 cases were used, compared to 1,200 cases in Milwaukee and over 1,600 cases in Colorado Springs.

Some of these studies have produced different results than the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment. The Colorado Springs study found several police responses that were slightly more effective, including restoring order, providing crisis intervention, issuing emergency protection orders, or arresting offenders, and that there is no singular approach for police dealing with domestic violence cases. Altogether, the five replication studies produced mixed results, with three studies finding that offenders who were arrested experienced higher levels of recidivism. The other studies showed a modest but statistically significant reduction in re-offending for those arrested.

In the replication studies, arrest seemed to help in the short run in some cases, but those arrested experienced double the rate of violence over the course of one year. Criminologists do not fully understand the reasons why deterrent effects do not last over time. But they suggest that abusers may initially fear punishment, though many cases do not make it all the way through the criminal justice process. If the victim is uncooperative during investigation, the prosecutor may choose not to pursue the case. If the case is pursued through the criminal justice system, sometimes the resulting sentence is minor. Subsequently, fear that the abuser has of punishment may have diminished.

In 1993, Janell Schmidt and Lawrence W. Sherman recommended that police be given more structured discretion, with a menu of options the officer could choose from in each situation.

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Source : Wikipedia