Examine the patterns of, and reasons for domestic violence in society

Examine the patterns of, and reasons for domestic violence in society - Examine the patterns of, and reasons for domestic violence in society introduction. (24 marks)

Domestic violence is physical, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional violence. It takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship, from someone showing controlling behaviour. The British Crime Survey has said that domestic violence accounts for almost a sixth of all violent crimes.

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Domestic violence often follows patterns. The main pattern is that it is usually violence by men against women. Kathryn Coleman et al (2007) found that women were more likely than men to have experienced ‘intimate violence’ across 4 types of abuse which is partner abuse, family abuse, sexual assault and stalking. Mirrlees-Black also found out interesting facts when conducting research. It was found that more victims are women, 99% of all incidents against women are committed by men and nearly 1 in 4 women have been assaulted by a partner at some point in their life. Nazroo did research and found that when domestic violence is perpetrated by men, it tends to be more serious than when it is perpetrated by women. This is because women are likely to be more fearful of violence than men are. However, it isn’t just women that are victims of domestic violence. Mirrlees-Black says that other social groups at risk include: individuals in lower classes, people on low incomes and children/younger people.

There are also different reasons for domestic violence. Radical feminists see the family as patriarchal and the main source of women’s oppression. Millett and Shulamith argue that societies are patriarchal too. They say men are the oppressors and exploiters of women. Radical feminists say that men commit domestic violence to have power over women, and in a patriarchal society, domestic violence in inevitable.

However, this is rejected by Wilkinson who says that domestic violence is a result of stress and inequality (e.g. families having fewer resources than others). They can be stressed over things such as money and jobs. This may create conflict and an unstable relationship therefore could lead to domestic violence. Wilkinson found that those with less power, status, wealth or income are often at the greatest risk. This explains why there are class differences in the statistics of domestic violence because lower classes tend to have less resources therefore more stress.

To conclude, different sociologists have different explanations for the reasons for domestic violence. It has been shown that it occurs mostly against women and it isn’t reported on average until 35 assaults.

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