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The History Of Domestic Violence And How To Prevent It

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In a perfect world, we characterize the family as the social gathering to sustain us, educate us in social and good qualities, and shield us from hurt. This is the situation in practically every postindustrial society where individuals from “generally disengaged what’s more, self-sufficient little family unit(s)” have a tendency to depend candidly on their close family (Williams, 1970, p. 91).

Historical background of Domestic Violence

Long ago women and children were considered the property of the Husband/father, in the sense that he could do whatever he wanted to the mother and the children. This was seen as a normal thing in the society since the men where the bread winners. The measurable truth is that the American family stands an expected 20% possibility of turning into the phase for violence. Indeed, family brutality specialists state that the family is the most brutal social gathering in the nation, with individuals being more likely to be harmed by an angry family member than by anyone else in the society (Gelles and Straus, 1979; Witt, 1980).

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Theoreticians attempting to explain violence in the family are legion, despite a paucity of confirming empirical research. Gelles and Straus (1979) in a comprehensive review of family violence theory, count 15 separate models from the disciplines of psychology, social psychology, and sociology. This paper is an attempt to narrow the field. To do so requires an integration of three theories. The “culture of violence” theory lays the groundwork for the incidence of violence in the family. Symbolic interaction theory explains our socialized ability for violent behavior. The conflict feminist approach offers the influence of economic and historical development of society as potentially resulting in violence within family relationships.

Culture of violence maintains that violence is unevenly distributed in our society. One is led to envision pockets of hostility and conflict, scattered throughout certain racial, ethnic, and social class strata that reside alongside subcultures of nonviolence. Violence is characterized as a learned response directly attributable to membership in a particular group. Thus, when looking for family violence, one might expect to find higher rates of spouse battering and child abuse in lower classes and among ghetto dwelling ethnic families (Coser, 1967; Wolfgang and Ferrecuti, 1967).

This expectation has been only marginally realized in hypothesis testing. Violence exhibited toward children and spouse’s declines only slightly among the highest income groups. While no comparative studies have been done, interfamily violence does not seem to vary from one ethnic group to another. Rather, it seems to be present in families regardless of their socioeconomic status or ethnic group membership (Gelles, 1979; Straus et al., 1980).

However, by shifting our focus from subculture to culture in general, the idea of an entire culture predisposed to violent behaviors begins to inform the issue of family violence. What more probable source of a nasty sneer or hurtful remark is there than from a disappointed wife, husband, or child. Family members are likely to remind each other of his or her shortcomings.

Blame for material inadequacies can easily escalate into violent episodes. From the old broken down car in the driveway to an inability to afford good schools for the children, blame is attributed by family members to “his” lack of ambition or “her” failure to be supportive in times of stress. Further, violence in the family is normative in nature.

We feel guilty, out of place, or ashamed when we behave in socially unacceptable ways. On the surface, we view the abusive behavior of parents and spouses as abnormal; however, when taken in the broadest context, the American family is subject to norms and believes that are not subject to change easily.

If we look at the Asian families, they are more subject to domestic violence whereby they expect perfection. The victims of this are mostly the children, who are beaten if they don’t meet the parent’s expectations and don’t do well in school and that is why Asian students do very well in school. This might be seen as a positive thing since the children do well in school but, the children are in constant fear of their parents and that might be bad for the mental and the physical health of the child.

Most African families are similar to those of Asia whereby they have strict rules which cannot be broken. These communities give power to the husband since he is the bread winner, hence this can lead to women not speaking back to their husbands or speaking for their selves which can lead to domestic violence. But this doesn’t happen in most cases since the world is changing and new ideologies are arising.

What can we do to prevent domestic violence?

Any domestic violence should be subject to punishment and they should be reported to the authorities, so that such things do not happen. A friendlier way to handle domestic violence is by seeing a specialist, so as to solve your problems and if it’s not possible then the best way is to get a divorce. The best way is for both persons to respect each other and consult about issues that might arise.


Conflicts always arise in a home setting. The parents may argue about a thing, the children might fight, among others. The society has changed and women have a voice now and are given most opportunities, so if they report a situation it’s highly likely that the husband would be arrested and asked to pay a heavy fine. On the side of the children, when children are beaten or shouted at they might get physical and emotional disorders, and might not associate themselves with other students. This might be bad for children and might lower their performance in school and how they conduct themselves around others.


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