Forms of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious crime committed throughout the United States in a wide range of homes and situations. However, many individuals do not realize that the scope of activities that can be considered intimate partner violence goes far beyond physical abuse in the home. Domestic violence is generally defined as any interaction in a partnership or relationship where one person uses either physical or emotional abuse to control the other person.

Across the united sates domestic abuse is considered an illegal act and is punishable by the law. But because there are many incidents that can be considered domestic abuse, many individuals can be involved in a domestic abuse situation without realizing a crime is being committed. By knowing what constitutes domestic violence it is possible to protect yourself, your freedom, and your best interests.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence?

While domestic violence is generally defined as any activity used to control a partner or family member, there are a number of common activities that can be specifically declared acts of intimate partner violence. These acts to not have to happen in the home to be considered forms of domestic abuse. They include:

· Emotional abuse, such as name calling.

· Emotional putdowns and insults meant to cause emotional harm.

· Stalking activities.

· Intimidation tactics and other forms of unwanted control.

· Sexual assault. This can be true for relatives, partners, married couples, and any other pair of individuals who live together or are emotionally tied.

· Sexual battery.

· Alienating a partner and controlling their actions in and outside of the home

· Controlling a partner’s ability to obtain or maintain employment or steady income

· Withholding money or controlling the use of other necessities

· Threatening physical harm or abuse

· Performing physical harm and abuse

· Controlling a partner’s interactions with family and friends, including how often they can contact or see them.

Any of these acts can be considered forms of domestic abuse and may be punishable by the law. Whether you have been the victim of domestic abuse or if you are being accused of intimate partner violence it is important you know what type of activities fall under the title.

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Domestic Violence Against Women – A Nationwide Epidemic

Domestic violence is an epidemic in the United States. Domestic violence victims and domestic violence perpetrators can be anyone. In domestic violence not only does it involve two people it involves the entire family. The people involved can be of any gender. Unlike our stereotypes, domestic violence happens to the wealthy, educated, and even soccer moms. “Violence is inflicted primarily by men; most men have been socialized into masculine identities.” (Wood, 2009). “In the United States, every twelve to eight seconds a woman is beaten by a man; four women each day are reported beaten to death; and women are six hundred percent more likely to be brutalized by an intimate partner than are men.” (Wood, 2009). Statistically, domestic violence knows nothing about socioeconomic, educational, racial or religious boundaries. Domestic violence is learned and can be unlearned; it is important to identify the forms of abuse, why women stay, programs available and changes that can be made to lower rising statistics for our future generations, because contrary to child abuse and elderly abuse domestic violence is not mandated by law to report in Illinois.How is domestic violence learned? “Most domestic violence is caused by learning and reinforcement rather than by biology or genetics.” (Farmer, 2007).

The behavior is learned by observing others who have abused someone in their presence or they themselves have been abused. “Studies have found that nearly one half of abusive men grew up in homes where their father or step father was violent.” (Farmer, 2007). A boy can learn to be aggressive as a child. For instance, in competing in sports activities boys who play football play rough, endure physical pain and injuries and confront their opponents. (Woods, 2009). Also, showing emotion is frowned upon. This can be linked to violent behavior against women, children, animals, as they become more mature. According to Turning Point, Inc., “male violence against women in intimate relationships is a social problem condoned and supported by the customs and traditions of a particular society. Pornographic videos, magazines and websites are learning grounds which teach that women are unworthy of respect and valuable only as sex objects for men. Most videos and computer games have become an important training source for children and teens. Many of the sex-role messages present men as aggressive males and in control with the value of females restricted to their sexual allure. Boys often learn they are not responsible for their actions. Aggression in boys is increasingly being treated as a medical problem. Boys are being diagnosed and treated with medications instead of identifying that they have been possibly traumatized and exposed to violence and abuse at home.

Domestic violence is repeated because it works and because there are frequently no legal consequences. The fact that domestic violence is learned means that the perpetrators behavior can be changed. Most individuals can learn not to batter if there is sufficient motivation for changing that behavior.” (Farmer, 2007, page 2). In our society there are many forms of violent behavior which include “physical, verbal, emotional, sexual and visual brutality they are inflicted disproportionately or exclusively on members of one sex.” (Wood, 2009, page 285). The first form of abuse is physical. Men physically abuse woman by hitting, biting, stabling, pushing or sexual force. The female victim is viewed by society as the weaker and more deserving of being abused whereas the male perpetrators are considered to be strong, aggressive and controlling. The second form of abuse is verbal. This type of violation can be done by a man by intimidating his female partner. Verbally intimidating can include belittling, demeaning, ignoring, disrespecting, “being told what to do,” or by saying “you are fat, ugly, or stupid.” Or other words used can be “nobody will ever want you,” “and you will never amount to anything.”

The third form of abuse by men is emotional. This can include the male partner making poisonous remarks that leave the female feeling guilty, wounded or traumatized and very afraid to take any steps to get out of the situation. For example the use of tone of voice and body language to indicate the female is stupid, ignorant, incompetent or defective. One statement that is often used is “Just who do you think you are?” According to Julia T. Wood on page 289 of Gendered Lives, “at least twenty eight percent and possibly as many as fifty percent of women suffer intimate partner violence, which is physical, mental, emotional, verbal or economic power used by one partner against the other partner in a romantic relationship.” (Wood, 2009, page 289).

Why do women stay in any relationship when abuse is present? There are reasons so numerous as to why women choose to stay in their relationships while being abused. For instance, lack of income and education. The husbands have total control by not letting the spouse work or have money. Women will be isolated and have no outside relationships including family. The abusive spouse will call several times questioning where their spouse is at and to account for their whereabouts every moment of the day. Most women feel trapped into staying in the relationship feeling like there is no way out. Women stay because they are afraid of the repercussions and do not know where to go to feel safe. They feel like without a new identity they will be found. This is especially true when children are involved.

Women will feel guilty by taking away the child from the father. Finally, women will justify the abuse by saying, “I deserved it,” “if only I had not made him mad,” or “if only I did what he asked me to do,” I might not of been beaten. Many women also feel that it is their duty to stay because of their religion to “be submissive,” to their spouse. Some women are raised in the environment to be a people pleaser especially to their parents. They do not know any better than to marry and submit to their spouse. In Chapter twelve of Gendered Lives on page 284, “four million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during an average twelve month period, and at least three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.” (Woods, 2007, page 284). Western society recognizes domestic violence with having at least four stages of violence. In Gendered Lives by Julia T. Woods on page 293 it talks about the cycle of intimate partner violence and the four stages. They are identified as tension, explosion, remorse, and the honeymoon stages. The two stages that help victims stay is because of the remorse and honeymoon stage. In the remorse stage the abuser will say anything to keep the relationship such as “I am so sorry” and I promise never to “do it again,” or desperately say “I will get help,” and never follow through. In the honeymoon stage the abuser will feel guilty about their actions and usually buy the victim a gift to make up for their behavior.

The startling number of gendered violence is a nationwide epidemic that needs to be taken more seriously by society. Today, domestic violence against women is still on the rise along with the concern of women’s health issues. Thirty years ago battered women had no options such as a place to go or no places that would offer help and assistance. Today, there are more places to go such as shelters, churches and agencies to help victims of domestic violence. These shelters not only offer a place to stay but assistance with restraining orders, money, lawyers, and new lease on life. Society needs to address abuse by men, and help educate the public, especially the future generation in order to prevent more violent attacks. The solutions sound rather simple but we as a nation need to re-evaluate how we treat offenders in our society, and how we define it and prevent it.

We must learn how to be effective parents, spouses, and teachers without resorting to violent behavior in resolving disputes with our loved ones and those we are communicating with. In order to be able to reduce the statistics of gendered violence it is important to identify the stages, characteristics, and types of abuse. Only by voicing our opinions can we make a difference by either stopping the abusive person in the home or by reporting it or when someone you know is being abused. Each community can contribute by volunteering in their town or by raising awareness by speaking out against violence.

All women are subject to becoming a victim of domestic violence; unless society as a whole chooses to speak out. Can statistics be changed in today’s current rise against domestic violence? Yes, speaking out on the laws can help because if the laws and the punishment against the perpetrator become more strict it can prevent further domestic violence overall. In today’s culture domestic violence against women is not just subject to any economic class; it is up to each person and as a society to make changes that will make current statistics a lower number.

Works Cited

Farmer, J. (2007). McHenry County Turning Point, Inc. Retrieved May 29, 2008, from Causes of Domestic Violence.

Hertz, S. K. (2006, SEPT/OCT). Trapped. Retrieved May 15, 2008 From EBSCOhost (Academic Search Premier)

Christian Science Monitor. (1/31/2007, Vol. 99 Issue 45, p18-18, 2/5p). What we can do about domestic violence. Retrieved May 15, 2008 from EBSCOhost (Academic Search Premier)

Pioneer Development Resources, Inc. (1994-2008). Women’s Rural Advocacy Programs. Retrieved May 27, 2008

Wood, J.T. (2009, 2007). Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture, Eighth Edition. North Carolina: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Domestic Violence is Unacceptable in the United States

There are many male dominated societies and cultures in the World, but in the United States we have chosen equal rights for both men and women. Thus, we have laws against domestic violence, which is a much fairer way to live. Still, other cultures think we are nuts for allowing women the same rights as men, they still believe that since men on average are stronger than women, it is only natural that they should dominate them and rule over the family unit. Indeed, this attitude is unfortunate and it is far too common in the world today.

We do see that domestic violence is more prevalent in the United States with those nationalities that come from predominantly male dominated societies. You can ask a police officer about the domestic calls they go on, and they will explain to you, the ethnic make-up of those generally involved and the high percentages. Today, in America we are told not to stereotype or to classify race, religion, nationality, but when it comes to domestic violence in the US, it is obvious from an observational standpoint.

Indeed, in this short article, I am not obligated to explain to you these facts or point our which nationalities have the most domestic violence cases. Suffice it to say that although domestic violence happens with all nationalities and races in the US, it is far greater with a certain few. It is probably not wise to sit around and judge various groups, but the data shows the reality. It is far better to do something about it, making it clear that it is unacceptable here in the US and work locally with community groups to put an end to it all. Think on this.

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Legal Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence

Violence against women is a centuries old phenomenon. The violence may be of different forms, like child marriage, witch hunting, honor killing etc. It is due to defiance of the stereotyped role model of daughter, sister, wife and mother and of course daughter-in-law. Domestic Violence has been justified throughout the ages; legal and cultural traditions have granted men permission to beat their wives and even to kill them with intend to subordinate women. Although efforts had been made to electrify the image of women by associating her with Goddess Durga. Yet, it is ironical that India became patriarchal or male- oriented society. Causes of domestic violence may be many like alcohol and drug related, dowry related, frustration due to unemployment and financial constraints. Women also continue in violence relationship due to economic dependence upon men, family and social pressure to keep the family intact and preserve the marriage, lack of parental support absence of faith in the law and fear of losing custody of children.

In the modern age, voices have been raised against these inhuman practices and efforts made to bring about change by creating awareness, by educating people through legal actions. It was Raja Ram Mohan Roy who led the movement for women’s rights. He was responsible to bring social changes like stopping child marriage, sati and legitimization of widow remarriage. Though the term domestic violence was not in vogue in those reforms, their aim was to make women’s lives more humane and protected.

Laws available to women against domestic violence: Till 1983, there were no specific law pertaining to violence. Husbands could be convicted for murder, abetment to suicide, causing hurt and wrongful confinement. In section 304 of IPC, where the death of a woman is caused by burns or bodily injuries or occurs due to reasons other than normal circumstances within 7 years of her marriage and if it is find that the wife is subjected to cruelty by her husband or his relatives, the death is termed as DOWRY DEATH. Section 313-316 IPC. says that forcing a wife to terminate her pregnancy also forms domestic violence. Section 306 is available to punish relatives for abetment of suicide. The Dowry Prohibition Act 1986, also available as putting ban on the practice of dowry. Throwing acid has been made punishable under the amendmets of IPC.

Newly formed Law for protection of women; In 1992, lawyers collectively drafted and circulated a Bill on domestic violence. It was widely circulated among women’s groups including the National Commission for women, but by this time, most of women’s groups wanted a law on domestic violence. Drafted in accordance with the UN framework, this Bill had the great support of the women. Thus, Indian Government introduced a Bill on domestic violence in Lok Sabha titled as ‘The protection of women from Domestic Violence Bill 2001’. Great deliberations were going on and great need was felt to such legislation in effect. The Act was passed by Parliament and assented to by the President. It was named as ‘The Protection Of Women Against Domestic Violence Act 2006″. It was the first significant attempt to recognize domestic abuse as a punishable offence to extend its provisions to those in live in relationships, and to provide for emergency relief for the victim.

Section 2 provides protection against act, conduct, omission and commission that harms or has the potential to harm, will be considered as ‘Domestic Violence’. This legislation has widened the scope of domestic violence and now it can be broadly related to human rights. The definition contains physical, mental, economical and sexual violence suffered by large section of women and entitles them to claim protection from the courts. Section 494 of IPC has been proved insufficient for women protection, hence this Act was enacted for effective protection of rights of women guaranteed by Constitution i. e. Equality. Definition of ‘AGGRIEVED PERSON’ is equally wide which not only covers the legally wedded wife but also woman who is the sexual partner of the male, the daughter, mother, sister, child widow or any women residing in the house of the respondent.

Relationship in the nature of marriage provides remedy to those women whose marriages may be void or invalid in the eyes of law and protection of women who are live- in-relationships. In Aruna Parmod Shah v. UOI long periods of cohabitation between a men and women raise a presumption of marriage.

The concept of shared household means a household where the aggrieved person lives or had lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with respondent and includes a household owned or rented. Granting supremacy to the rights of residence of women, the Delhi High Court held that a woman can never be charged with trespass if she insists on staying with her husband in a house taken or rented by the husband. Supreme Court judgement on SR Batra V. Taruna Batra constitutes rights of a wife to live in husband’s house. This is most important judgement since even today there is lot of misunderstandings about rights of women on their husbands/in-laws property/house. It was held right is available to a woman only against her husband and not against in-laws. Mother-in-laws house does not become shared house. It only meant house owned or rented by husband only.

There are various reliefs that be granted under this ACT. The magistrate if satisfied that the domestic violence has taken place, can pass the protection order in favor of the aggrieved person and prohibit the respondent from committing any violence. Such order would be in operation till the aggrieved person applies for discharge and the order can also be altered, modified and revoked. One of the most important feature of the Act is that women’s right to secure housing. This right is secured by a residence order passed by court. The Act provides that if an abused woman requires, she has to be provided an alternate accommodation and her maintenance has to be paid by her husband or partner.

The right of a divorced woman to residence in the shared house would depend on the terms and conditions of the divorce order as held in B. R. Achala V. S appi Reddy and Ors.

Under section 20, a woman can claim maintenance or monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred. It may include loss of earnings, medical expenses and loss of property. Such relief should be adequate, fair and reasonable and according to the standard of living. She can claim the compensation for the injuries including mental torture and emotional distress caused by violent acts. In Rajsesh kurre V. Safurabhai and Ors. the court is competent to award maintenance to the aggrieved person and child of that person according to section 20. And they do not require to establish the case under section 125 of CRPC. Section 21, provides the magistrate can give the custody of the child /children to the aggrieved person and if necessary make arrangements for visit of such child/children by the respondent.

A woman has the right to the services and assistance of the protection officer and service providers arranged under the provisions of the law. She will have the right to the services of the police, shelter homes and medical establishments. She also has the right to file her complaint under section 494 of IPC along with this Act.

An application under section 12 can be filed before the Magistrate directly. An application can be filed by any aggrieved person and against the adult male against whom the aggrieved has sought relief. There is an exception that an aggrieved wife or female living in relationships in the nature of marriage can file a complaint against a relative of the husband or partner. The Act is controversial on the point whether a female can be made respondent or not. The Supreme Court in Sandhya Manoj Wankade V. Manoj Bhimrao Wankade held that female relative can also be made respondent. An application can be filed in the Court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class or the Metropplitan Magistrate within the local limits of which, the aggrieved person resides or carries on business, the respondent resides or carries on business or the cause of action has arisen. A Domestic Incident Report (DIR) should be made in the prescribed from on the receipt of domestic violence from an aggrieved person. The Magistrate takes into consideration that report while coming to an conclusion. In Ajay kamal V. Alka Sharma High Court of MP held that if the DIR is not made, it cannot quash the proceedings, hence the DIR is not compulsory. The application should be in prescribed form but the application cannot be thrown out if it is not in the prescribed format as in Milan Kumar Singh V. State of U. P.

A notice to the respondent is served after the filing of the application through the Protection Officer. The Magistrate can pass an interim order to prevent further violence by providing the immediate relief to the woman. He can also pass the exparte order if the Magistrate satisfies that domestic violence may be committed. An appeal shall lie to the Court Of Session within 30 days from the date of the order of the Magistrate. He may also at any stage may secure the services of the persons engaged in promoting family welfare for the purpose of assisting him in discharging his functions. The orders under this Act are to be enforced in the same manner as in section 125 of CRPC. The court can direct the Protection Officer to assist in the implementation of the order. A breach of protection order or of an interim order by the respondent shall be an offence. It impose penalty upto one year imprisonment or fine of Rs. 20, 000, or both. This offence is congnizable and non- bailable.

Section 32(2) provides that upon the sole testimony of the aggrieved person, the court may conclude that the offence has been committed. The Act ensures speedy justice as the court has to start the proceedings and have the first hearing within 3 days of the complaint. The Act also provides for the penalty for not discharging duty of protection officer.

Till 2005, remedies available for the victims of domestic violence in the civil court and criminal court were limited. There were no emergency reliefs available to the victims and relationships outside marriage were not recognized.

Critical appraisal of the Act: Though Act widens the concept of Domestic Violence but it does not include ‘forced sex’ or ‘ sex without the wife’s consent’. This Act had been adopted from US Act where there are nuclear families. Woman’s right to demand accommodation only in husband’s house is wrong. There is no provision if a female files a false against the males as females can’t be made respondents according to this act. It is always not the fault of men if there is distressed marriage. No where is mentioned the violence against mother-in-law, they can be the victims of violence in the hands of daughter-in-laws. Further the provision of divorce also not been here. The Act relieved the women to a wide extend but should be improved in various context.