Domestic Violence Is a Serious Societal Issue

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Domestic Violence is a term commonly thought of as a violence relationship between spouses. More recently the term domestic violence has been defined as including emotional, social, and economical abuse (Bradford & Harne, 2008). In this essay a brief overview of history indicating the attitudes towards abuse of a partner will be given, in addition some of the research pertaining to domestic violence will be examined, as well as studies indicating contributing factors. It is evident that throughout history, attitudes of society have contributed to domestic violence, for instance in 1776 British common law condoned chastisement of a spouse (Schechters, 1982). It was not until the 1800's that a wife could even separate from her spouse due to violence; abuse had to continually occur and the severity of the injuries sustained had to be life threatening (Lemon, 1996). It was Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne that brought about significant law reform regarding women, divorce was now granted on the grounds of domestic violence (Lemon, 1996). The major change in attitudes towards domestic violence came in the 1970's with the Women's Liberation Movement. During this time the feminist movement successfully brought recognition to domestic violence as a major societal issue (Bradford & Harne, 2008). Since the recognition of domestic violence as a prevalent issue, a multitude of studies and research has taken place in order to gain some insight into the complicated issue of domestic violence (Parliament Australia, 2006). American studies have shown that 2-4 million women are physically abused as a result of domestic violence perpetrated by a male partner each year and 800,000 men were victims of female partner abuse, while 74 percent of American's acknowledged knowing someone who previously had been or presently is a victim of domestic violence (Dryden-Edwards, n.d.).
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