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'If the government wants to make a serious impact on the crime problem it should concentrate resources not on tackling street crime but on violence in the family home'. Discuss.

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Introduction

'If the government wants to make a serious impact on the crime problem it should concentrate resources not on tackling street crime but on violence in the family home'. Discuss. Domestic violence, only three decades ago was once perceived to be a family matter and was officially recognised as an area that many people (including authority), felt less inclined to intervene if the violence was between family members. Today, due to the constant pressure from the women's movements in the seventies, it stands listed as a crime next to marital rape and child abuse, establishing that any woman, regardless of social status, race, age or culture can be a victim. Many discourses have, and still do, influence how we prioritize certain criminal behaviour, and in deed, how important we perceive particular crimes to be, whether in the home, on the street or around the globe. Challenging media discourses with ideologies and the expectations of family discourses, many people will tend to be carefully cautious about how they involve themselves within it. Personal safety is considered to be a primary concern and 'hidden crime' (especially what is going in someone else's home) does concern society, at least not personally, in the same way as does street crime. This can produce all types of anxieties as well as prejudices due to one's own fear of becoming a victim of crime through intervention. 'Getting involved' can achieve all sorts of personal problems and in some cases, it may be perceived to be better not to intervene through the fear of repercussion or even intrusion. ...read more.

Middle

towards young teenage mothers, same sex or single parent families. In the case of single parenting, it can be easy to assume there was a lack of commitment, without taking into consideration the reasons why some women were/are raising their children alone. Bearing this in mind, one final reason a victim could be seen for not leaving an abusive household may simply be the breakdown of her 'family unit', this is a past and present assumption. It comes as no surprise that between 1996 and 1998 two women each week died as a result of domestic violence. (Book 1, Chapter 5, p.197) Domestic violence along with child abuse was once an area, only three decades ago, that was reluctantly accepted as an 'ordinary crime', forcing it to be a 'hidden crime'. Not only did the perpetrator himself not acknowledge what he was doing was criminal, but also society and law enforcement agencies overlooked family violence, accepting it as part of family life. With attitudes the way they were, it is not surprising that police, and their court systems, were reluctant to intervene unless, a very serious assault or even murder had occurred. Domestic violence then, was interpreted as a 'domestic' matter, which authorities were not responsible for and therefore perpetrators were justifiably 'chastising' where they felt it was necessary. Soon defining violence in the home became a challenge unto itself. What discourses were allowing perpetrators of domestic violence to believe that violent behaviour was a way to produce an orderly home? ...read more.

Conclusion

In the case of first time violent offenders (family or street) short community service programmes, i.e. working with children with disabilities or victims themselves of abuse, combined with anger management services should be enforced. I am a great believer of nipping something in the bud as soon as it happens in hope of prevention. In the case of perpetrators of further offences, they should be named and shamed on a list available to the public and even distributed in public places. If drug or alcohol abuse is apparent then that too should be addressed as well as attending a further, intensified anger management programme as a border. With the victim of domestic violence, it should be essential that while her spouse/partner is being helped to manage his behaviour, she too should also be enforced to attend programmes that may help her regain her self esteem. Although harsh, if both victim and perpetrator were sanctioned together, despite the different resource programmes, it could be enough to help one or the other see where things may have gone wrong. Many women love their husbands, despite their violent behaviour, others may not and feel powerless 'escaping'. Given the opportunity to regain self esteem could be all that is needed in order for a victim to make her decision. Having said all this, domestic violence is not alone in 'hidden crime' and there are many that still remain unnoticed, or unreported. Crime is criminal, what may be crime in the UK may not be crime overseas, however, any crime that crosses between the boundaries of our country should be enforced very harshly in order to prevent further offences. ...read more.

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