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What is 'intimate violence'? How do different theorists attempt to explain it?

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The Family: British and International Perspectives Level 5 Component 2 What is 'intimate violence'? How do different theorists attempt to explain it? Intimate violence also known as domestic violence is not a new social phenomena it I actually a problem which has been evident in society for many decades. Throughout history, and across divisions of class, race and culture it has always been a feature of family life. A century ago it was legal fro a man to beat his wife, and even 25 years ago 'wife battering' was still very much a private issue, it was hidden and largely ignored. (www.womensaid.co.uk). Domestic violence happens in all types of relationship whether it is a heterosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship or any other form of partnership, and both men and women can be perpetrators of domestic violence. The main perpetrators of domestic violence are men who use violence against their female partner, with 1 in 4 women suffering from domestic violence in their lifetime, and also 2 women a week are killed by a current or former partner (www.womensaid.co.uk). According to the British Crime Survey (1996, home office) Almost half (44%) of all incidents reported by women to the British Crime Survey were domestic violence incidents, thus suggesting the problem affects a wide range of women and this is what I will focus on for the rest of the essay the violence women are exposed to from men. This is not just an issue in Britain but is evident in many countries for example: the largest recent survey of violence against women involved a telephone survey of over 11,000 women in Canada. ...read more.


The social learning theory tends to focus on like the social situation model that violence and threatening behaviour is that people learn these behaviour traits when they grew up in violent home. The family is one of the key aspects of a child's socialisation and they learn what is acceptable behaviour and thus learning that men dominate and own women is a trait that will carry on through generations. This perspective assumes a great deal, and that not everyone who lived in a family of domestic violence will go on and do the exact same, but a history o abuse and violence does increase the risk that an individual will be violent as an adult. Another theory based on the explanation of intimate violence, is that of the resource theory this theory argues that all social systems including the family rest to some degree on force or the threat of force. Every individual according to Goode (1971: 625) needs power and control and those people who have less power such as those who have low educational qualifications and a lack of interpersonal skills are likely to take their frustration out on their family. This theory therefore suggests that class has an impact on domestic violence, as generally those who have power and money are less likely to be violent and abusive in the home. This theory neglects that people who have many resources still commit domestic violence, and cannot explain why those with power and resources still commit domestic violence. ...read more.


All the explanations of domestic violence stress the importance of the issue and the way in which the issue can spiral out of control if it is not prevented. The best way to prevent it is through polices enforced ob society by the government by providing things such as housing and health care to those who have suffered from such abuse. Feminists and other sociologists work alongside the government to address prevention for violence within the home, it is evident that issue is one the governments sees as important as it has allowed �6million pounds for projects to reduce crime against women (www.homeoffice.org). It is evident that intimate violence is an issue hat has progressed as society has developed and as the women's movement has enlarged and gained status domestic violence has been addressed more regularly. It is evident from the research and perspectives I have addressed the problem domestic violence as a gender issue and I see domestic violence as a product of social construction of masculinity across class and racial differences. The institution the family is generally perceived as a good and safe environment but from the statistics and perspective, it is evident that family life is much darker for many people. It could be argued that the family allows for people to behave unacceptably and abuse others in our family as the family as an institution keeps things hidden and quiet thus many people are subjects to domestic violence but keep it quiet as the family is largely recognised as safe and loving. With the government and women's groups fighting against the issue slowly the extent of domestic violence should decrease and eventually erode away completely. ...read more.

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