Domestic violence
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Domestic violence. Dfn : Violence between family members or between men and women in intimate relationships How common? My neighborhood (survey statistics later) How many of you know someone who has been physically assaulted by someone in their family or someone who they have been dating? .

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Domestic violence l.jpg
Domestic violence

  • Dfn: Violence between family members or between men and women in intimate relationships

  • How common? My neighborhood (survey statistics later)

  • How many of you know someone who has been physically assaulted by someone in their family or someone who they have been dating?

Sociology 1201


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National Violence Against Women Survey (NIJ, CDC) N=8000

  • % of women who reported having been physically assaulted by an intimate partner: 22%

    • Beat up: 9%

    • Choked, tried to drown: 6%

    • Kicked, bit: 6%

    • Hit with object: 5%

    • Threatened with gun: 4%

    • Stalked: 5%

    • Raped: 8%

Sociology 1201


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Related issues of prevalence

  • Are there abused men? In comparable survey, 8% of men reported physical assaults… in my view, intimidation the key.

  • Domestic violence does take place within gay and lesbian relationships, and is higher for men.

  • About ¼ of the kids in Unexpected Legacy had witnessed violence by fathers against mothers… these are mostly middle class, white families

Sociology 1201


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Institutional Features (explain)

Source: Richard Gelles, Intimate Violence: The Causes and Consequences of Abuse in the American Family.

  • Time at risk

  • Intensity of involvement: primary group

  • Right of influence

  • Age and sex differences

  • Ascribed roles

  • Privacy

Sociology 1201


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Conflict theory/feminist theory: sex

  • In most forms of violence, males predominate, and if we control for time spent with the children, this is also true for child abuse

    Anthropology: The more sex equality in a society, the less violence toward women.

Sociology 1201


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Social structure: Social class

  • Gelles(Through a Sociological Lens: Social Structure and Family Violence): “The risk of child abuse, wife abuse, and elder abuse is greatest among those who are poor, who are unemployed, and who hold low-prestige jobs.”

  • Stress and the resources to handle it successfully

  • Power in the home as a substitute for power in the workplace? (2006 film: “The Waitress” )

Sociology 1201


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Social structure: Age

  • Violence more common for those in the 15-35 age range (same as with street crimes)

  • These are also the prime years of family formation

  • For child abuse and elder abuse, an obvious connection with age.

Sociology 1201


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Social structure: Race/ethnicity

  • Minorities over-represented

  • Gelles says this reflects “both the reality of greater risk of abuse and violence in these groups and the fact that abuse and violence in these groups are over-reported to official agencies.”

  • This may be largely the result of more poverty and more persistent poverty

Sociology 1201


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Sociological theories: selected propositions from Gelles

  • Violent acts by violent persons may produce desired results (intimidation)

  • The more resources a person has, the less he or she will need to use force in an open manner.

  • Related to the first two propositions, the principle of costs and rewards helps to explain family violence.

Sociology 1201


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Why do victims stay?

  • Battered self-esteem and isolation

  • Intimidation/fear of more violence

  • Lack of resources

  • Role of police/prosecutors/family/community

  • Religious misinterpretations

Sociology 1201


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Feminist theory and battering

  • Gelles: “Feminist theory is becoming the dominant model for explaining violence toward women.”

    • Cross cultural research

    • Contains both an explanation and a solution

    • Many feminist scholars are sociologists

  • “Feminist theory offers a single-variable analysis, albeit a powerful one, in a multi-variable world.”

  • Sociology 1201


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    How did battering emerge as a social problem?

    • Battered women’s movement, beginning in England in the early 1970s: Scream Softly…

    • In the U.S., early priority of NOW

    • First four shelters, including the one in Duluth, funded by legislature in 1977

    • Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, beginning in early 1980

    Sociology 1201


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    “The Duluth Model”

    • Cooperation among criminal justice, social welfare, and advocacy organizations

    • Arrest policy

    • 24 weeks of group counseling mandated for abusers as a condition of probation

    • Violence is recognized as a means of power and control

    Sociology 1201


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    Basic principles(selected)

    • The first priority of intervention should be to carry out policies and protocols which protect the victim from further harm and whenever possible, the burden of holding abusers accountable should rest with the community, not the victim.

    • The primary focus of intervention is on stopping the assailant's use of violence, not on fixing or ending the relationship.

    • In general, the court avoids prescribing a course of action for the victim, e.g., does not force a victim to testify by threatening jail, nor mandate treatment for the victim.

    • Policies and procedures should act as a general deterrent to battering in the community.

    • All interventions must account for the power imbalance between the assailant and the victim.

    Sociology 1201



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    Violence against children

    • First publicized in the U.S. as the result of an article by pediatric radiologists in JAMA in 1962: “The Battered Child Syndrome”

    • Much more difficult to measure than battering of adults

    • 2006: 3 million reports of child abuse or neglect to state or local welfare agencies

    Sociology 1201


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    Control agencies

    • Laws requiring reporting of suspected abuse by teachers and medical personnel

    • Family court

    • Social welfare agencies

      • Minnesota Department of Human Services

      • Video: “Failure to Protect”

    Sociology 1201


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    Causes

    • Social organization of the family: intensity and isolation

    • Lack of knowledge about child development

    • Adult caregivers who were themselves abused as children

    • Inequality

    • Power and control again

    • Cultural beliefs about punishment?

    Sociology 1201


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    Is spanking a form of child abuse?

    • Social movement: outlawing of spanking in the Scandinavian countries—ultimate success of this movement unknown

    • Universal Declaration of Human Rights: no proscription on spanking

    • Symbolic interactionism

      • Meaning of the behavior

      • Effects on self

    • What are the dangers?

    Sociology 1201


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    Consequences of child abuse

    • An estimated 30% of those who are abused become abusers, compared with 5% of the general population

    • Chesney-Lind, Wisconsin study: 79% of the girls in the juvenile justice system had been abused, physically or sexually

    Sociology 1201


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    Solutions

    • Parenting education

    • “Visiting nurse” programs (Elmira)

    • Parents Anonymous and the like

    • Removal of children by Child Protective Services

    • Legal changes to more quickly terminate parental rights

    • High quality childcare for mothers that are poor, young, single

    • Less poverty and racial injustice

    Sociology 1201


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