Domestic violence is one of the most significant problems of the humanity. It is a fact that numerous problems are caused by this social disease. The current paper reflects on the importance of combating domestic violence with both social measures and criminal justice initiatives. Moreover, it studies the nature of domestic violence via the diversity of the real-life examples. Finally, the paper analyses the possible measures and options, which can reduce domestic violence in a comprehensive way. In general, the paper successfully evaluates the current challenges in combating domestic violence.
Keywords: violence, problem, society, justice
Domestic violence is one of the most burning topics worrying people all over the world. It has a tendency of penetrating into society despite numerous actions taken with the aim of reducing its effects. Domestic violence is present within any community in the US with different rates. This phenomenon is the major concern of many modern politicians, social activists, lawmakers, and common citizens willing to eliminate this negative aspect of the human behavior. It is a fact that the U.S. government has already taken numerous actions for curbing the issue. However, the problem still exists and affects society at different levels of its development. It is impossible to create a social welfare as long as domestic violence exists in the community. This problem requires a comprehensive approach in its evaluation, reduction, and prevention. The current paper studies the tendencies in introducing the measures aimed at eliminating domestic violence, suggests new options for its reduction, and reflects on the challenges faced by the law institutions on the way to the effective laws implementation.
Legal Acts in the History of the Domestic Violence Regulation
History knows numerous cases of domestic violence, which have developed from a one-family issue into a global social problem. The problem started to intensify in the middle of the nineteenth century, when it was common to beat a wife in order to make her follow the family rules and principles. A man, as a head of the family, considered it appropriate to beat a woman in order to make her obedient. The legal side of reducing domestic violence incorporates different acts and laws introduced by the government in order to combat this serious social problem. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), and the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban are some of the adopted legal measures aimed at combating domestic violence. VAWA comprises three acts adopted by the President, which have already reduced the number of victims suffering from the intimate partners by almost 50%. FVPSA is a federal funding program, which provides significant financing aid for improving the prevention services within the U.S. communities. Finally, the government implemented the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban in 1996 with the intention to ban the possession of the firearm for individuals under a restraining order.
Social Psychology Concepts
The segment of social psychology has a potentially significant influence on the reduction of domestic violence. There are numerous concepts, which have a direct connection to this social problem. However, it is possible to outline the three main ones, which have the most touching points with the issue of domestic violence. Moral disengagement, stereotyping, and sympathy breakthrough are among psychological concepts, which usually contribute to domestic violence (Hahn et al. 2005). These elements of social psychology refer to the behavior of the domestic violence offenders, who are irresponsible in their actions. Moral disengagement takes place as soon as an offender starts to believe that his/her actions have no justification in the social standards and moral values. An offender acts as if the moral values do not apply to his/her behavior. This psychological concept explains inhuman behavior of the domestic violence offenders and their motivation. The stereotype threat is a concept, which explains why offenders have similar behavioral patterns. Stereotypes encourage offenders to follow immoral behavior as long as the history offers the set of actions. Finally, a sympathy breakthrough penetrates into the actions of offenders; this phenomenon explains abnormal patterns of the offenders’ behavior.
Challenges of the Issue
As long as domestic violence continues to take place within society, both individuals and law enforcement agencies have to face numerous challenges. These issues relate to the human nature and behavior, which significantly prevents the elimination of the problem. First, despite numerous actions taken to reduce the issue, the victims still experience a fear of telling about the problem. There are many helplines, which are free of charge. However, the victims tend to hide their problems believing that the offender would change his/her behavior. As long as reporting does not have a massive nature, domestic violence can still take place and even continue to escalate. Another problem takes place in the courtroom as soon as the domestic violence case appears within it walls for the further considerations. Usually, female victims fail to appear at the second session in the face of the fear of being violated again. This phenomenon prevents the state from designing and applying a comprehensive approach towards the reduction of the problem. Finally, women tend to feel the lack of sympathy on the part of the criminal justice representatives. This issue discourages them from seeking help and asking the government to provide protection.
Agreement with the Facts from References
Darrel Payne and Linda Wermeling state that it is important to make a legal system sensitive to the nature of female behavior (Payne & Wermeling, 2009). It is a fact that many issues of domestic violence are not reported as females live in constant fear of facing the violence again. It is impossible not to agree that the domestic violence preventive measures should focus on the female behavioral patterns in order to be effective. Hahn et al., in their turn, claim that it is necessary to conduct systematic reviews of the families who used to face domestic violence earlier. Their idea of evaluating the effects of gun control on violence is convincing enough to consider this option an effective one. Finally, Miller, Drake, and Nafziger support the importance of integrating the studies into a single system of meta-analysis, which will help to draw statistical conclusions (Miller, Drake, & Nafziger, 2013). Integration is the point, which significantly helps understand the nature of domestic violence and see its roots in order to combat it effectively.
Disagreement with Facts from References
The main disagreement is in the article by Hahn et al. The authors claim that gun control can be the only effective measure to the reduction of the problem. However, it is unacceptable to combat domestic violence only in one aspect of the program making. It is necessary to employ a comprehensive approach instead of taking action only in one dimension of the domestic violence prevention. Another fact, with which it is hard to agree, is the one outlined by Payne and Wermeling. They claim that domestic violence is caused by the concept of men’s right to control a woman. However, it is necessary to admit that there are numerous cases, in which other issues lead to violence. Therefore, it is wrong to take into account only one factor of the family relations. It is impossible to agree that only the men’s desire to dominate encourages them to turn to domestic violence. It is necessary to broaden the nature of domestic violence in order to combat it from the inside.
In order to combat domestic violence with the help of social initiatives, it is necessary to build a system of social norms and principles supporting the measures of the domestic violence reduction. For example, it is necessary to increase social awareness for the hidden threats existing in the neighborhood. In addition, it is necessary to persuade society in the need of combating domestic violence with reporting, consulting, and organizing different social events dedicated to domestic violence. Secondly, it is important to build a strong cooperation of the mass media and society. Direct and indirect victims of domestic violence should inform other individuals about the possibility of facing domestic violence, share experience, and obtain protection through the social perspective. These measures will be helpful enough to reduce domestic violence in the following five years.
Transformation of the Criminal Justice System
The criminal justice system should also undergo transformations. It is necessary to increase the safety measures taking into account the domination of females among the domestic violence victims. These safety measures should cover the victim’s performance at work, safety at home, and within the society in general. It is necessary to make police officers responsible for the woman’s integration into society after she leaves the courtroom. This option requires taking into account the female nature. The criminal justice system should develop a reliable system based on the understanding and persuasion and design effective measures taking into account the sensitive side of women seeking for protection. It means that the criminal justice system should keep protecting the female victims before, during, and after the prosecution. In terms of laws, it is necessary to make the police officers responsible for the supervision of every female victim in the selected community. In addition, it should become illegal to neglect the victim’s request for shelter, support, and protection as soon as a case of domestic violence is brought to public notion. In general, it is necessary to take into account every law aimed at reducing domestic violence and intensify its efforts for the reduction and prevention of the domestic violence cases.
In conclusion, it is appropriate to mention that domestic violence takes place within society in a threatening rate. It destroys the lives of millions of people. Despite the fact that the government plays a significant role in creating social awareness for the domestic violence and its reduction, there is a necessity in increasing effectiveness of measures aimed to combat domestic violence. In addition, it is important to take into account the social aspects of the offenders’ behavior and introduce a diversity of correction measures into the U.S. criminal justice system. All factors indicate that it is necessary to investigate the nature of domestic violence and improve the existing measures of its prevention.