Philosophies Behind Domestic Violence
How Has Domestic Abuse Been Socially Constructed And What Is Being Done To Address The Problem?
Explain How Different Definitions Are Problematic And Discuss How This Might Impact Upon Responses To Domestic Abuse.
Identify Individuals, Groups And Communities That Are Perceived To Contribute To The Problem.
Explain How Social Difference’ Becomes Perceived As ‘Social Problems’. i.e. Individuals Of Other Religion Become Perceived As Illegal Immigrants’ Or Terrorists.
Domestic abuse has been rampant all over the world and is a topic of severe concern for governments all over the world. The idea and definitions of domestic abuse has changed over time and this development has happened due to changing views of the society regarding the concept of domestic abuse. The social construction of domestic abuse is a reflection of power relationships (Barone and Leedom 2017). The age old belief and practice of dominance of the powerful over the perceived weak has been manifested in domestic violence, where the male, the physically powerful species dominates or exerts domination over the seemingly weak species, the women to show their power over them.
The issues related to domestic violence has pervaded the society for a long time and has caused numeral direct and indirect deaths. This phenomenon has been the cause for depression and anxiety, deteriorating the overall health of the society. In United Kingdom, one in six men and one in four women are abused domestically. The government of United Kingdom has taken several measures for eradicating domestic abuse from the society and help the people who have been affected. The government has created a Domestic Abuse Strategy 2018-2023, where they have taken the pledge for raising awareness, creating positive culture, educating Defence leaders to tackle incidents quickly, supporting justice process and taking the opinions of the abused in creating further policies regarding domestic abuse (Reid 2017). There are dedicated departments and government charity organizations as well as NGOs that help the victims in finding legal and economic support.
Social constructionism is based on the idea making sense of situations through the knowledge gathered from social interactions. The social opinion and conception of domestic abuse is largely a result of social constructionism (Andrews 2012). The way society looks at men and women, the differences that it makes between them, the responsibilities it attributes to them depending on gender, created the basis of domestic abuse. Changing social belief and opinion has also led to changes in definition of violence and society now has become open enough to accept that men can be abused in domestic households.
Different Definitions of Domestic Abuse
The idea of realism is based on presenting matters as they truly are, without adding any artistic value or extra information to undercut the reality of it. This philosophy has led to the present scenario and approach towards domestic violence where perpetrators of domestic violence are punished for the crime that they commit. Earlier, many of the perpetrators went scot free due to the social construction and dismissal of domestic violence as a crime. Later, the society rejected the idea of male victims of domestic violence which led the number of women perpetrators to increase (Entilli and Cipolletta 2017). Realism forces the society and government to accept these matters and ensure that the criminals are punished according to their crime.
The development policies related to domestic violence are now based on realism and social construct. The philosophy of the laws are created from the social beliefs and the real experiences of the victims where the severity of the punishment is based on the severity of the crime.
Due to changing opinion of the society and difference of opinion among people, the definition of domestic violence are many. Realism constitutes that the incidents are viewed as exactly they are. While this seems just it creates another problem. It undermines the mental effect that domestic violence can have. It is generally assumed that domestic violence is constituted only of physical or sexual violence. Thus, the effect that it has on mental wellness or specifically verbal abuse as a type of domestic abuse has not been considered for a long time. Differences on definitions of domestic abuse leads to a confusion and difficulty in creating social and criminal policies for reducing the phenomena from the society (Anitha, Roy and Yalamarty 2017).
The creation of policies and laws for the protection of victims of domestic violence are largely guided by the governmental definition of what constitutes domestic violence. Earlier, government did not include coercion or threats as domestic abuse and thus there were no provisions made in the constitution to prevent partners from doing those incidents. The different definitions also create problem when accommodating a wider definition makes the actual concern seem less urgent (Hearn et al. 2016). The recent definition of domestic violence incorporates male victims which has led people to argue that domestic violence is not gender specific and thus minimizing the pain and suffering that women in general face due to the practice. Responses to domestic abuse thus is largely affected by how it is perceived or defined in the society.
Government Measures to Tackle Domestic Violence in UK
There are several social entities that are perceived to a contribution to the problems of domestic abuse in the society. People with lack of education and social awareness are one of the groups that contribute to the problem of domestic abuse. These people do not have a clear view about what constitutes domestic violence and how to get help. They are also not aware of why this is a criminal offence. Communities where there are cultural barriers to reporting crime against intimate partners, victims do not get help (Fletcher 2018). Male masochism is also another aspect that prevents victims from seeking help. Men feel ashamed of reporting such incidents as it hurts the social image that they have. The minority and marginalized people are also such groups that increase the problem.
The minority groups mostly have different cultures and beliefs. They are socially marginalized and thus have limited access to governmental resources. This leads to a barrier that prevents them from approaching the government in critical situations. Sometimes, their culture normalizes domestic violence and has a practice of victim blaming that prevents many abused to accept this kind of behaviour (Berns 2017). The family and children are also factors that prevent reporting of violence. Mothers often refrain due to their fear for their child. The family sometimes do not provide support to victims or force them to return to households which leads to an increased problem for them.
Social differences are ever present in societies, within communities which creates differences in behaviour. Social differences are done based on age, sex, race, caste, colour and sex. When faced with social differences, it is the common response to view them as the other and judge their beliefs behaviours and customs through a comparative method. When the comparison shows extreme differences, they are perceived as non-reconciliatory and thus a problem. When a particular social group or community has enough presence in the society and are perceived as different from the rest of the society people tend to become biased or prejudiced against them. Society stereotypes them, their cultures and practices thus alienating them further (Goodwin 2018). This is when the social difference becomes social problems as prejudice and stereotype leads to mocking, abuse and violence along with discriminatory behaviour that creates further difficulty for the social community.
A particular social problem appears when people with other religion are perceived as illegal immigrants or terrorists. Society perceives illegal immigrants as opportunity seekers or people who are taking their jobs or opportunities away. When people from different religion is encountered they cannot connect with their views and beliefs and assume that they are not as deserving as they are. The prejudice that society has becomes apparent. Moreover, the conception of terrorism has become associated with particular religious communities and thus, those communities are perceived as illegal immigrants (Sobolewska, Galandini and Lessard-Phillips 2017). Due to the influx of illegal immigrants all over the world, any person belonging to other religious community are perceived as such.
Andrews, T., 2012. What is social constructionism. Grounded theory review, 11(1), pp.39-46.
Anitha, S., Roy, A. and Yalamarty, H., 2017. Abuse, violence and abandonment in transnational marriages: issues for policy and practice in the UK. Safe: The Domestic Abuse Quarterly.
Barone, M. and Leedom, L.J., 2017. Social Construction of the Abuse Experience: Traumatic Bonding or Co-Dependency?.
Berns, N.S., 2017. Framing the victim: Domestic violence, media, and social problems. Routledge.
Entilli, L. and Cipolletta, S., 2017. When the woman gets violent: the construction of domestic abuse experience from heterosexual men's perspective. Journal of clinical nursing, 26(15-16), pp.2328-2341.
Fletcher, M.A., 2018. We to me: an autoethnographic discovery of self, in and out of domestic abuse. Women's Studies in Communication, 41(1), pp.42-59.
Goodwin, M., 2018. They Couldn’t Get My Soul: Recovered Memories, Ritual Abuse, and the Specter (s) of Religious Difference. Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, 47(2), pp.280-298.
Hearn, J., Strid, S., Husu, L. and Verloo, M., 2016. Interrogating violence against women and state violence policy: Gendered intersectionalities and the quality of policy in The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Current Sociology, 64(4), pp.551-567.
Reid, L., 2017. Why Is Leadership Important in Policing Domestic Abuse? A Case Study of the Leadership Issues in Tackling Domestic Abuse in a Major City in the UK (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Manchester (United Kingdom)).
Sobolewska, M., Galandini, S. and Lessard-Phillips, L., 2017. The public view of immigrant integration: multidimensional and consensual. Evidence from survey experiments in the UK and the Netherlands. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43(1), pp.58-79.