An analysis of the impact of an increasing rate of domestic violence on the women and the responsiveness of the police
1.1Background of study
According to the United Nations secretary, the general Ban Ki – Moon (2008) highlighted: one universal truth which always prevails in all countries, cultures and communities is that violence against women has never been accepted, will never be excusable and in any circumstance will be tolerated. Violence against women is an international concern since it is a national phenomenon that influences women of all races, ages, religions and economic statues. Every year as a result of violence, more than one million people lose their lives and many suffer from non- fatal injuries which are mostly women & kids. Moreover, it is a huge expense for the economy since it erodes billions of US dollars worldwide mainly in health care expenditure and much more in national economies in terms of workforce absenteeism, new law enforcement or even loss investment.
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In 2012 there was an estimation of 475 000 deaths which was recorded as a result of homicide. Furthermore 1 in five women have been sexually abused when she was a child and 1 in 3 women have been victims of either physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. According to the late Nelson Mandela in the health organization in (2002:12) which emphasize in the world report on violence and Health that: ‘Many who live with the violence day in and day out presume that it is an innate part of the human state’ Brutality against women is a violation of the human dignity, the right to life and considered as an extreme inequality towards the women.
According the world Health organization, 2004 in Europe & North America nearly 3.9 men die from suicide for every 1 women they killed and in Asia the sex ratio are about 1.1. Unfortunately Mauritius, our small paradise is not to be left, the figure is even higher here where 1 women out of 4 are been battered. Between January to September, in 2013 nearly 1376 cases of violence against women were reported even though the ministry of gender equality had already allocated 12.8 million (320, 000 Euros) to combat against intimate partner violence declared by the Defi Quotidian. The Family Violence Prevention fund (2008) with the American Association of University Women announces that more than 1,200 women are been killed every year by their husbands or boyfriends.
Violence is associated with health problems and it affect the person in all dimension, physical, sexual, mental. In UK it affects both the child and the mother’s health which often result in maternal mortality. In addition to it, 70 out of 295 women in UK (24%) died during their pregnancy or within 6 weeks they given birth and 19 of them were murdered according to the review saving lives: Maternal deaths to make motherhood safer in 2003. Last but not the least, 30 to 66% of the same abusive offender exploits both the mother and the child. In India, they used to beat their wife and death caused by means of fire was very common that is women were been douse with kerosene and then it was claim that she died as a kitchen accident. Public officials in 1980’s reveal that women who were mostly aged between 15 to 44 in Bombay or other urban areas of the Maharashtra where 1 out of 5 women were associated to accidental burns[S1].(world Report on violence and health, 2002)
According to Durkheim (1800); Kushner, Sterk et al., (2005) which is disclose in Davis et al., (2011) research uncover that women were less expose to violence when they were residing in the protective domestic sphere, however it was when they started to undertake non traditional roles, according to Levinson (1999) that is been engaged more in the men’s role which lead them been more susceptible to violence. However, women are now emerging greatly in the world of business, thus they have a more independent lifestyle compared with their partner whereas some time back they were heavily depending on their partner causing them been more vulnerable to abuse and victimization. Culture depicts norms that women need to respect his husband thus if the women made a mistake at any level, the partner had the right to punish her. An Anon Pakistan (n.d) notes were publish that beating a woman is to chastise or to discipline her as it was culturally and religiously justified because men are the owners of their wives and it is very much necessary to show them who is the boss so that the future transgressions are discourage[S2]d.
The gender based violence is rooted in gender inequality, characterized by unequal power relation and the social structures are like factories which yields it to the society. The concept of masculinity has been integrated since civilization which is the main entrance for violence. The media also plays an important role in the sexualisation of women, portraying a negative image of the women to the society. Religion engage in the production of discrimination & violence against the women, the speech, scared text and their meaning , the practice of exclusion and the sexist un equality in church for instance contribute to maintain violence against women Stroher 2009, p.101 mention in Krob and Steffen article in 2015.
Authorities’ responses are crucial to domestic violence calls. However police officers are often reluctant to intervene, often performing their job in a leisurely manner in serious cases and most surprisingly they side with the offenders than been with the victims. Parnas 1967 and Browne 1995 disclose that police hesitation to deal officially with domestic assaults is due to insufficient law enforcement in response to this major concern. Rather than been part of the solution they been increasing the problem. The police officers categorized simple assaults as been of low importance thus the victim will have to wait for the officer’s availability or seek assistance with other agencies from Buzawa 1993 and Buzawa 1996. According to Waaland and Keeley in (1985) ½ of a sample of the survey they conducted indicated that the police officers did not give any arrest in cases of illegal assault.
Thus it is been added to the debate of addressing violence against women and the intervention strategies of the officers
1.2 Problem statement
According to the domestic violence Homicide Report (2003); the human death toll is grossly underestimated. In 2001, intimate partner violence against women account for 20% of all non fatal violence that is 600,000 crimes overall. (Matthews, 2004) In spite of women’s emancipation in the modern society, through its equal contribution at home and in society, we still perceive[S3] that women are been treated unequal to their husband or to other man in various settings. Domestic violence influence the women’s ability to participate in the world where they are unable to take care of their children due to various health problems that they experienced and pursue job careers normally. The government lost billions of money each year because of the enormous burden that violence leaves on the society. Mathews (2004), reveal that medical expenses from domestic violence range from $3 to $5 each year and this excludes the $100 million which are been lost by businesses from sick departure, lost salary, non productivity.
No action is without meaning, Mahmood, 2001 stated that a women which is making use of a veil might be viewed in certain contexts as an oppression whereas in another might be a women’s resistance. Domestic violence also sends messages to the women that you must not breach this barrier. According to the European Parliament, 2006 violence is an exhibition of the historical unequal power relations between men and women leading to domination over and discrimination against the women by men preventing women’s full advancement. For example, the concept of the male honor is associated with purity of the women, if the women was raped or have sexual intercourse voluntarily outside marriage thus she was disgrace by the family. A study was conducted in Egypt where 47% of women were been killed by their relative after been raped. Women are unable to protect them from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. We note that the situation have become beyond control internationally.
Children who witnessed violence have many health problems like behavioural, anxiety, depression and poor school performance. In North America, children who witness violence exhibit antisocial behavior due to psychological disturbances. Moreover, a research in Leon and Nicaragua (2013) shows those children of abuse women were 6 times more likely to die at age of 5. Children are dearly affected, 3207 cases of child abuse reported to the women’s Aid national Free phone Helpline (2013) and based on the women’s aid annual report (2013) 1,204 children were present at home during intimate partner violence. Unfortunately most of the authorities
techniques are far of been protecting the victim. Ferraro (1989) disclose that despite having serious policies only 18 % of offenders are been arrested, they often very lenient in domestic violence incident by Eigenberg et al. However, it is far to be a simple issue, fault in the system is indeed contributing in the nurture of domestic violence where it create a need to address this issue.
1.3 Aim and objectives of the study
The purpose of the study is to analyze the consequences of an increasing rate of domestic violence on the women and the responsiveness of the police authorities towards this major concern. The study will mainly focus on the impact that domestic violence have upon women & kids, the forms of violence, sources, causes and how the authorities response to this alarming social phenomenon accordingly. Therefore, it will be interesting to know till what extent a women is been victimized in the 20th century.
The objectives of this research are as follows:
- An insight of the different forms of domestic violence
- To disclose the voice of the stigmatized
- To investigate the effectiveness of the intervention strategies of the authorities upon violence
- To locate solutions to combat against domestic violence
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the forms of domestic violence and how does it impact women?
- What is the consequence of domestic violence upon the women?
- Are authorities’ intervention techniques effective in response to violence?
- What are the reasons for difficulty in combating against domestic violence?
1.5 Outline of the study
Chapter 1: introduce the subject matter under study, how violence greatly influences the women, children and society and the response of the authorities towards this issue. The problem statement give a more in depth description how domestic violence has an impact on women, children and drawbacks of the police strategies. The aim and objectives and a brief picture of each chapter accordingly.
Chapter 2: literature review
Chapter 3: Methodology
Chapter 4: Results and Discussions
Chapter 5: Recommendations and conclusions
- World Health Organization (2013) Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non- partner sexual violence. Switzerland: WHO publications.
- World Health Organization (2002) World report on Violence and Health. Geneva: WHO publications.
- World Health organization (2014) Global status report on violence prevention. Switzerland: WHO publications.
- European Union Agency for Fundamental Right (2014) Violence against women an EU –wide survey. Europe. Publications Office of the European Union.
- Devries k, watts C, Yoshihama M, Kiss L, Schreiber L.B, Deyessa N, Heise L, Durand J, Mbwambo J, Jansen H, Berhane Y ,Ellsberg M. and Moreno C.G. (2011). ‘Violence against women is strongly associated with suicide attempts: Evidence from the WHO multi –country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women’, Journal of social science and medicine, Vol. 73, pp. 79-86.
- Indian Ocean Times. (2013). Mauritius: 1,376 domestic violence cases recorded between January and September 2013, from: en.indian-ocean-times.com [accessed on the 12 April 2015
British High Commission Mauritius. (2015). Help and support available for victims of domestic violence in Mauritius from: www.gov.uk [ accessed on 12 April 2015]
Women’s Aid. (2015). National and international statistics from: www.womensaid.ie [accessed on 12 April 2015]
Council of Europe (2014) PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: ARTICLE 12 OF THE ISTANBUL CONVENTION A collection of papers on the council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Europe: Council of Europe publications (email@example.com).
- Krob D.B and Steffen L. (2015). ‘Religious influence on education and culture: Violence against women as common sense’, Journal of Social and Behavioral sciences, Vol. 174, pp. 2374 -2379.
- Peter G; Sinder B and Stephens J. (1999), ‘Police perceptions of domestic violence: the nexus of victim, perpetrator, event, self and law policing,’ International journal of police strategies & management, Vol.22 Iss 3, pp. 313-327.
- Chhikara P, Jakhar J, Malik A, Singla K and Dhattarwal S.K. (2013), ‘Domestic Violence: The Dark Truth of our Society’, Journal of Indian Academic Forensic Medicine, Vol.35 (1), pp. 0971-0973.
- Davis, R.L. (2010), ‘Domestic violence related deaths’, Journal of Aggression ,conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 2, Iss 2.
- Davis, D.M. (2013). Rehabilitation Counseling Master’s Students: Beliefs and Attitudes about Domestic Violence toward Women. Published PhD dissertation. Lowa: University of Lowa, 167 pages.
- Grovert, A.J. (2008). Domestic violence against women: A literature Review. Published Masters Literature review. Forest Grove: Pacific University, 41 pages.
- Rojas, L.D.A. (2010). Men and Domestic violence/Partner Violence in Santiago, Chile: the meaning of violence in masculinity. Published Master Dissertation. Gothenburg: Gothenburg University, 76 pages.
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