Domestic Violence A Recurring Problem In Modern Society Criminology Essay

Domestic Violence A Recurring Issue In SOCIETY Criminology Essay

Discuss its causes, effects and the legal and additional remedies available to handle the problem. Analyse whether these remedies happen to be enough or not and set out how you feel the problem is best handled.

Domestic violence is undoubtedly a significant problem in modern society. Crime statistics in Ireland indicate that the Gardai record an average of 12 incidents of domestic violence each day (Watson and Parsons 2005). However, domestic violence is obviously not a contemporary phenomenon. It has existed throughout the centuries but remained largely hidden and unrecorded. Typically, domestic violence has been considered an exclusive matter rather than a criminal offence. Before 19th century it was legal and socially suitable for men to overcome their wives (Dobash and Dobash 1979).

Domestic violence is often connected with physical abuse only. Nevertheless, research indicates that it can take different varieties: physical, sexual and mental/emotional.

In the span of this essay the causes and ramifications of domestic violence will become explored, drawing on research carried out in Ireland and internationally. The legal and other remedies may also be outlined and evaluated.


Many theories have already been put forward as to the causes of domestic violence. One theory is notion of circular causality (Pressman 1989). This view implies that a woman is really as responsible for her own victimization as the man who assaults her. The violence is seen as something they have both created and are both in charge of modifying. Another viewpoint explains violence by reference to the man’s personal background. Research shows that guys who witness their parents domestic violence are 3 x more likely to be wife beaters and girls who witness violence as children seek out abusive males because they observed their moms being abused (Pressman 1989). Pressman (1989) suggests witnessing violence against a Mom may make sons more prone to violence themselves as parents, they may be swift to perceive conflict and slow to look at non-violent alternatives for coping with it. Even so, there are no strong conclusions about childhood experiences of domestic or additional abuse as a cause of adult abuse or victimization. Pressman (1989) points out that it is not simply a matter of modelling whereby a child witnesses a couple of behaviours and proceeds to replicate them: there are powerful mediating factors that may shape a variety of outcomes. She concludes that not really all

violent families and not all children are the same and the replication of violence from technology to generation isn’t inevitable (Pressman 1989).

Domestic violence is normally associated with alcohol consumption, but it is unclear as to whether alcohol is the root cause of the problem. Reporting


on a study of married couples, Leonard finds support for a causal romantic relationship between a husband’s drinking and physical misuse of wives. Even so, he cautions that:

…despite the support that the existing research program has supplied for a causal role of liquor on marital aggression, it

would be a mistake to overstate this part. Alcohol is neither

a necessary nor a sufficient reason behind marital aggression. The

majority of extreme episodes occur without alcoholic beverages, and

men who’ve behaved aggressively with liquor have often

behaved aggressively without liquor aswell. The role of

alcohol…appears to be one of a facilitative good narrative topics dynamics, a contributing


(Leonard cited in Watson and Parsons 2005 p.67).

In their study of domestic violence in Ireland, Watson and Parsons determine numerous triggers of abusive behaviour. A result in is ‚an quick precursor to the behaviour rather than necessary the ultimate reason behind violence’ (p. 174). They discovered that in about two out of five circumstances the abusive behaviour acquired no specific result in or was triggered by small incidents. In about 1 / 3 of cases misuse was linked to the consumption of alcohol. The authors conclude that the email address details are not highly suggestive of a primary causal link between intake of liquor and incidents of domestic violence. In mere one quarter of conditions was alcohol consumption definitely involved. Likewise, Margaret Martin, director of Women’s Aid, highlights that while there is a strong link

between alcohol misuse and domestic violence, treating or coping with the alcoholism does not necessarily end the violence (Martin 2009).


However, she will acknowledge that liquor greatly increases the risk to a female and has very clear links to increased severity in relation to physical and sexual misuse. Other contributing elements to domestic violence contain cultural exclusion, gender inequality, poverty and having a police arrest records.

A quantity of theorists work from the knowing that domestic abuse is due to cultural structures, cultural norms and additional factors that endorse or usually do not challenge the use of control and misuse by males against their female partners (Debonnaire et al. 2004). Pressman (1989) shows that violence against women of all ages has persisted inside our society precisely because it will not contradict cultural norms in virtually any fundamental way. She suggests that to some degree just about everyone has been acculturated to perceive violence as an acceptable means of exercising control. Wife abuse also reflects electricity differentials in our culture, played out out in the family. Pressman (1989) highlights that the teams against whom violence is usually accepted are teams that happen to be socially and economically disadvantaged including women, children, racial minorities, the poor, the mentally ill. Specifically she looks at the economical inequalities that affect girls and their ongoing exclusion from positions of power in very many sectors of world. According to Pressman (1989) there can be an obvious link between this systematic disempowering of girls and their continuing victimization. Domestic violence simultaneously expresses and reinforces their


disempowered state. The basic problem as she sees it, is not simply to end violence as a behaviour (although it is actually important) but moreover to improve the social plans that violence expresses and reinforces. Women cannot be safe when at the same time they are thought as inferior and subordinate to males.

The effect of domestic violence is usually far reaching and complicated. Domestic violence is a major reason behind injury, disability and death for women worldwide. Between January 1996 and June 2005, one hundred and nine women were murdered in Ireland, seventy two of the in their individual homes. In those situations which were resolved, all were perpetrated by a guy and almost 50 percent were perpetrated by the girl partner or ex-spouse (Debonnaire et al. 2004). Ireland is not alone, domestic violence is probably the greatest causes of death and injury amongst women world-wide (Amnesty International, 2004). The World Health and wellbeing Organisation has approximated that 70 % of female murder victims happen to be killed by their male partners. Their recently released ‚Globe Article on Violence and Wellbeing’ notes that whereas ‚men are much more likely to become attacked by a stranger or an acquaintance than by someone within their close circle of interactions….one of the most common types of violence against women is certainly that performed by a husband or male partner’ (World Overall health Organisation 2001). The Council of Europe has explained that violence in the friends and family is the major cause of loss of life and disability for females between the


ages of 16 and 44 years. Domestic violence results in more death and ill-

health in women than cancer or road traffic accidents (Kerr 2004).

Similarly child homicide can often be associated with domestic violence, where in fact the man abuser is abusing the ladies and the child(ren). Children who aren’t being abused may be physically harmed when they try to protect father and mother or are found in the crossfire (Debonnaire et al. 2004).

Apart from physical harm, domestic violence can be linked to depression, post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorder and other mental health problems. Both women and men who’ve been abused report negative emotional effects (Watson and Parsons 2005). However, women are more likely than men to have been ‚very frightened or distressed’ by this abuse also to report that the experience had ‚a major influence’ on their lives (ibid. p25). Watson and Parsons as well found that more women than men reported a lack of confidence. In some instances emotional abuse was found to get even more traumatic than physical attacks. Almost 50 percent of the severely abused respondents – including those that had suffered severe physical or sexual abuse – listed ‚an emotional incident’ being the worst point that had happened to them (ibid. p.25). The research also found a apparent link between misuse and marital breakdown.

Domestic abuse can impact on other areas of the victim’s lifestyle, including work and lodging. Watson and Parsons discovered that two


in five of those severely abused experienced to devote some time off work, while practically one in eight got to leave employment. In some cases it could bring about homelessness (O’Halloran 2009). It is also a major price to the exchequer in healthcare for the victims (Debonnaire et al. 2004).

Ireland now has a network of women’s support offerings and men’s programmes, a civil and criminal justice framework, a specialist policy for the police and other elements of domestic abuse intervention. There’s been public debate about effective means of responding to and preventing domestic abuse (Task Push Report, 1997). The Section of Justice, Equality and Rules Reform of the federal government of Ireland coordinates a Steering Committee on Violence against Women. Many sub-committees of the steering committee include one focused on work with perpetrators (Debonnaire 2004)..

Traditionally attempts to intervene in domestic violence centered on

abused women of all ages and their children. Recently, however, there’s been a shift to include a focus on the person who has perpetrated the misuse. on the perpetrator of the abuse. New policies have already been adopted which concentrate on pro-active kinds of intervention and prosecution. Within these interventions ‚treatment’ programmes for men have been introduced. The Dulaith Misuse Intervention Project (Dulaith DAIP) was the world’s first project to put intervention programmes as part of a co-ordinated


community response that aimed to carry men to take into account their behaviour, improve women’s safeness, sanction abusers properly and teach men never to abuse (Debonnaire 2004).

There are currently fifteen intervention programmes dealing with domestic abusers in Ireland. Through working with perpetrators, these organisations are trying to raise the safety, and reduce the risks with their partners and children (Debonnaire et al. 2004). Different evaluations of intervention programmes have been completed. Some results may actually show that programmes had limited or no influence on men’s behaviour or women’s safety. Others show that some programmes can include a positive effect on women’s basic safety and on lowering men’s abuse, particularly within a co-ordinated network response relating to the criminal justice program and women’s support products and services (Dobash et al, 2002; O’Connor,

1998 cited in Debonnaire 2004).

The legal security for victims of domestic violence in Ireland includes

elements from both the criminal and civil devices.

The Domestic Violence Take action 1996 permits spouses, cohabitees and parents to apply for orders, with selected property and residency restrictions. It enacted provisions of the Family members Law Act 1981, making breach of domestic violence order an arrestable offence and permitting Gardai to arrest an offender for suspected genuine bodily injury or grievous bodily


harm without witnessing the violence. The Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Take action, 1997 addresses criminal areas of domestic violence, making many forms of physical violence utilized by domestic abusers a criminal offense.

Victims of domestic violence can

apply for three type of civil orders: safeguard orders (an interim purchase, which the court could make while a complete hearing is pending for one of the different orders), safe practices orders (which prohibits violence or threats of violence, molesting or watching the place where the applicant or dependant person resides) and barring orders which prohibits the person from entering where the applicant resides as well prohibits violence, threats of violence, molesting or observing where the applicant or dependant person resides). Relating to Nester (2007) it really is clear from a High Court decision regarding McA -v- McA (1981) that it’s not essential to prove actual or threatened violence to be able to take advantage of a barring buy. The wife in all these circumstance claimed that her well being have been adversely effected by her husbands continued lack of connection. Judge Costello granted a barring buy on the grounds that the husband’s conduct had seriously influenced the welfare of the wife. Where the Court believes there can be an immediate risk of significant harm to the applicant or dependant child, or a protection order might not exactly be sufficient to safeguard the candidate, an interim barring purchase could be granted. This order has the same effect as a


barring purchase, and lasts before Court determines the application for the barring order. Safety orders can keep going up to five years and barring orders for three years and may be renewed from then on (Nester 2007).

According to Margaret Martin (2006) Director of Women’s Aid, the 1996 Domestic Violence Take action falls short in a number of significant areas, leaving many victims of domestic violence unable to access coverage in the civil courts. She states the Act specifies in which a cohabitee wishes to apply for a barring purchase, two key conditions should be satisfied: the applicant will need to have lived with the respondent for six of the prior nine months in aggregate. They must have the ability to prove the same or greater curiosity in the property. To use for a safety purchase, the applicant must have resided with the respondent for six of the prior 12 months in aggregate.

Ms Martin (2009) argues these restrictions have prevented many women from accessing protection. Some might have been living with their partners for as well short an interval or many may be separated from him too long. Others might not have lived with their abuser at all. Separation she says is normally the most dangerous time for a female with the misuse becoming more frequent, severe and dangerous. Ten % of callers to the Women’s Help helpline in 2008 had been being abused by ex – partners who were not married. Ms Martin (2009) also points out there are no legal provisions for ladies in dating relationships. She states that the law is powerless to protect women who were under no circumstances married or have never


lived with the abuser. This also pertains to women who have children but usually do not live with the father of the child, they can not make an application for domestic violence orders because they don’t fit in the cohabitation requirements. This falls brief of UN rules for domestic violence legislation, which state that legislation should apply at the very least to those who are or who have been in an intimate romance, including marital, non-marital, same-sex and non-cohabiting human relationships (Martin 2009).

A number of groupings including Women’s Aid, the Law Society, regulations Reform Commission, the federal government Task Force on Violence against Women and Amnesty Ireland, include needed the 1996 Domestic Violence Action to be amended so as to address these problems. Holland (2009) declares that unacceptable delays in the friends and family courts are causing ladies, intimidated by violent spouses and partners, to drop applications for barring orders. She highlights that the first slot of call for a woman trying to find a barring or coverage order against a violent or abusive gentleman is the District Court. Currently women deal with an eleven week delay between trying to get an order and a court hearing. Within that period she says a lot of women come under tremendous pressure to withdraw their applications. She argues that the abuser includes a lot of time to focus on the victim. She stated once an application is withdrawn it is unlikely the woman, who be even more demoralised, would re-go into it. A report posted by Amnesty International highlights that of 8,452 incidents of


domestic violence reported to the Garda in 2003, less than half resulted in barring orders from the courts. It looked at convictions of perpetrators in the courts, statistics indicate that effective prosecutions occurred in mere 7.7 per cent of the cases. The report also states that there has not been an individual conviction for marital rape in this country, despite specific legislation so that it is a crime since 1990 and its regular occurrence as reported by victims to organisations such as for example Women’s Aid (Raferty 2005).

Women’s refuges provide secure crisis accommodation for females and their children who will be escaping from physical, sexual and mental abuse in their homes. They offer support and relevant information for women whether or not they certainly are a resident in a refuge or certainly not.

They also assist women understand their rights and entitlements and offer court accompaniment where necessary. Studies show that it’s mainly working course and traveller ladies who use refuges as these girls have no access to money or other areas to go. This will not imply that domestic violence is normally confined to working school or traveller families. The Women’s Help National Freephone Helpline deals with thousands of phone calls and advice appointments from middle income and affluent women each year. Holland (2009) reviews that more than 1,700 women of all ages fleeing spouses or partners were turned away from refugees in 2008 due to lack of space. Figures display that there was a 21 per cent increase in demand for domestic violence products and services in 2008, as compared with 2007.


Safe Ireland, which signifies 40 domestic violence solutions throughout Ireland, explained over 5,000 women of all ages accessed domestic violence services annually. This body is rising relating to Sharon O’Hallaran Safe Ireland Director, the reason why for the climb are difficult to pinpoint, she explained. Raised awareness about the option of help could mean additional women are coming ahead. She as well said the financial downturn was exacerbating the problem of many women, monetary stresses will constantly make points worse. She attacked the Governments proposed cuts in funding, up to 30 % to some services, at the same time when demand is normally up.

An analysis of refuges surveying the opinions of women who’ve used the services found that 38 per cent said they would have no other alternative if refuge had not been available. The study also discovered that 98 per cent of females received all or a few of the help they had a need to remain safe and 95 % felt better outfitted to acquire what they necessary for themselves and their children. What this tells us relating to Ms O’Halloran is that the services will work.

While the remedies considered so far have focused on various interventions and legal prohibitions, this will not necessarily tackle some rhetorical essay outline of the social conditions which make domestic violence possible. As noted earlier, some theorists believe it is society’s tolerance of domestic violence that allows it to continue. It is therefore important to address public perception of violence in the home. The Statement on the National


Study of Domestic Misuse (Watson and Parsons 2005) makes some recommendations. While many of their recommendations relate with the legal program and state companies, the authors also emphasise the necessity for education and better public awareness to make certain that the damaging ramifications of domestic abuse are understood. This might include, for instance, a compulsory module on domestic violence to come to be contained in the SPHE program for secondary schools. It could also involve a general public awareness media campaign focused on violence against ladies and children.

In bottom line, Ireland has improved significantly in the last decade in the range and quality of providers available to victims of domestic violence. However, it can’t be said that significant progress has been manufactured in eradicating domestic violence. Statistics exhibit that domestic violence is usually on the increase, simultaneously the Government are making cuts on a regular basis to the companies, with talks of future cuts as high as thirty per cent for some services (Holland 2009). More cuts are unavoidable in situations of recession which however is when most of these services are most needed. As is definitely evidenced in this article the services will be stretched to the limit at present, with refuges turning females away due to lack of space, oftentimes these women return residence to the abuser. Similarly with regard to providers for rape victims, having less funding is evidenced by the actual fact that there are just 5 centres in Ireland which have forensic facilities for victims of rape.


Many women and even men and children have to travel up to four hours (without washing) to attain a facility where they could be examined. This shows how low important the problem of rape is for this Government. Women’s Help helpline studies calls going unanswered due to lack of funding. It is crucial therefore, that the federal government address the inadequacies which exist in regards to to funding of these essential products and services. The welfare and safeness of women and kids and indeed men must be prioritised, there is growing evidence that many a large number of men will be victims of domestic abuse, and incredibly little support is furnished for them.

Another issue that needs to be addressed urgently by politicians and policy-makers may be the ‚over-burdening’ of the judges. Reports recommend that the District Courtroom is groaning under the weight of the needs on it. Which, as already mentioned, leads to delays as high as eleven weeks between applying for an buy and a courtroom hearing. This major burden on the courts not only effects the victims of misuse but it also ensures that Judges are under incredible pressure, one judge is usually shown regularly to contain seventy situations on his daily list (Irish Situations 2007). With such a heavy caseload it appears impossible to provide everyone the full interest they deserve. Another issue with regard to the courts that should be addressed will be the rights of kids. Holland (2009) states that children undergo terribly consequently of witnessing and hearing the misuse of their mothers, and again since the courts haven’t any mechanism to have


children’s sights heard when, for instance, applications for access are created by the abusive parent. She believes that the probation program should be called after to interview children in an unbiased manner and then report back to the courts. Children should be entitled to have a say with regard to conditions that directly effect them. Another service that requires continued financing is perpetrator programmes, an increase in the amount of individuals completing treatment programmes in conjunction with support companies for victims, a larger awareness of the consequences of domestic violence and a noticable difference generally in conditions for women of all ages and the marginalised inside our society may lead in time to the reduction of domestic violence in Ireland.