Domestic Violence: Historical Background and Effects


Domestic violence is a social crisis, which continues to haunt many people in society. It is often regarded as family violence, beating of wives, or even abuse. According to international law, domestic violence is commonly known as battering. This form of violence is not only limited to the beating of a marriage partner but also any form of an act that is meant to humiliate another human being either verbally or through any form of action. Domestic violence is inhuman in that the victims may end up suffering physically, mentally, or even have psychological complications such as social disorders. The crisis of domestic violence can be arbitrated through the improvement of the reporting procedures in the hospitals, having counseling to many people in the society, and improved enforcement of the law. This paper is an in-depth analysis of the issue of domestic violence by looking at the historical and background information of the same, as well as pertinent crisis intervention strategies and tactics of the same. A discussion of the possible effects of domestic violence will also be discussed in the paper.

History and Background of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has been a social crisis since the 18th century. Wife battering and abuse of women in relationships were seen as a social problem in many societies and many laws were drafted to prevent this rising crisis. There was the emergence of groups, which lobbied against wife battering, negligence, and any other form of abuse in many societies. The social movements were gaining strength from the political pressure and intervention of many prominent business people. This later become a political agenda and helped many politicians in the society to campaign through social groups (Buzawa & Buzawa, 2003).

The consciousness of the sexes began to change in the early 90s and this was characterized by many women championing to have equality over men. Additionally, the movements, which could help, empower women also increased tremendously. Due to the increasing sexual offenses, many law-making bodies proposed stricter rules against any kind of sexual abuse. Femininity was also beginning to rise now. Many women were fighting domestic violence and this helped to bring justice for the victims. Above all, the changes in domestic violence have been caused by the subsequent changes in the perception of the public, the development of policies, which prevent crime, and the response of the courts due to the increasing vulnerability of the crimes (Dutton, 2006).

There has been an increasing number of people who have intervened in the crimes and this has caused the current changes in the rate at which the crimes have been prevalent. The response of the police has also increased within years leading to reduced cases of violence and crime in particular. Many governments and law enforcement agencies have given the police, the authority to address the issue by giving orders, which restrain individuals and families from committing more crimes. Although the police were restricted from handling domestic violence cases, the order has changed and today the police can now solve all the prominent issues and cases involving family violence (Hess & Orthmann, 2010).

Effects of domestic violence

Domestic violence has affected many societies today negatively. For instance, many families have been broken up thus separating people who had intimate relations over a long period. The media has been full of confrontations between families, spouses, and even women and their husbands. Every day many women and men suffer because of the violence. Family abuse has been a major cause of drama in families, epic battles, and unspeakable facts, which still haunt many households even today. One of the main problems, which causes the vulnerability of domestic violence, is the fact that many people especially women keep quiet for fear that, they might lose their husbands. Moreover, they fear that they might end up failing to get financial support from their husbands thus paving way for an increase of violence in many families and households (Hess & Orthmann, 2010).

Recent studies show that women are the most vulnerable group in domestic violence. This is because many women are poor and are married to rich men who mistreat them. These men mistreat their women because they know that women do not have any other strength to fight back. The men are also aware that the women cannot sue them because by doing so they will be risking their lives and the benefits which they get from the relationships. The men thus end up abusing their wives and exposing them to all kinds of unspeakable abuse and violence. They not only expose their women to physical violence but also verbal abuse which affects their social status, their psychological well being but also their self-esteem and self-confidence. Eventually, this form of abuse affects their status in society and degrades them as people who cannot defend themselves in society (Salisbury, Donavin & Price, 2002).

The effects of domestic violence are not only confined to their households but also their jobs and their physical environment. For instance, research shows that women who are psychologically abused in their families finally end up becoming slaves in their relationships. This might also extend to their jobs and illnesses in their work thus becoming crises. On the same token, abused people in society have also been reported to react in different mannerisms. For example, some men may end up having violent relationships while women have disorders and problems, which are related to psychological abuse. The children are the most affected group because they might react differently to any environment (Salisbury, Donavin & Price, 2002).

It has been reported that the rising cases of juvenile deliquescence are a result of the rising cases of violence in children thus preventing them from interacting with the rest of the members of the society. Children may perform poorly in their schools and have increased fights with their peers. Psychological trauma is the most serious reaction, which children have because it might end up affecting their social lives even when they have grown up. This is because the mental harm inflicted on the children after a broken relationship is a very hard thing for a child to experience.

Domestic Violence as a crisis

Domestic violence is a crisis in society today because it has affected many communities and societies in different manners. To begin with, family abuse is an eminent crime, which affects many individuals in society regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, and even their gender. Men also face violence in the form of systematic rape, abuse, and even psychological abuse. Statistics show many men in the world are raped every month, yet they keep silent or even fail to report the abuse to their families. Women are the most affected because they are even killed in physical violence. Children are affected by the violence because they mostly witness their parents fighting or even exchanging rude words.

Domestic violence also affects the economic status of society because they affect the income of the households. When families break up, women, children are exposed to poverty, and their education diminishes because they do not have any person to feed them or even support them financially. The increasing crisis is that the victims of the violence do not report to the authorities about the cases to be compensated. They end up keeping quiet and this affects their economic status. This trend should change because studies show that there are an increasing number of single families because of domestic violence or family-related abuse (Dutton, 2006).

Domestic violence has also affected society because many communities are broken, families are broken, and intimate relationships are broken. The physical effects of violence are very severe because this means that the victims have to seek help to ensure that they have covered those who have abused them. On the other hand, the psychological effects are very severe because they affect the normal well-being of an individual within society. Sociologists argue that those people who are affected by the psychological are the ones who have a history of domestic violence. This is because these people suffer alone and have the fear that when they report what has happened to them, they might end up being disowned by the rest of society (Stark & Buzawa, 2009).

Studies show that the most overlooked form of violence is family abuse. This is because it occurs inside doors and the victims often fail to report their abusers. Many legal practitioners also fail to make a legal framework concerning the violence because they fear that their victims might end up being punished by the law. The ongoing crisis has been because of the failure to have strategic policies and structures, which address the issues concerning any form of domestic violence. The worst cases have been reported in hospitals over years. This is because statistics show that many cases of women in hospitals have succumbed to the violence yet there are no effective policies, which have been undertaken to fight for justice.

The most eminent effect of the violence is that it does not only affect the immediate victim but also affects many other people in society. For example, negative ethnicity maybe because of domestic violence. This is because there comes about hatred between two ethnic families where a person from one ethnic background has suffered at the expense of the other ethnic background. The crisis comes in the way religions are affected. Different religions have different views concerning domestic violence and this should be addressed efficiently. For example, Christians have different views from Muslims because of the violence. Whereas Christians recognize the supremacy of women in society, muslins consider women to be men’s subjects thus exposing them to the prevailing violence (Dutton, 2006).

Intervention Strategies

To stop domestic violence many people should develop effective reporting procedures. This enhances justice to the victims of the violence. The abusers of the violence are also brought to justice on the same note. The media should promote community awareness and intervention. This is because if the communities help to report the victims of violence, then it is very easy to manage the crisis. Women who are abused should also learn to report the victims in the courts of law to stop the crisis. Group support should come in if the women victims have been taken to the hospital for any problem affecting them that conforms to the crime. Hospitals should ensure that there are effective records of women to manage those people who have been adversely affected by the crime rates.

There should also be hospital management of the victims of domestic violence. This entails conducting guidance and counseling sessions for the victims. The sessions are a very important part of management because they help to reduce any form of psychological trauma or stress buildup in the victims. The sessions also help the medical practitioners to understand the main causes of the violence. In addition, the medical personnel should provide the governments and the necessary authorities with the necessary intervention policies, which help to manage the rising problems. The authorities can then formulate legal frameworks, which will help many people in society to curb the domestic violence crisis (Salisbury, Donavin & Price, 2002).

There should also be an improvement in law enforcement policies, which will help to manage the legal framework concerning domestic violence. The courts should not settle until the abusers have been brought to justice and punished accordingly. In addition, the police should be given more authority to ensure that they have accessed the families, which are affected by the violence. They should then arrest the perpetrators to have effective policies concerning the violence in itself. The courts should have strict policies, which would lead to punishment of the perpetrators of the violence to scare away the abusers. The law-making agencies should also ensure that there are laws, which have been made to prevent more cases of domestic violence (Buzawa & Buzawa, 2003).


From the above discussion, it is possible to conclude that domestic violence is a crisis, which affects society in many different ways. To begin with, the crisis affects the social status of people within a community and this is extended to society. One of the most negative aspects of violence is that it affects not only the physical status of the victims but also their psychological status (Buzawa & Buzawa, 2003). In addition, domestic violence humiliates the victims and reduces their ego and self-esteem. Its effects are also extended to other kinds of environments such as the workplace and in the schools. Statistics show that women are the most affected gender in the violence because they are the weak gender. Women usually depend on men to support them financially and this is what gives the men an upper hand to exploit them and abuse them. Consequently, children are also affected by domestic violence because they are the witnesses of the abuse. All the relevant stakeholders should join their efforts to end the crisis.

Reference List

Buzawa, E. S., & Buzawa, C. G. (2003). Domestic violence: The criminal justice response. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.

Dutton, D. G. (2006). Rethinking domestic violence. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Hess, K. M., & Orthmann, C. M. (2010). Criminal investigation: Karen M. Hess; Christine Hess Orthmann. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.

Salisbury, E., Donavin, G., & Price, M. L. (2002). Domestic violence in medieval texts. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

Stark, E., & Buzawa, E. S. (2009). Violence against women in families and relationships. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger

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