Domestic Violence
By: Hannah Butt
Social Psychology
Professor: Jennifer L. Landau


Domestic violence is when one partner in an intimate relationship abuses the other. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or a combination of all three. Other terms used for domestic violence are stalking, verbal abuse and battering. Domestic violence exists within all cultures, ethnicities, faiths, age groups, education levels, income levels, and sexual orientations. It can occur between different kinds of couples who are married or unmarried, couples who live in rural areas and urban areas, those that cohabitate or live separately, and between heterosexual or same-sex couples. Women or men can be victims of domestic violence, however majority of the victims are women. There are many organizations concerned with domestic violence and they focus their attention and services specifically on violence against women and their children.
Before the 1970s, judges and police officers didn't think wife beating was a serious offense. Police officers would tell husbands to calm down and wives to stop annoying them, and the cases rarely came to court. A wide spread incidence of wife beating was documented in the 1970's by feminists. Also it was not just working class husbands who assaulted their wives, but men from all classes. Men described wife beating as one extreme in a spectrum of male efforts to dominate women, and argued that rape was a crime of violence, not sex. Feminists then founded shelters where women had a place of protection. They demanded that the police do more to protect women, and advocated for battered women in the courts.
When the general public thinks about domestic violence, they usually think in terms of physical assault that results in visible injuries to the victim. This is only one type

of abuse. According to Arizona Coalition to end Domestic violence there are several categories of abusive behavior, each of which has its own devastating consequences. Some of the types of abuse I will be discussing are physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and stalking. In a relationship physical violence usually starts with a push or a slap, and then becomes progressively worse over time and can result into physical harm, disability, or death. Sexual violence is a sexual act committed against someone without that person's given consent. Some examples of sexual violence include rape, attempted rape, inappropriate touching, sexual harassment, or any other type of sexual activity that one does not willingly agree. Emotional abuse, which is also called psychological violence, refers to manipulation through nonphysical acts against an intimate partner. These actions can include threatening the physical health of the victim or the victim's loved ones, purposely controlling the victim's freedom, and or acting to undermine or isolate the victim. Psychological abuse can occur prior to physical, sexual, or other abuses. However, it can also happen at the same time. Even when it occurs by itself, it is thought to cause long-term damage to a victim's mental health. Stalking is "a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear", as defined by The United States Department of Justice 2016. Research has shown that victims of domestic violence have experienced stalking from a current or former partner. Stalking can include, repeated, unwanted, and frightening communications from the perpetrator by phone, mail, and/or email. Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items.

Following or laying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place.
Domestic violence, physical or emotional abuse can happen anywhere in the world. It occurs in all classes, races, religions, and cultures. A housewife is just as likely to be abused as a working middle class woman. Women experience the most domestic violence and the perpetrator is usually male. In most cases it is male to female. Men, children and the elderly could also be abused, domestic violence occurs in lesbian and gay relationships. Lenore Walker developed the theory that domestic violence occurs in a cycle, in 1979 as a result of a study conducted in the United States. According to Brisbane