Course. HCASP Contemporary Issues in Counselling II
Essay Title: “Domestic Violence – An Overview of safety in the home”
Due Date ; 13th April 2007.
The issue of Domestic violence is one that pervades through all levels of society. It is
widely recognised as being a serious problem in society and one in which there are many theories and intervention methods. This essay hopes to cover some of the major theorists and their relevant theories and to illustrate the overview of the problem and issues arising from the area of domestic violence. How it may be defined and recognised, who are involved and affected and why, and if it can be ...view middle of the document...
What initiates this serious social disorder in a home, why does one person disrupt the harmony of a household using abuse and violence? There are a number of theories that relate to this.
The Pathology theory; this views violence as being a symptom of biology, deviant personality types, abusive family of origin, alcoholism or drug addiction. It basically advocates that the abusers are in some way mentally ill and require medical intervention.
The Learned Behaviour theory: This theory advocates that the violence is learned, men battered because they had learned the behaviour in families of origin as children and women who suffered abuse sought out like minded men because they saw their mothers being abused. There is some research to support these theories, but there also exists refutable research to give a contrary view. Men who witness domestic violence during their childhood are according to figures more likely to engage in violent conduct.
The Social Structure Theory: This sees violence as more prevalent in the lower socio-economic groups, with abusers being frustrated at the lack of education, skills and general life opportunities.
The Loss of Control Theory: There was a belief that men abused as a result of drinking alcohol, which caused them to lose control. This theory however does not take into account the targeting of most abusers, who specifically target their spouses etc.
The Learned Helplessness Theory: This theory was advanced by Lenore Walker an expert in the field of Domestic violence. It was based on a psychological experiment conducted on dogs that were constantly prodded by electric probes. She studied the behaviour of women in the USA who stayed in violent relationships and hypothesized that they stay because the constant abuse strips them of their will to leave. This hypothesis led to the development of the Battered Woman Syndrome, where women who had been forced to endure a lengthy period of abuse felt that they had no option but to end the abuse finally by killing their abuser. It has been a defense in criminal cases in the States for a number of years.
The Cycle of Violence Theory: This theory was another theory presented by Lenore Walker in 1979. It hypothesizes that there are three cyclical stages in an episode of violence (a) Tension building period where the abuser starts to get angry may begin to threaten and begin to withdraw or belittle the victim, (b) Explosive period is where abuse takes place. The victim is beaten, sometimes raped or sexually abused. this is generally the shortest period in the cycle. (c) The Respite or making up period. The abuser may apologise for their behaviour and promise ‘never to do it again’ and be very loving and caring and generally present a contrary view to their abusive selves.
Although a number of victims have said that this theory does not fit with them as there is no cycle and that their partners never relented but that violence was a constant presence in...