Domestic Violence Against Women Across Different Cultures

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For this personal interest project I have chosen to focus on domestic violence against women across different cultures. I have decided to research a broader understanding on the influences and which cultures are mostly affected by this. I have chosen to focus on women in general as they are shown to be less powerful than men in society. The key concepts used for this topic is society, culture, power, authority, and gender.

The reason I have chosen this topic is based on experiences of which I have witnessed and supporting those who have also suffered. I wanted to get a better understanding of what the major influences are to this behaviour and what type of violence is involved.

This topic is cross cultural as it compares cultures and generations and the way they deal with anger, problems and discipline, I am also investigating whether the upbringings have an effect on one’s behaviour. My choice of choosing to focus on culture is because the stereotype and stigma for a male and females place in life has changed, linking to that I wanted to gather information whether it has an effect on domestic violence or not and if it has increased or decreased over time.

To collect data and information I have chosen to use different effective methodologies such as internet research, research from the state library on past PIP assignments, informational texts from books about domestic violence, and the use of a survey to investigate individuals perspective and views on this issue.

What is domestic violence ?

Domestic violence all of the forms of abuse and threats of physical abuse.The threats can be physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic nature that can harm, cause injury to and can endanger life or well being within a home.

These are the main types of abuse which both men and women can suffer from:

Physical abuse includes: any intentional act to cause injury or trauma to another person or animal. Abuse can also be neglect which is when parents or guardians don’t take care of their children with basic needs they depend on.

Sexual abuse involves: any conduct of sexual nature that humiliates, degrades or violates the dignity of a women.

Verbal abuse includes: any type of insult, ridicule, humiliation, name calling or repeated threats by speaking.

Emotional abuse: emotional abuse does not have to be physical, it can be verbally that affect someone’s personal mental health and well being. This person can be put down and be felt isolated, anxious, stressed or can suffer from anxiety.

Economic abuse: the abuser separates the victim from their own resources rights and choices, isolating the victim financially.

Forms of violence

Evidence shows that violence against women has many different demonstrations including forms that may occur in different types of settings and countries. Violence against women shows itself as physical,sexual, emotional and economic. The most common form of relationship is within an intimate partner. This than involves acts like sexual violence (including rape), sexual harassment, and emotional/psychologicl violence.

  • unfairly and regularly accuses her of flirting or being unfaithful.
  • controls how she spends money.
  • decides what she can eat and wear.
  • Humiliation in front of other people.
  • monitors what she is doing, including invading privacy like reading her emails and text messages.
  • discourages or prevents her from seeing friends and family.
  • threatens to hurt her, the children or pets
  • physically assaults her (hitting, biting, slapping, kicking, pushing)
  • yells at her, intimidates, stands over her showing power.
  • threatens to use a weapon against her
  • constantly compares her with other people
  • constantly criticises her intelligence, mental health and appearance
  • prevents her from practicing her religion.

I have also discovered that in many societies it is accepted for the male or man in the house to have power to discipline and make decisions of his wife. For example and interview in Ghana states that it was appropriate for a man to physically punish his wife. ( Fischbach and Herbet 1997). Attitudes from japanese have shown that men and women of all classes and educational levels accept that men are entitled to batter their wives. (magnier 2002). In islamic countries, women suffer violence from their husbands or a male relative because it is allowed by the religious texts and institutionalized social norms. (Douki et at. 2003). Severe ongoing domestic violence has been documented in every culture.

Consequences

Through research I have investigated that many countries worldwide consider women to be the property of their husbands, particularly regarding her sexuality. Since a women is not allowed to choose if or when to engage in sexual relations with her husband, mostly in some african and hispanic cultures where it is common for the husband to have unprotected sex outside the marriage. The wife than is at high risk of HIV/AIDS exposure. In cultures where virginity determines a womens worth, the stigma of rape can be particularly devasting. Case studies from bangladesh note numerous women beaten, murdered, or driven to suicide because of the dishonour that rape brings upon the family.

Violence is a significant cause of preventable death, injury, incapacity, and mental illness for women in every culture. Victims of domestic violence sustain genital infections, broken bones, third degree burns, lacerations, disfiguring scars, and other bodily injuries.

Women are at risk for domestic violence during every phase of life. As infants, female children are killed or are subject to physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. In some cultures girls are at risk for incest as well as female genitile mutilation from family members. In times of war, armies have used rape as a means of controlling the minds and bodies of the people they seek too conquer. Rape enables the victors to demoralize their enemy, further assertng their power.

The result of physical injury, death, mental health disorders affect families, communities and cultures. For example, girls who are exposed to seeing their family members suffer violence will later grow up and tolerate this behaviour thinking that it is okay.

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Women who are abused are more likely to suffer from depression, alcohol abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and are at high risk of suicide.

Drug and alcohol influence.

There is a correlation of substance abuse and domestic violence, indicating that the regular abuse of drugs or alcohol is the highest leading risk factor to violence within a family or intimate relationship. The use of illegal substances and alcohol by perpetrators may be used to cope with problems associated with complicated relationships, financial problems, or other stressful situations. Studies indicate that potentially violent situations are more dangerous when the victim is the substance abuser because the victimis less able to accurately assess imminent danger and flee the situation. The alcohol abuse program states that a woman’s addiction to alcohol may prohibit her from leaving an abusive relationship. This could then lead to repeated assaults that could further escalate the violence ending the victims life to be ended. Stats shows that 134 homicides of women between 1990-1993 found that 62% of those women were killed after their intimate partners were accused of murder. 25% of victims were high and over one third of victims were legally drunk at the time of their death. PG. 8

Cultural influences

The information that I found from my survey significantly allows me to understand views from other peoples perspective on what they think of when it comes to violence against women.

“Do you think an individuals culture and background have an influence on domestic violence?” Responses : respondents said 50/50. Half said no, half said yes.

The people who responded “no” that culture and background do not impact the actions of a child often quoted that it is based on the general nature of the person of who they are.

The respondents that agreed with this question expanded their response saying that if a certain culture positions a particular person with the power and authority. Example given, males head of house, money, rules.

1 person argued that it doesn’t matter if an individual is religious or is apart of a certain culture, that everyone can still commit an act of violence. This educated me to understand that anyone has the decision and power to do what they want.

Another person suggested that all the different cultures have a range of rules and expectations to raise their child. They said they believed that if someone is raised with harsh discipline that is brutal than that may follow through and affect someone else.

It is clear to see that the rules or expectations put upon behavioral acts within a culture can encourage violence. Cultures and societies that agree with gender roles and allowing males to show power are often the ones who are associated with violence against women. Dmestic violence and violence against women is common in almost every country and and scoioeconomic class. Often the ones who suffer the violence are not recognized simply because of their cultural attitudes about males having that power and control. The victims fail to report this as they are scared of being abused after going against their dominator, feel shame having to stand up to the male, and concerned over not being believed by some.

Domestic violence is a serious threat to cultures due to those in poverty and lack of education or opportunity. Aboriginal women in australia say violence, sexual assault towards women in their community to the poverty brought on by loss of land, resources, self determination that arose from the colonization of aboriginal lands. (Perry 2001). PG. 9

Research has made me understand that culture is the use of language, choice of clothing, choice of food, gods, beliefs and the way they treat one another. Some cultures see men or the male person in the family to be the dominant person who should take control, make decisions, aocate punishments and should be obeyed. Many women part of certain cultures that have these rules upon them have no say or voice in the relationship/family. The women that believe that men are allowed to have this power over them are the ones who are often targeted, who stay silent and remain in that relationship/family. Some women from young age may see their mothers tolerating this behaviour while their mothers stay quiet, the children grow up thinking that it is normal for a male to do this just because he is your husband or dad. Another factor for males violence is that maybe the wife or women may be earning more money than the man and may have a higher education than the man leading him to feel psychologically threatened and will use violence to reassert power in their relationship. Different countries and cultures have different values and attitudes towards women when it comes to family, marriage, sex roles, and divorce.

Immigrants for example seeking better quality of life for themselves and their families face tremendous barriers. Fearing deportation and the loss of their children and the women may be intimidated by her partners threat to report her to the imiigration and naturalization service. Some of these women do not realise that domestic violence is against the law and that she has the legal option to stop the act. Mens unemployment or part time employment has been associated with increased rates of domestic violence. Studies show that unemployment was a significant predictor of violence. Suggested that some men might perceive employment as a critical component of their musculine identity and resort to violence as an effort to regain lost status.

In this pip assignment i would recommend looking for more research methods in order to find the correct responses and sources. I was able to research domestic violence on a much broader scale including the types or forms of abuse. I was also able to use responses from my survey to choose a main topic to focus on which were drug/alcohol influences on domestic violence and cultural influences.

Conclusion

In conclusion this topic has educated me to understand a wider view of domestic violence against women. I am successfully able to know about all the different types of abuse that come under the category of domestic violence. For example physical, sexual, emotional, and economic. I am able to have a better understanding on how and why these factors impact a woman’s wellbeing.

Through my survey and research i was also able to investigate the individual forms of abuse that linked to sexual, emotional, physical and economic. I was able to extend my responses and knowledge by having these sources.

As apart of my research I tried to look up if parents had an influence on persons action linking to domestic violence. As I went from website to website I didn’t manage to find the information I had been looking for. Though it did help me to search up some other information that didn’t relate to that question which was cultural influences.

My primary research was my survey. I used this to construct graphs, tables and pie charts to easily identify the information. The survey was a handy source as it was fast, easy and accessible to use. It related to the questions I needed allowing me to work faster as I had the answers in front of me.

From my survey I used the most interesting questions to form a table, graph and pie chart. With this is chose the top picked answers and expanded the information on it using research. I did this as it is the most common factor to domestic violence and that having that information there would fit it correctly. The two major topics I chose to focus on are cultural influences and drugs and alcohol use influencing domestic violence. PG. 11

Resource list

  1. “What is domestic violence” The dictionary https://www.google.com.au/search?q=what+is+domestic+vioence&safe=on&gws_rd=ssl
  2. “Facts about domestic violence and economic abuse. NCADV (national coalition against domestic violence) 2015 https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2497/domestic_violence_and_economic_abuse_ncadv.pdf
  3. “Domestic violence statistics” Joyful heart foundation http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/learn/domestic-violence/about-issue/who-does-domestic-violence-affect
  4. “How culture affects domestic violence”. UK essays. 2016 https://www.ukessays.com/essays/social-work/how-culture-affects-domestic-violence-social-work-essay.php
  5. “Situational and cultural factors influencing domestic violence”. Dr. Jade. Pumphrey. 2015 https://inpublicsafety.com/2015/10/situational-and-cultural-factors-influencing-intimate-partner-violence
  6. “Physical violence and impact on women’s health” healthtalk.org. 2019 http://www.healthtalk.org/peoples-experiences/domestic-violence-abuse/womens-experiences-domestic-violence-and-abuse/physical-violence-and-impacts-womens-health
  7. “Link between domestic violence and drug abuse”. ALO HOUSE. 2016 https://alorecovery.com/link-between-domestic-violence-drug-abuse/
  8. “Forms of violence against women”. UN WOMEN. 2010 https://www.endvawnow.org/en/articles/296-forms-of-violence-against-women-.html
  9. “Why gender cannot be ignored when dealing with domestic violence”. The conversation. 2017 https://theconversation.com/why-gender-cant-be-ignored-when-dealing-with-domestic-violence-74137
  10. “Cross cultural perspective on domestic violence”. Criminal justice. 2019 http://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/crime/domestic-violence/cross-cultural-perspectives/

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Domestic Violence Against Women Across Different Cultures. (2021, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/domestic-violence-against-women-across-different-cultures/
“Domestic Violence Against Women Across Different Cultures.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/domestic-violence-against-women-across-different-cultures/
Domestic Violence Against Women Across Different Cultures. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/domestic-violence-against-women-across-different-cultures/> [Accessed 7 Jul. 2022].
Domestic Violence Against Women Across Different Cultures [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 01 [cited 2022 Jul 7]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/domestic-violence-against-women-across-different-cultures/
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