The Reasons of Family Violence

Essay, 2011
6 Pages


The Reasons of Family Violence

Many writers have used different expressions to describe violence between intimates. Margi Laird Mccue describes family violence as:

Domestic violence has many names, including ‘intimate partner violence’. Additional terms that are or have been used include ‘spouse abuse’, ‘domestic abuse’, ‘domestic assault’, ‘battering’, ‘marital discord’, ‘woman abuse’, ‘dysfunctional relationship’, ‘intimate fighting’, ‘mate beating’, and so on. Intimate partner violence is a relatively recent term introduced in an attempt to include all violence against an intimate partner, regardless of marital status, and to exclude other forms of violence, such as child abuse, elder abuse, sibling abuse, and violence between roommates who are not intimate partners (2).

Historically, women have always been the main victim of domestic violence. The battered women’s movement shows that patriarchy is privilege in our society which held that the husband as master of the household had unquestionable authority to discipline his wife and children. Until the onset of the women’s movement in the 1970s, little was written about family violence. It was not thought as a big social problem, and most women did not realize anything was unusual in their marriages. In 1975 in USA, the National Organization for Women recognized family violence as a major social issue and developed a National Task Force on Battered Women and Household Violence (Deaton, Hertica 1). This paper will analyze the background of family violence, the reasons of domestic violence and the effects of cultural factors on it.

First of all, the people who experienced family violence in their childhood were exposed to violence in their home. They cannot raise voice against the beater. The more frequently a woman was struck as a child, the more likely she is to become a victim of violence (Lackton, Ward 21). On the other hand, Eva Schlesinger Buzawa and Carl G. Buzawa say that experiencing violence as a child increases a tendency toward battering (36). Besides, it is the fact that for most of human history men have been in charge of making the family decisions. In our society each of the partners who share a house, due to many twentieth-century social changes, wants predominate in the decision-making process. Conflict and violence can result when there is no process in place that allows for a sharing of this responsibility. To be in ‘charge’ is a masculine concept. If a man loses his status and his peers find out, he can lose his public reputation. Who has the right to say something in the family is often an essential component of this peculiar emotional masculine code of pride and reputation (Davis 17). Consequently, this shows that to be in charge is an important matter to humankind.

The basic reason of family violence is to control somebody by force. Ptacek says that several studies of perpetrators of domestic violence have found that violent men often attribute their behavior to a "loss of control"(qtd. in Umberson et al. 444).

‘’A major theme of the 1990s has been control. Whatever the immediate precipitator of violence may be, it generally gives the perpetrator some measure of control, but once again we see distinctions among types of violence as central. The control may be specific, focused narrowly on winning a particular argument or having one’s way in some narrowly defined matter (Johnson and Ferraro 955).

It is the beater’s selfishness to show the power to control and gain authority over the victim as well as sustain his or her own pride. While the victim disregards the authority of the beater, the beater feels discarded. He or she also feels a loss of power, control, and self-dignity. The beater intentionally chooses to impose control over the victim to bring back his or her authority. Thus, the beater is the only one responsible for his or her violent behavior. Anger, stress, marital or financial problems, and drug or alcohol addiction do not cause domestic violence; however, they may play a supportive or sustaining role. Therefore, these problems need to be addressed separately. Our views of the world and beliefs determine our behavior. The directly contributing factor is the beater’s belief in the use of force to control his or her spouse or partner (Dipty 33). This shows that the issue of control somebody by force is associated with the beater’s psychology. According to Johnson and Ferraro, in order to understand the nature of a person’s use of violence, you have to understand its role in that relationship. Some people get violent to take the whole control of their partner. Others may use violence to defend themselves against their partner’s attempts to control them. He divided individual violence into four types. In intimate terrorism, the beater uses violence to control over his or her partner but the partner does not resist. In violent resistance, the partner is violent and controlling and the resister’s violence arises in reaction to that attempt. In mutual violent control, both of the couple use violence to take the control. In the fourth type of intimate partner violence, situational couple violence, the beater is violent; however, neither of them uses violence to attempt to exert general control (5). In conclusion, to control somebody by force is one of the basic reasons of family violence.

Culture plays a very important role on domestic violence. The family values commonly found in traditional societies increase the risk of domestic violence. Traditional values include the belief that the man alone should financially support the family and make important decisions. Such beliefs devalue others in the household, making it more likely for men in these societies to become abusive toward their wives and children (Cefrey 10). Some theories that examine the connection between culture and abuse claim that battering is a result of “cultural values, rules, and practices that afford men more status and power than women”. These values predominate in patriarchal societies (Kasturirangan, Krishnan, and Riger 320-321). The patriarchy theory of domestic violence, also called the feminist theory, suggests that male battering of female intimate partners is an outgrowth of the structure of society, which provides greater power to men than to women, and that battering is one of the methods by which women remain subordinated to men in both societal and relationship terms (Malik and Lindahl 416-417). As a result, patriarchal societies believe that men are superior to women and they are the master of the household.

The causes of family violence are complex. However, two factors seem to be necessary in a sense: the unequal position of women in a particular relationship (and in society) and the normative use of violence in conflict. These factors interact with a web of complementary factors to produce intimate partner violence. According to Rachel Jewkes;

The figure shows how ideologies of male superiority legitimize disciplining of women by men, often for transgressions of conservative female gender roles, and the use of force in this process. Violence against women is a demonstration of male power juxtaposed against the lesser power of women. Where women have low status they often lack the necessary perceptions of self-efficacy and the social and economic ability to leave a relationship and return to their family or live alone, and thus are severely curtailed in their ability to act against an abuser (1426-1427).


Excerpt out of 6 pages


The Reasons of Family Violence
Hacettepe University
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ISBN (eBook)
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461 KB
domestic violence, violence, domestic, women
Quote paper
Gamze Selimoğlu (Author), 2011, The Reasons of Family Violence, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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