Sunday, August 8, 2010

Research Paper on Violence

Research Paper on Family Violence

Family violence is a serious and dangerous phenomenon present all over the globe. It is a ‘cultural universal’, meaning that it is present in almost every society in the world (Levine and Gelles 81). According to Gelles and Cornell, family is defined as, “Acts that have the high potential for injuring the family member being hit. Included in this definition are punches, kicks, bites, choking, beatings, shootings or stabbings”.

Family violence doesn’t only involve the individual concerned, but affects society as a whole; therefore steps should be considered to treat the victims and formulate methods of prevention of this serious phenomenon that threatens the stability of any society. If the structure of family violence is examined, many questions will arise. What are the types of family violence? Why does family violence occur in the first place? Is violence due to nature or nurture? These are basic questions that need to be answered in order to take the first step to treat family violence.

Family violence dates back to the earliest times of history. In the Roman era, children were terribly abused, as they didn’t have any rights at all. Child abuse was widely practiced and thus accepted. Robin points out that, “Infants could be put to death because they cried too much, because they were sickly or deformed, or because they had some perceived infection. Girls, twins and the children of unmarried women were the special targets of infanticide”(Gelles and Cornell 27). Also in the ancient Roman civilization, hitting the wife was a common act. The husband had full rights and control over the wife.


Types of family violence include: child abuse, wife abuse, parent abuse, husband abuse and incest. Child abuse is a very dangerous type of family violence, and its consequences are devastating. Encarta Encyclopedia states that child abuse is, “Intentional acts that result in physical or emotional harm to children. It covers a wide range of behaviour, from actual physical assault by parents or caretakers to the neglect of the child’s physical needs” (para 1). Child abuse includes neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. The most common form of child abuse is neglect. The child can either be physically neglected where the child does not receive enough food, clothes, shelter or medical care. Another form could be emotional neglect when the parents fail to fulfil the child’s emotional needs such as providing love and care. The consequences of child abuse are terrible as an abused child can never grow up to be a normal balanced adult. Schmitt and Kempe point out that, “The consequences of violence and abuse may extend beyond the victim and beyond the home. Untreated abused children frequently grow up to e delinquents, murderers, and batterers of the next generation of children” (Gelles and Cornell 62).

Wife abuse is another form of family violence. It is only normal that a couple has minor fights and misunderstandings. According to Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz, “Conflict is an inevitable part of the human condition, including marriage”, but the difference is that some conflicts are gradually transformed into different forms of family violence, such as hitting and physical force. The wife is usually viewed as the “most appropriate victim for intimate violence” (Gelles and Cornell). Wife abuse is the most common form of family violence for different reasons. Some women are reluctant to blame their husbands and face the problem, this leads them to leave the house. Other women think that this sort of violence is acceptable and that they may deserve it. Child abuse is more focused on than wife abuse, as wife abuse is more frequent and acceptable in societies that are dominated by men, rather than in those that support the idea of equality of the two sexes.

The Abused tend to have problems with low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Most often, these feelings are the result of being in the abusive relationship, rather than the cause of it.

The effects of family violence include lowered self-esteem, guilt, anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness and shame. In some cases, women will suffer from PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, sleep disturbances, bouts of uncontrollable crying, holes in memory, apathy, emotional numbness, feeling edgy and an inability to concentrate.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on any writing topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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