Domestic Violence Has Been Around for Centuries Term Paper

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Domestic Violence has been around for centuries. At one time, it was more accepted, and used as a form of 'correction' when men believed a wife was not acting the way she should or showing them the proper respect. Now, domestic violence is not tolerated by law enforcement officers, and it does not affect just women anymore. Men can be victims of domestic violence, too.

Domestic violence is a very prevalent problem for law enforcement officers in all areas of the country, and in all age and income brackets. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, income, or social status, and law enforcement agencies are trying to aggressively combat it. The public wants to see it stopped, law officers want to see it stopped, and the victims of it want to see it stopped.

Unfortunately, due to the stress of their jobs and other factors, many domestic violence abusers are the ones that have vowed to put a stop to it -- police officers. This is not only very devastating to their family life, but it hurts the community as well when someone expected to protect them is found to be abusing the ones he should take the best care of.

Officers who commit domestic violence make the police department they work for look bad, and undermine the integrity that they have worked so hard to gain from the community. Law enforcement leaders cannot look the other way when one of their own is involved in a domestic dispute, and must uphold the law to protect the victim as well as the reputation of the police department.

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There are several factors to be looked at when considering what domestic violence really is and what to do about it. Law enforcement leaders can help stop domestic violence among their own ranks and among the other people who live in the community by demonstrating good leadership. It is vitally important that law enforcement leaders address all of the concerns that come with domestic violence, such as who can be defined as victims, and what makes up the components of domestic violence.

Term Paper on Domestic Violence Has Been Around for Centuries. Assignment

In defining domestic violence, the nature of the relationship between offender and victim has to be considered. To be 'domestic' violence, the abuse has to be inflicted on a spouse, child, parents, or anyone in a similar relationship. It does not have to be physical, although it often is. It can also be emotional, sexual, or even financial.

Certain characteristics are used when determining whether something falls under the category of domestic violence. In general, it must occur within an intimate relationship. There is a perceived 'safety' in the confines of an intimate relationship that is not found with others in the community. There is usually not the threat of someone else seeing the violence happen or reporting it to someone else unless the victim chooses to. Very often, the victim does nothing and the violence continues.

Domestic violence is also a 'learned behavior'. This means that it is not genetic, or caused by stress, alcohol, drugs, or any of the other reasons that are commonly used as excuses by abusers. Some of these elements do increase the chances that domestic violence will occur, but they are mitigating factors, and not the actual cause. The domestic violence behavior has to be learned and accepted by the victim. It becomes the expected way of behaving toward members of the family. This behavior is recurring and usually involves several abusive behaviors instead of just one.

In the 1990's, there was a change in the way people perceived domestic violence. Most states used to ignore the problem and consider it a private matter between family members, but that changed. Many states became actively involved in trying to stop domestic violence, and passed laws about what was abusive behavior and what the consequences would be. Unfortunately, not all states responded so well to the public concerns over domestic violence. Some states said that they were concerned about the problem, but did nothing to help victims. One of the reasons that states began to do something about domestic violence was the Women's Movement. While it is true that men can be abused as well, most of the victims of domestic violence have traditionally been women, and it remains so today.

As the fight against domestic violence grew, national legislation was enacted in many countries against domestic violence. What was once a private problem became a statewide problem, and then became a national problem. Abuse continues, however, despite repeated attempts to stop it.

Because of the concerns about domestic violence in the police force, law enforcement agencies have begun screening potential officers to see if they have psychological traits that are associated with abusers. Many of the traits that make someone an abuser also make them a good law enforcement officer, which could be why many police officers end up abusing their families in some way. Law enforcement officers tend to want to maintain control over things, especially in tense circumstances. They also want a position of authority and power, and have the presence to use weapons or other forms of physical control when they become necessary. These traits are all very common in domestic violence abusers. The difference lies in being able to control aggressive tendencies effectively. Officer candidates who cannot restrain their aggressive impulses toward others are quickly weeded out of law enforcement academies.

Unfortunately, removing someone from a law enforcement academy for violent behavior does not stop them from abusing their family members. One of the ways that law enforcement is using to try to stop domestic violence is to make people aware that it can happen to anyone, even them. Posters about domestic violence can be found in many locations, including stuck on the mirrors in women's restrooms. Media campaigns are also out there to warn women (and men) that being beaten and mistreated is not appropriate behavior. Many victims of domestic violence are so convinced that they would be nothing without their abuser that they can not imagine leaving. They feel that they must have done something wrong to be hit or threatened or mistreated, and if only they can get it right that person will love them again.

The problem with the victims' reasoning is that they do not realize it is not their fault. The abuser is the one that has the problem, and the victim cannot fix it until the abuser is ready to get help for the anger and feelings that they hold inside of them. Counseling is important for the domestic violence abuser. Often there are issues the abuser is wrestling with that cause the behavior that escalates into mistreatment of loved ones.

Many law enforcement agencies have instituted a 'zero tolerance' policy for domestic violence. This policy applies to the general public, and also to their officers. It is important that the policy clearly state the punishment for offenses and any other repercussions that could come from a domestic violence allegation. Policies for subjects like domestic violence should be straightforward and simple. Too much complex language will become confusing and prone to loopholes. The law should be clearly spelled out in its simplest terms, stating what is unacceptable behavior and what will be done about it.

Another area in which law enforcement is trying to protect the interests of domestic violence victims is social services. Once victims understand that the mistreatment they are undergoing is not their fault, they will need to know what to do to help themselves and their abuser. While some victims just want to be free of the abuser, others want to keep the relationship and avoid the abuse. If the abuser is willing to undergo counseling, there is a chance that this can be accomplished.

Many state programs for domestic violence are remarkably similar in their approach. In addition to media campaigns for education, social services provide training for those that might come into contact with the victims of domestic violence, such as nurses, doctors, and other employees of the public sector. When victims come to social services, they often find the help they need. Typically there are telephone hotlines the victim can call, as well as counseling, legal services, and shelters. Much progress has been made toward protecting the victims of domestic violence, but many state-run programs suffer from a lack of funding, and are not able to help as many victims as they would like to. There are many more victims than there is money and space to help them.

Until more funding can be given to domestic violence programs, there will always be difficulties in helping all of those in need of services. It is also a problem that many victims cannot be convinced that their abuser is the one that is wrong, and they refuse to leave. They feel that if they leave, their abuser will kill them. What they do not realize is that their abuser may kill them if they stay.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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