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Introduction - Domestic Violence Assignment
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A survey by the WHO, in 2002 had said that the 20th century will be recalled and remembered as a century of violence. Violence has been present as a part of human experience since time immemorial (Lloyd, 2018). The effects can be seen in different forms, in almost every part of the world, whether it's a developed nation or undeveloped one. No country or community has been left untouched by the negative and harmful impacts of violence and barbarity.
News of brutality and barbarity pervades the world of media. It is found in schools, universities, our homes, workplaces and even the streets (Goodmark, 2017). Every year around 1.6 million individuals lose their lives to a range of violence inflicted upon them. Violence can be divided into three broad categories- self-directed violence, collective violence and interpersonal violence (Seinfeld et al., 2018). The report here concentrates on the Interpersonal violence, especially domestic violence, theories related to it and the impact it causes on a large scale as well as how it affects the social, emotional and psychological balance of the individual victim and its wider effect on public health.
1. Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is any form of brutality or a barbaric act that is committed by an individual or a group within the domestic circle of the victim. This act of violence can be committed by either partner, in laws, close family members or ex partners. The very term “domestic violence” implies that there is a close and intimate relationship between the victim and the offender (Harris et al., 2019). It can take the form of physical, psychological or sexual abuse.
The various forms of domestic brutality are:
- All forms of physical abuse by an intimate present or former partner. This includes abuse and stalking.
- Acts of honor based violence like honor killings, forced marriages, genital mutilation etc.
- Child abuse
- Senior abuse
Factors that give rise to domestic and intimate partner violence are:
- Low income of the offender or the victim or the family.
- Heavy alcohol dependence or drug abuse.
- Low self-esteem and the need to show domination.
- Low educational achievement
- Depression and other emotional trauma
- Unemployment and lacking social nonviolent problem solving capabilities
These are the few causes that give rise to violence-whether domestic or any other form. Intimate partner violence is a key health issue due to the fact that it affects more than two million women and almost a million men (Dragiewicz et al., 2018). These results in injury, death, homelessness at an individual level and billions of dollars lost in health care expenses and productivity loss at work on a wider scale. Thus, it can be seen that domestic violence affects not only the victim and the offender but everyone in the vicinity and also affects the public health at large (Parkinson, 2019). The causes discussed as triggers or reasons are just the half-truth. Domestic abuse has been and still is endorsed in the various communities and societies via legal allowance of the conquest of women and the lack of legal and protection laws for women and the LGBTQ community especially. These forms of abuses and violence not only result in the physical injuries but also emotional and psychological injuries and shocks in the victims and even deaths. Media reports of famous celebrities also becoming victims to the acts of violence shows that no strata or section of society is untouched by the perils of this problem.
Teen abuse is also increasing at an alarming rate. Nearly 7% of children from 7th to 12th grade have been sufferers of physical violence and 20% of the youngsters have faced psychological violence (Reaves, 2017). The impacts of these abuses have been seen to affect victims in numerous ways like- practicing dangerous sexual behaviors, drug abuse, suicidal and self-harming behaviors, eating disorders to name a few. Major complications have also led to severe physical injury, including deaths. These victims also are prone to become offenders in the later phases of their lives. The mental trauma stunts the developmental growth of these children that are victims themselves or witness such barbaric acts inflicted upon their friends or family members. Teens and children that have been witnesses to violence are under the constant fear of something similar happening to them and are fifteen times more likely to become victims of domestic abuse.
2. Theories Relating to Domestic Violence
Object Relations Theory:
This theory is dependent on the logic that human beings are stimulated by incidents from their early childhood. The need for connecting and creating meaningful relationships with other humans and other individuals who are referred to as “objects” to understand this particular theory without any confusion. According to Fairbairn, relationships created in the early childhood years of a human helps in the psychic development as well as forms the handling and enduring canvas or “templates” for the individual’s relationships in the future. The object relations theory suggests that human beings develop the mental depiction of themselves, other humans and relationships with the other individuals in the very beginning of their infancy and toddler years and that these mental representations and depictions are carried over to the years of teenage and adulthood and these influence their interpersonal connections throughout their lives.
Various esteemed theorists of object relations propose that children’s initial experiences in their relationship with the nanny or the guardian who provides primary care lay the base for the stable, internalized and enduring mental depictions of others, oneself and the emotional events that are connected to this relationship with oneself and in between others. The initial years are significant for the growth and development of emotional balance and health in the later years of life (Sardinha and Catalán, 2018). Accidents or witnessing abuse and violence in these years can cause havoc on the skills of the child in maintaining self-esteem, regulating emotional harmony and managing anxiety. As a result of which, in order to fulfill this unmet dependency as a grown-up he/she becomes demanding and desperate, later giving rise to relations in which one is either the victim or the abuser. It has a retrograde effect.
This theory focuses on the reciprocation factor between two individuals in a relationship. Attachment can be defined as the reciprocal emotional tie in between the child and the person responsible to care for them, with both the sides contributing actively to the quality of the connection (Sediri et al., 2020). According to the theorists Bowlby and Aisworth, early attachment theorists, a child grows and develops a “working model” of what he/she can expect from the custodian. If the guardian or the nanny continues to provide the same care and keeps fulfilling the child’s expectations, this “working model” developed by the child holds its place (van Der Put et al., 2019). Whereas the failure to do so, or when the care giver’s reactions and actions become unnatural or unpredictable, the child is then forced to think or create a new model and hence, the security quotient of this attachment begins to change.
The child begins to build an overview of their own self-worth based on the early experiences of the care taker’s availability and readiness to provide for protection and care. The attachment theory elucidates that child violence and abuse results in the formation of anxious and insecure bonding and attachments that can be disorganized, ambivalent and avoidant. Studies have proven that attachment that is insecure takes place mostly in children who have gone through neglect or physical abuse as a child. It also explains the carrying on of children maltreatment from one generation to another.
This theory is bottomed on the concept that various household conflicts are the result of a human’s need to maintain and obtain power and control over a relationship with a person they think is submissive or should be submissive in the relationship. The influence underlying the offender’s behavior is control and power that the person tries to exert on other members of the family (Voce and Boxall, 2018). The more powerful members within the family use threat or forceful actions and violence to acquire compliance from the members that are less powerful, either physically or financially. These abusers also want to control the other members' thoughts and feelings. They use various forms of intimidation as control mechanisms like isolation, coercion, economic abuse etc. The victims of these learn with time how to avoid such outbursts but the struggle to challenge the offender is dangerous and overwhelming for them. As a coping mechanism the victim starts giving up on their own control to avoid such aggressive behavior.
3. Impact of Domestic Violence in Context of Public Health
Violence not only affects the victim and the offender but involves and affects anyone and everyone in the vicinity. Domestic abuse and violence not only affects the individual but also has wider impacts on the public and public health. Just like it was discussed in the theories that a person who witnesses the abuser and the victim also has long term impacts on their health. Effects on the community are huge (Postmus et al., 2020). Children that grow up without learning the importance of respectful and positive relationships have often become future victims or abusers. These people end up going to prison either because of mental injury or physical injury that they inflict on others. Domestic violence leads to higher dependence on alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms. This gives rise to various illegal activities like drug peddling and smuggling. Domestic violence is assumed to cost the New South Wales economy around 4.5 billion dollars every year, which is a huge public expenditure which could have been otherwise used to help the economy’s growth.
The effect that domestic violence has on mental health and psychology is also paramount to be discussed (Woodlock et al., 2020). Both the sexual violence and physical abuse have huge risks of mental health, especially among women. The most common health outcomes are depression, post traumatic disorders, suicide and self-harm, sleeping and eating disorders, psychosomatic disorders to name a few. Sexual and physical abuse acts in childhood have also been linked with numerous risk behaviors that include early and dangerous sexual activities, alcohol dependence, drug abuse, choosing toxic partners later in life, and decrease in the rates of protections and contraceptives used (Sullivan, 2018). Women and children that have history of sexual abuse often have feelings of emptiness and worthlessness and find it difficult to differentiate between acts of affection and aggression. This also results in an increase in the number of school dropouts and college dropouts. That brings the discussion to the next consequence of domestic violence and its effects on the working environment. The coercive control discussed in the control theory is the main factor that is responsible for violence in the workplace and the impacts and its consequences in the lifestyle of the victim. The dominant partner tries to manipulate and control their partner’s social interactions, control the children and parenting behaviors, economic and emotional control and threats of violence. All these factors can play a role in destroying the psychology of the victim affecting their self-esteem, confidence and to retain a meaningful job.
The effects of family violence have become a major issue at the workplace. The economic violence has a direct effect on the ability of women to work (Lucena, 2017). Not letting the women keep money for travel and basic human needs is also a form of economic abuse. Researchers have shown that women who are affected or have a history of domestic violence are less likely to work a full time job and often get paid less than women that come from healthy families. A survey revealed that 38% of women murders have been committed by some male member of their family, most of which have been committed at the place of work.
Violence has been present as a part of human experience since time immemorial. The effects can be seen in different forms, in almost every part of the world, whether it's a developed nation or undeveloped one. No country or community has been left untouched by the negative and harmful impacts of violence and barbarity.
It's challenging to define the appropriate actions of public health in order to prevent violence. Though violence has been existent since long but only under the criminal judiciary system. It is just recently that violence has drawn a multi sectored perspective. Identification of the determinants of the patterns and looking for scope of intervention is important.
Part two: Assignment two
Description about the website
The website women’s aid is a national charity organization who works to end domestic violence against children’s and women. This website coordinates and shapes responses to domestic violence and abuse through practices more than 45 years. The survivors of domestic violence are empowered, by keeping their voice is the main part of their work. They work for children and women by listening to their problems and responding to their requirements. This website is based on women’s struggle against male violence, sexism and patriarchy (Home - Women's Aid, 2021). In the current situation they take an intersectional approach to end domestic violence and stand strong with other organizations who support feminism leading the way to eliminating domestic violence against girls and women. The values of this website define the organization and design their decision making and organizational behaviour. Women’s aid website can end domestic abuse by representing the national membership which gives domestic violence service to survivors all over the world. Campaigning and lobbying is done by them to improve responses to needs of the survivors and bring systematic changes. This website is open for every woman who has survived domestic violence and members of this website will support them. They provide a platform for the voice of the survivors. As a national charity they have a major role in representing diversity. They work to deliver and promote inclusive and safe services. They share their platform, work collaboratively and provide opportunities to individuals who have faced domestic abuse or violence.
The CARS framework (credibility, accuracy, reasonableness and support) is designed to simplify the use of women’s aid websites. Using the CARS framework and applying the criteria will help to distinguish between a poor quality information from a high quality information.
Important decision is always made by the people based on reliability, evidence of authenticity and information or believability or credibility is always necessary. After reading the website it is important to know that the information provided in the website should be believed or not. The credibility of this website includes sufficient evidence to make the argument effective. Reason and compelling arguments are given in this report. Sufficient detention is given in this website with a reasonable conclusion. The source of this website shows evidence of being truthful, reliable and knowledgeable (The CARS Checklist (Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, Support), 2021). This source can be believable as it is an authentic website. The information about this source is obtained from individuals who have faced domestic violence and raised their voice. This source can be believed over another source because this is a non- government website and information provided in this website is correct.
People who have gone through domestic violence can feel free to contact this website through telephone or e-mail when such information is given. Communicating with the website will give evidence about the credibility. This website is said to be credible because-
- The phone number and the address of this website is always visible. And it is easy for the individuals who have faced domestic violence to contact this website.
- The information provided in the website is in simple language which will be easy for people to understand and the grammar and spelling of this website is correct.
The main aim of the accuracy test is done in this website to ensure that the information provided in this website is correct. The information provided in this website is correct, comprehensive, exact, detailed, factual and up to date. The origin of the website is determined and this can be identified by the name of the website. This particular website is non-government as it uses “.org” after the name of the website along with the country of the origin by using the code of the country as “.uk” for England. A fair idea is obtained from the name of the website of its reliability. If the evaluation process is determined, the purpose and content of the website is examined. This website is intended for reducing domestic violence and sharing a platform for those people who have faced domestic abuse. There is enough data in the website, up-to-date information is provided in the website which proves that the website is accurate. It is sure that the intended audience and the purpose of this website is appropriate to the requirements of people and have clear evidence so that it can be taken into account.
To measure the reasonableness of the women’s aid website consistency, moderateness, objectivity and fairness of the website is analysed.
The reasonable test of this website in the awards exam meaning the consistency, moderateness, objectivity e and fairness of the information. This website does not provide advertisement and is appropriate.
Fairness: after looking at the well-reasoned and balanced arguments. The tone of the website is thoughtful and factual. A proper source of information is claimed in this website along with presenting or arguing material thoughtfully, reasonable tone.
Objectives: The objective is impossible to determine. Some organisation and individual and not neutral and be on the lookout for political and slanted work.
Moderateness: my own experience and knowledge is utilized to analyse the information as possible, likely or probable.
Consistency: The findings and facts in the website do not contradict himself in other parts of the same website. Sometime when individual distort the truth or spin falsehoods, contraindication or in consistency shows up.
Most of the data and information presented in a website comes from other sources. It is important to determine the source of information of the website. The source of information of this website is mostly obtained from individuals who have faced domestic violence. The information creator uses other sources such as e-mail or telephone. It doesn't have other documentation and bibliography. It is necessary to make statistical information about the website. Or else anyone can make up numbers. Properly acknowledging and citing information sources is important.
Corroboration: it says the other websites agree with the information provided in the women’s aid website. Conformability and corroboration is an important test. Three sources should be evaluated to analyse the opinions and finding of the website. Corroboration is necessary when surprising or dramatic information is determined.
External consistency: the external consistency is analysed of this website which required a comparison with the new sources. It is important to harmonize the other source. The claims which are made in this website are supported by figures and facts. The citation and documentation of the source for statics and facts used in the website.
Recommendation on how gaps in these resources could be addressed
The website lacks in providing documentation and citation. It is important for the website to put proper citation along with bibliography. Content of a website is the main part and it should be true. The website should be designed more to attract the survivor to raise their problems. It is also important to provide the information on the website correctly. Relevant information about domestic violence and how their website can help them should be provided.
Website loading time is another factor which should be focused. The average loading time of a website is a quality that can make the quality of the website better (Boserup et al. 2020). Optimization of this website is required to ensure that not much time is required to load. The website takes more than three seconds to load which should be fixed. If the website fixes the problem of loading it will simultaneously decrease the bounce rate of the site. If the visitors in this site leaves due to the problem of loading it will affect the bounce rate of the site, and eventually this will reflect how google classified the website. It means that if the website has a high bounce rate then it is a good website and if the bounce rate is low then the website is not good (Goodmark, 2017). The appearance of the women’s aid website should be more attractive. As this should not be taken lightly.
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