Domestic Violence in Heterosexual Relationships

1 Nov

This week I chose to read domestic violence. This reading provided new information about domestic violence, as well as feminist social-justice theory perspective. The purpose of this is so that families that have experienced abuse can become healthy and functioning. Of course, domestic violence is usually thought of in terms of the male being the dominating one (the abuser). Domestic violence is not only just physical abuse, it is also emotional, sexual, and economic abuse. Not only that, but as well as threats, intimidation, isolation, and control just to name a few. What I found interesting was how the book described domestic violence, which was: “gender norms taken to their extreme”. There is also always justification in the abuse. Men and women alike, who abuse others, tend to argue they have a just reason, or are doing the act in a calm way to teach respect. Image


Now this was a highly publicized altercation between singers Chris Brown and Rihanna that happened a while back, but it is still spoken of. Chris Brown caused some great bodily harm to Rihanna, and is said to even have threatened her. For a brief time, after the incident, Rihanna and Chris Brown were seen vacationing together. I still don’t know how this is possible. I find it very shocking that someone who was physically abused, I would assume more than once, would run back to the person who abused them. I get that there is perhaps fear and forgiveness involved in these kinds of situations, but this is once case I had a difficult time understanding. 


Leslie Morgan Steiner gave a pretty powerful talk about how she was living a really great life, but at the time, the person she thought loved her was threatening to kill her over and over. He had a gun that he would point to her head, and she cannot even count the number of times he threatened her. She says that domestic abuse happens to EVERYONE. It is not just a women’s issue. Abuse also only happens in interdependent, intimate, long-term relationships; which is usually families. In the United States, women ages 16-24 are 3x’s as likely to be domestic violence victims as women of any other age. There was just so much information in this video, it was a bit overwhelming; especially coming from someone who was abused. 


This article just defined domestic violence, and gave some warning signs about those that might be in abusive relationships. The article says that women who have fewer resources, are perceived to have be a lot more vulnerable to abuse than others. It even spoke about the mental health effects of domestic abuse. Abuse tends to cause trauma, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and even homelessness. People are likely to be more at risk to attempt/commit suicide. There are just so many factors that come into play when one is experiencing abuse (any kind). It really does show you that anyone, at any given time, can be experiencing abuse. 


Jackson Katz argues that calling gender violence a “women’s issue” is a problem. One of the problems with this is that men tune out after they here “women’s issue”. He says men have been erased from a subject that is essentially about men. Our cognitive structure is set up to ask the victims questions, to ask women questions. This talk was so good, and so informative. It is important for men and women to realize that this is wrong, and address this issue, so that everyone is informed about domestic violence. 


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