Domestic Violence A Recurring Difficulty In Modern Society Criminology Essay

Domestic Violence A Recurring Trouble In Modern Society Criminology Essay

Discuss its causes, effects and the legal and different remedies available to handle the difficulty. Analyse whether these remedies happen to be enough or not and lay out how you feel the issue is best handled.

Domestic violence is undoubtedly a serious problem in society. Crime figures in Ireland show that the Gardai record an average of 12 incidents of domestic violence every day (Watson and Parsons 2005). However, domestic violence is certainly not a modern phenomenon. It has existed through the entire centuries but remained largely invisible and unrecorded. Traditionally, domestic violence provides been considered a private matter instead of a criminal offence. Until the 19th century it had been legal and socially suitable for men to conquer their wives (Dobash and Dobash 1979).

Domestic violence can often be associated with physical abuse only. On the other hand, research indicates that normally it takes different forms: physical, sexual and emotional/emotional.

In the span of this essay the causes and effects of domestic violence will come to be explored, drawing on analysis completed in Ireland and internationally. The legal and other remedies may also be outlined and evaluated.


Many theories have been put forward regarding the factors behind domestic violence. One theory is certainly idea of circular causality (Pressman 1989). This view means that a woman is really as responsible for her very own victimization as the man who assaults her. The violence is seen as something they include both created and are both in charge of modifying. Another viewpoint explains violence by reference to the man’s personal background. Research shows that males who witness their parents domestic violence are 3 x more likely to be wife beaters and women of all ages who witness violence as children seek out abusive guys because they saw their moms being abused (Pressman 1989). Pressman (1989) implies witnessing violence against a Mom could make sons more prone to violence themselves as parents, they may be instant to perceive conflict and slow to look at non-violent alternatives for dealing with it. On the other hand, there are no firm conclusions about childhood activities of domestic or different abuse as a reason behind adult misuse or victimization. Pressman (1989) points out that it is not only a subject of modelling whereby a child witnesses a set of behaviours and proceeds to reproduce them: there are effective mediating factors that can shape a number of outcomes. She concludes that certainly not all

violent families and not all children are the same and the replication of violence from era to generation is not inevitable (Pressman 1989).

Domestic violence can often be associated with alcohol consumption, nonetheless it is unclear as to whether alcohol may be the root cause of the problem. Reporting


on a report of married couples, Leonard discovers support for a causal relationship between a husband’s drinking and physical misuse of wives. However, he cautions that:

…despite the support that the existing research program has supplied for a causal purpose of liquor on marital aggression, it

would be a blunder to overstate this function. Alcohol is neither

a required nor a sufficient cause of marital aggression. The

majority of extreme episodes occur without alcoholic beverages, and

men who’ve behaved aggressively with alcohol have often

behaved aggressively without alcoholic beverages as well. The role of

alcohol…appears to be one of a facilitative dynamics, a contributing


(Leonard cited in Watson and Parsons 2005 p.67).

In their study of domestic violence in Ireland, Watson and Parsons identify a variety of triggers of abusive behaviour. A result in is ‘an instant precursor to the behaviour and not necessary the ultimate reason behind violence’ (p. 174). They found that in about two out of five situations the abusive behaviour possessed no specific result in or was triggered by minor incidents. In about one third of cases abuse was linked to the consumption of liquor. The authors conclude that the results are not highly suggestive of a main causal link between usage of alcohol and incidents of domestic violence. In only one quarter of instances was alcohol consumption constantly involved. Similarly, Margaret Martin, director of Women’s Aid, highlights that while there exists a strong link

between alcohol misuse and domestic violence, treating or coping with the alcoholism does not necessarily end the violence (Martin 2009).


However, she does indeed acknowledge that liquor greatly increases the risk to a woman and has obvious links to increased intensity with regards to physical and sexual abuse. Other contributing factors to domestic violence consist of public exclusion, gender inequality, poverty and having a criminal background.

A amount of theorists function from the understanding that domestic abuse is caused by social structures, cultural norms and different elements that endorse or do not challenge the usage of control and misuse by guys against their female partners (Debonnaire et al. 2004). Pressman (1989) suggests that violence against women has persisted inside our society precisely because it does not contradict cultural norms in any fundamental way. She suggests that to some degree just about everyone has been acculturated to perceive violence as an acceptable means of exercising control. Wife misuse also reflects vitality differentials in our society, enjoyed out in the spouse and children. Pressman (1989) points out that the groups against whom violence can be accepted are teams that are socially and economically disadvantaged incorporating ladies, children, racial minorities, the indegent, the mentally ill. Specifically she looks at the monetary inequalities that affect females and their ongoing exclusion from positions of vitality in very many sectors of contemporary society. According to Pressman (1989) there can be an obvious hyperlink between this systematic disempowering of females and their ongoing victimization. Domestic violence simultaneously expresses and reinforces their


disempowered state. The basic problem as she views it, is not simply to end violence as a behaviour (although it is actually important) but more importantly to alter the social arrangements that violence expresses and reinforces. Women can’t be safe when simultaneously they are thought as inferior and subordinate to males.

The impression of domestic violence is certainly far reaching and complex. Domestic violence is a major cause of injury, disability and loss of life for ladies worldwide. Between January 1996 and June 2005, one hundred and nine women had been murdered in Ireland, seventy two of the in their private homes. In those situations which have been resolved, all were perpetrated by a guy and almost 1 / 2 were perpetrated by the woman’s partner or ex-spouse (Debonnaire et al. 2004). Ireland isn’t alone, domestic violence is one of the greatest factors behind death and injury among women global (Amnesty International, 2004). The World Health Organisation has approximated that 70 per cent of feminine murder victims will be killed by their male partners. Their recently released ‘Globe Survey on Violence and Wellbeing’ notes that whereas ‘males are more likely to come to be attacked by a stranger or an acquaintance than by someone within their close circle of interactions….one of the most common kinds of violence against women can be that performed by a husband or male partner’ (Community Overall health Organisation 2001). The Council of Europe has stated that violence in the friends and family is the major cause of death and disability for women of all ages between the


ages of 16 and 44 years. Domestic violence results in more loss of life and ill-

health in women than cancer or road site visitors accidents (Kerr 2004).

Similarly child homicide can often be associated with domestic violence, where the male abuser is abusing the women and the child(ren). Children who are not being abused could be physically harmed if they try to protect parents or are caught in the crossfire (Debonnaire et al. 2004).

Apart from physical harm, domestic violence is also associated with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and different mental health problems. Men and women who’ve been abused report negative mental implications (Watson and Parsons 2005). However, women are more likely than men to have been ‘very frightened or distressed’ by this abuse and to report that the knowledge had ‘a major impression’ on their lives (ibid. p25). Watson and Parsons likewise found that more women than men reported a loss of confidence. In some instances emotional misuse was found to be even more traumatic than physical attacks. Almost 1 / 2 of the severely abused respondents – including those who had suffered severe physical or sexual abuse – listed ‘an emotional incident’ being the worst issue that had took place to them (ibid. p.25). The research also found a distinct link between misuse and marital breakdown.

Domestic abuse can impact on other areas of the victim’s existence, including work and lodging. Watson and Parsons found that two


in five of those severely abused acquired to devote some time off work, while nearly one in eight experienced to leave employment. In some cases it could result in homelessness (O’Halloran 2009). Additionally it is a major expense to the exchequer in health care for the victims (Debonnaire et al. 2004).

Ireland now has a network of women’s support companies and men’s programmes, a civil and criminal justice framework, a consultant policy for the police and other components of domestic misuse intervention. There has been public debate about effective ways of responding to and protecting against domestic abuse (Task Force Report, 1997). The Department of Justice, Equality and Legislation Reform of the government of Ireland coordinates a Steering Committee on Violence against Women. Many sub-committees of the steering committee include one focused on use perpetrators (Debonnaire 2004)..

Traditionally tries to intervene in domestic violence concentrated on

abused girls and their children. In recent years, however, there has been a shift to add a focus on the person who offers perpetrated the abuse. on the perpetrator of the misuse. New policies have already been adopted which concentrate on pro-active forms of intervention and prosecution. Within these interventions ‘treatment’ programmes for men have been introduced. The Dulaith Misuse Intervention Project (Dulaith DAIP) was the world’s first project to put intervention programmes within a co-ordinated


community response that aimed to hold men to take into account their behaviour, improve women’s safety, sanction abusers appropriately and teach men not to abuse (Debonnaire 2004).

There are currently fifteen intervention programmes dealing with domestic abusers in Ireland. Through dealing with perpetrators, these organisations are trying to improve the safety, and reduce science lab report the risks to their partners and kids (Debonnaire et al. 2004). Several evaluations of intervention programmes have already been carried out. Some results may actually show that programmes got limited or no effect on men’s behaviour or women’s safeness. Others show that some programmes can include a positive effect on women’s safe practices and on minimizing men’s abuse, particularly within a co-ordinated network response involving the criminal justice program and women’s support services (Dobash et al, 2002; O’Connor,

1998 cited in Debonnaire 2004).

The legal protection for victims of domestic violence in Ireland includes

elements from both the criminal and civil systems.

The Domestic Violence Take action 1996 allows spouses, cohabitees and father and mother to use for orders, with particular property and residency constraints. It enacted provisions of the Family members Law Act 1981, producing breach of domestic violence purchase an arrestable offence and enabling Gardai to arrest an offender for suspected real bodily injury or grievous bodily


harm without witnessing the violence. The Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Action, 1997 addresses criminal areas of domestic violence, making most forms of physical violence utilized by domestic abusers a crime.

Victims of domestic violence can

apply for three type of civil orders: protection orders (an interim buy, which the court could make while a complete hearing is pending for just one of the other orders), safety orders (which prohibits violence or threats of violence, molesting or watching the place where the applicant or dependant person resides) and barring orders which prohibits the person from entering the place where the applicant resides likewise prohibits violence, threats of violence, molesting or seeing where the applicant or dependant person resides). Relating to Nester (2007) it really is clear from a High Court decision in the case of McA -v- McA (1981) that it’s not essential to prove real or threatened violence in order to avail of a barring order. The wife in all these circumstance claimed that her health and wellbeing have been adversely effected by her husbands continued lack of conversation. Judge Costello granted a barring order on the grounds that the husband’s conduct had seriously influenced the welfare of the wife. Where the Courtroom believes there can be an immediate threat of significant injury to the applicant or dependant child, or that a protection order might not exactly be sufficient to safeguard the candidate, an interim barring buy could be granted. This order gets the same effect as a


barring order, and lasts until the Court determines the application for the barring order. Safety orders can go on up to five years and barring orders for up to three years and will be renewed after that (Nester 2007).

According to Margaret Martin (2006) Director of Women’s Aid, the 1996 Domestic Violence Action falls short in a number of significant areas, leaving many victims of domestic violence unable to access cover in the civil courts. She states the Act specifies in which a cohabitee wishes to use for a barring order, two key conditions must be satisfied: the applicant will need to have resided with the respondent for six of the prior nine a few months in aggregate. They need to manage to prove an equal or greater fascination in the property. To use for a safety purchase, the applicant will need to have resided with the respondent for six of the previous 12 weeks in aggregate.

Ms Martin (2009) argues that these restrictions have prevented many women from accessing cover. Some may have been living with their partners for as well short a period or many may be separated from him too much time. Others may well not have lived with their abuser at all. Separation she says is often the most dangerous time for a woman with the misuse becoming more frequent, extreme and dangerous. Ten % of callers to the Women’s Aid helpline in 2008 were being abused by past partners who were not married. Ms Martin (2009) also points out there are no legal provisions for ladies in dating relationships. She states that the law is powerless to protect women who were never married or have never


lived with the abuser. This also applies to women who’ve children but usually do not live with the daddy of the child, they cannot apply for domestic violence orders because they do not fit in the cohabitation requirements. This falls brief of UN rules for domestic violence legislation, which state that legislation should apply at the very least to people who are or who have been in an intimate marriage, including marital, non-marital, same-sex and non-cohabiting romantic relationships (Martin 2009).

A number of groupings including Women’s Aid, the Law Society, the Law Reform Commission, the Government Task Force on Violence against Females and Amnesty Ireland, own needed the 1996 Domestic Violence Take action to be amended so that you can address these issues. Holland (2009) claims that unacceptable delays in the family group courts are causing women, intimidated by violent spouses and companions, to drop applications for barring orders. She points out that the first port of call for a woman searching for a barring or protection order against a violent or abusive person is the District Court. Currently females face an eleven week hang on between applying for an buy and a court hearing. Within that period she says a lot of women come under enormous pressure to withdraw their applications. She argues that the abuser has a lot of time to focus on the victim. She said once a credit card applicatoin is withdrawn it really is unlikely the woman, who be even more demoralised, would re-enter in it. A report released by Amnesty International points out that of 8,452 incidents of


domestic violence reported to the Garda in 2003, less than half led to barring orders from the courts. It looked at convictions of perpetrators in the courts, statistics indicate that good prosecutions occurred in mere 7.7 per cent of these cases. The report as well states that there’s not been an individual conviction for marital rape in this nation, despite specific legislation which makes it a crime since 1990 and its regular occurrence as reported by victims to organisations such as Women’s Aid (Raferty 2005).

Women’s refuges provide protected crisis accommodation for women and their children who are escaping from physical, sexual and mental misuse in their homes. They offer support and relevant information for women whether or not they certainly are a resident in a refuge or not really.

They also assist ladies understand their legal rights and entitlements and offer court accompaniment where necessary. Studies show that it’s mainly working course and traveller girls who use refuges as these ladies have no access to money or other places to go. This will not mean that domestic violence is confined to working category or traveller households. The Women’s Help National Freephone Helpline deals with thousands of calls and advice visits from middle income and affluent women each year. Holland (2009) reviews that more than 1,700 women of all ages fleeing spouses or companions were turned from refugees in 2008 because of insufficient space. Figures express that there was a 21 % upsurge in demand for domestic violence providers in 2008, as compared with 2007.


Safe Ireland, which signifies 40 domestic violence solutions throughout Ireland, said over 5,000 girls accessed domestic violence solutions annually. This body is rising relating to Sharon O’Hallaran Safe Ireland Director, the reasons for the surge are tough to pinpoint, she stated. Raised awareness about the option of help could mean more women are coming onward. She as well said the financial downturn was exacerbating the problem of many women, economic stresses will always make points worse. She attacked the Governments proposed cuts in funding, up to 30 % to some services, at the same time when demand can be up.

An analysis of refuges surveying the opinions of women who’ve used the services discovered that 38 per cent said they would have no other alternative if refuge had not been available. The analysis also discovered that 98 % of ladies received all or some of the help they had a need to stay safe and 95 per cent felt better outfitted to get what they necessary for themselves and their children. What this tells us regarding to Ms O’Halloran is that the services will work.

While the remedies thought to be so far have focused on many interventions and legal prohibitions, this does not necessarily tackle some of the social conditions which will make domestic violence likely. As noted earlier, some theorists think that it is society’s tolerance of domestic violence that allows it to continue. Hence, it is important to address public perception of violence in the home. The Report on the National


Study of Domestic Misuse (Watson and Parsons 2005) makes some recommendations. Even though many of their recommendations relate with the legal system and state companies, the authors likewise emphasise the necessity for education and higher public awareness to make certain that the damaging ramifications of domestic misuse are understood. This would include, for instance, a compulsory module on domestic violence to come to be included in the SPHE program for secondary schools. It could also involve a open public awareness media campaign centered on violence against females and children.

In conclusion, Ireland has improved substantially over the past decade in the number and quality of services open to victims of domestic violence. However, it can’t be said that significant improvement has been made in eradicating domestic violence. Figures present that domestic violence case history definition can be on the increase, simultaneously the Government are making cuts on a regular basis to the offerings, with talks of foreseeable future cuts of up to thirty per cent for some services (Holland 2009). Even more cuts are unavoidable in situations of recession which unfortunately is when the majority of these services are virtually all needed. As is evidenced in this essay the services will be stretched to the limit at the moment, with refuges turning ladies away due to lack of space, oftentimes these women return house to the abuser. Likewise with regard to companies for rape victims, the lack of financing is evidenced by the fact that there are only 5 centres in Ireland that have forensic establishments for victims of rape.


Many women and indeed men and children have to travel around up to four hours (without washing) to attain a facility where they are often examined. This reveals how low important the problem of rape is for this Government. Women’s Help helpline reports calls going unanswered due to lack of funding. It is very important therefore, that the government address the inadequacies which exist with regard to funding of the essential companies. The welfare and protection of women and kids and indeed men has to be prioritised, there keeps growing evidence that many a large number of men will be victims of domestic misuse, and incredibly little support is offered for them.

Another issue that needs to be resolved urgently by politicians and policy-makers may be the ‘over-burdening’ of the judges. Reports suggest that the District Courtroom is groaning beneath the weight of the needs on it. Which, as already mentioned, leads to delays as high as eleven weeks between trying to get an purchase and a court hearing. This serious burden on the courts not only results the victims of misuse but it also implies that Judges are under incredible pressure, one judge is certainly shown regularly to possess seventy cases on his daily list (Irish Instances 2007). With such much caseload it seems impossible to give everyone the full focus they deserve. Another issue with regard to the courts that needs to be addressed will be the rights of kids. Holland (2009) says that children suffer terribly as a result of witnessing and hearing the abuse of their moms, and again because the courts haven’t any mechanism to have


children’s opinions heard when, for instance, applications for access are made by the abusive mother or father. She believes that the probation support should be called upon to interview children within an unbiased manner and then report back again to the courts. Children should be eligible for have a say with regard to issues that directly impact them. Another service that needs continued financing is perpetrator programmes, an increase in the amount of individuals completing treatment programmes coupled with support products and services for victims, a larger awareness of the effects of domestic violence and a noticable difference generally in circumstances for ladies and the marginalised in our society may lead with time to the reduction of domestic violence in Ireland.