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Domestic Violence and Race

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Domestic violence is a phenomenon that is understood differently in different cultural backgrounds yet it is still one of the major gender-related social issues affecting the world today. It is abusive behavior of a person in which the person uses intimidation, deception, pestering, force, manipulation, or harassment to gain control over his or her spouse. The definition has also been enlarged to include violence against children, parents’ siblings or other close relations. Majority of violence in a relationship are mainly women, one in every three women experiences at least one physical assault by her partner in her adulthood.

Domestic violence affects both men and women similarly. Despite various cultural interpretations it is still a serious social problem in the world. The causes of domestic violence are both many and many a time not clear. Trend of domestic violence exist in the relationships of many couples today. It cuts across the various social groups in the United States. Domestic violence affects both policy formulation and implementation concerning how race and gender issues can be used to enhance the social well being of the society. Domestic abuse has one purpose, to gain and maintain control over the victim. Form and uniqueness of domestic violence may differ in many ways.

The exact occurrence of domestic violence in America is hard to establish for a number of reasons, some goes unreported.  However, a report of the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics published in May, 2000 sheds some light on some part of domestic violence.  The report is based on their survey (National Crime Victimization Survey), and on data from the FBI (homicide data).  In this report domestic violence is defined as violent crimes by current or former spouses, boyfriends, and girlfriends.  From their data, women experienced at least 900,000 violent offences at the hands of an intimate, and men were victims of at least 160,000 violent crimes by an intimate partner in 1998. Their report, however, did not mention emotional abuse, harassment or stalking.

The common factor linking the relationships affected by domestic violence is the emotional bond existing between the involved partners. (Davis, 2008) Domestic violence is a unique and distinct entity. Socially, its implication portrays a narrow scope because of how it is handled. People use the term to refer to violence touching women perpetuated by men, this exclude the kind of violence in same sex relationship and other forms of violence against close relations including child abuse. (Johnson et al, 2008).

Because of its broad and general nature, the term domestic violence can be discussed as violence within different sex relationships so that gender roles can be considered. Child abuse can be considered in the sense that violence that occurs within family set up with children leaves them as the mostly affected. The most common forms of domestic violence are violence against women by men and violence against men by women.  Domestic violence focuses mainly on cases where women are victims of the abuse by there male partners. This is because this type of violence is the mostly reported form of social abuse (Johnson et al, 2000).

Domestic violence is abuse involving contact intended to cause a feelings of fear, hurting, injury, or other physical and bodily harm. It can be Physical abuse which include beating, slapping, punching, pushing, chocking or any other abuse that result in physical injury. Physical abuse may also include such behaviors as denying the victim medical attention, depriving the victim sleep or other attention needed for a living, using force against the victim against his or her will. It also includes acts which causes a psychological harm in the victim.

Sexual abuse as where one use force to gain unwanted sexual favors. Forced sexual act intimidates the affected partner and is in fact an act of aggression and violence. Sexual abuse is a situation where a person uses physical force to intimidate another person to engage in a sexual act without his or her consent.  It also involves a sexual act or attempt with a person who cannot understand the nature of the sexual act, unable to decline or cannot express his unwillingness not to engage in the act.

Emotional abuse also referred to as psychological or mental abuse is a situation where one person is humiliated by another in either public or private, controlling what the person can and cannot do, intentionally doing something to make the person feel embarrassed, isolating the person from family and friends, blackmail or denying the perso0n the basic necessities. People who are being abused emotionally ofte3n feel insignificant. Verbal abuse involves the use of language. It is a form of abuse that can occur with or without the use of force against the victim. It also involves abuse in written words. Economic abuse is where the abuser has control over the other person’s money or other economic resources.

The black Americans experience domestic violence at high rates compared to their numerical representation in United States. The disadvantages of socioeconomic factors affect the rates of domestic violence. Racial discrimination alters how African-American women receive treatment through domestic violence resources and how they identify resources. For that reason, because of racism African-American women have definite concerns when making decisions about domestic violent associations and what resources would be good for them. The concerns consist of the analysis of the race as a whole, the perceptions of black-American men, how black-American families are treated by American society, economic concerns, and how American government protects victims and treat the perpetrators.

Black and Hispanic women, particularly Black women in more wealthy neighborhoods, are, according to a new analysis published in the journal Public Health Reports, the most overrepresented in police-reported domestic violence information, compiled by the Rhode Island Department of Health. Four University researchers found that even though Black and Hispanic women make up six percent of the united state's 1990 population, they represented more than 17 percent of victims  of domestic violence in police reports documenting domestic violence and sexual assault.

Poverty is the most important factor contributing to the do0mestic violence in America. This is especially the black American community. Lack of economic security is the most crucial element contributing to the domestic violence incidences. Poverty contributes to the majority of the social ills in the society. Black women and children especially are the mostly affected. Poverty has limited the accessibility to quality education for children, job opportunities, clean and safe residence, quality food, of which all depends on money.

Relationships become stained when the woman earns up to four percent more than their male counterparts. When such a case happens there is a high probability that the man will become abusive in the relationship, as the gap widens, then the higher the chances of abuse. On the issue of economic abuse, the conventional economic model of the family, which puts the man as the family’s sole breadwinner, does not show the reality in most families of the white Americans, where both partners are expected to have jobs.

Black American women gladly accept the duty of contributing to the family income. The economic abuse that gets manifest in a family may involve manipulative behavior where the man may get in the way by interfering with the woman’s capacity to make decisions concerning family funds, even misuse of income that she may have earned. Women who regularly do small wage jobs have at times had to decide between the abuse at home and being homeless with children.

About a third of the women with children in the destitute shelters mention domestic violence as the major reason of their homelessness. Homeless mothers have a higher risk of losing their children to the foster-care scheme through compulsory actions of child protective services. Presently, welfare reauthorization bills of the United States Congress do not satisfactorily deal with the economic abuse of mothers who have lived in domestic violence.

The incidences of domestic violence, as mentioned earlier, is mostly involving men abusing women. It is viewed that the men has the right to maintain control over women.  Men therefore uses Violence is used to achieve this. The main aim of men abusing women is to gain approval from other men in the society. When carefully considered, these thoughts imply that while men continue to keep such power in the society, domestic violence will be stirred and perpetuated.

Fortunately, the society has taken considerable steps to neutralizing such power. In the previous years in the country, a woman major role was to be wife, mother and house keeper. These made it unnecessary for women to have more than the basic education. Girls used to attend dame to just to gain general knowledge on the most necessary issues. In the recent years, the society has made it possible for women to gain as much education. Generally women have risen in status. Married women are not only seen as house keepers but can go to the extend of acquiring property. By “1985 about 53 percent of all college students were Women they also earned the right to vote in the year 1919.

These definitions of gender roles are everywhere and are found throughout daily social interactions; they are unavoidable in American society, and their social ramifications are not lacking substance. An understanding of these gender constructions in the media is essential for a comprehensive discussion of domestic violence. Males are raised with the idea that, in order to be truly masculine, they must be in control of “their” women (Johnson, 2008). When this control is in question, whether by his own personal insecurities or perhaps stimulated by the presence of a successful or an unfaithful woman, he relies on the prescribed male characteristics of strength, toughness and dominance to reaffirm his control, thus leading him to resort to violence. Women, having been similarly socialized into their gender roles, respond with the submissive and timid nature that society attributes to them. This interaction of male and female gender roles leads to situations in which many women do not report or respond to spousal abuse for fear of deviating from societal expectations, oftentimes going as far as to blame themselves for the violence,

The reality that this matter was put into attention by the feminist lobby group rather than being framed as an issue of common social interests has had an important consequence on how society presently understands the dilemma. First and foremost, as policies are being formulated in the past thirty years, their text in general prescribes to women a clear role as basically powerless victims. Such a generality creates misunderstanding concerning instances in which the females react against their vindictive husbands with substantial hostility in an endeavor to protect themselves. An option and preferably simpler means of managing an abusive relationship, relying on the system for protection, is neither ideal nor simple in practice.

It is frequently tricky to ensure a women’s safety due to a lack of accessible resources along with a variety of other practical difficulties (Williams et al, 2008). This unlucky inadequacy creates a predicament for women in brutal relationships, if they use physical self protection to contest abuse they may forfeit their place as a sufferer, thereby making them potentially unable to get protection, but if they depend on formal protection or the generally usual fear for children of the pair, should there be any. Despite the consequences, changes in either marriage or divorce rates may find basis in various social changes that have occurred over the past few years. Such changes comprise women having more or being in control of over their fecundity through birth control pills, decline in women’s monetary reliance on men with their access into the professional employment, and couples opting to marry at letter ages than in previous years. Furstenberg, 1994).

The beginning of divorce laws that has steadily taken place for decades also contributes a significant stride in the growth of the institution since it tainted the legal process in its entirety. Previous to these laws, the legal aspect of separation was neither immediate nor proficient unless one party could ascertain a mistake on the part of the other. Nevertheless, the laws have been passed, providing enough reason for lawfully terminating a marriage very easily.

The main term mentioned is exposure reduction, referring to the conception that women's safety has an unhelpful association with the quantity of time they are in touch with their abuser. On this perspective, divorce may be used as an escape in that it offers the chance for women to physically come out of abusive violent relationships (Stoltenberg et al, 2008, p. 282). It is essential therefore to note that abuse and violence are not equally classified; abuse is mental or emotional and does not involve physical. Stolzenberg and D Aleesio also discuss a theory that opposes the safety valve point of view, called the retaliation thesis. This theory suggests that abuse does not reduce with divorce but continues as a way of attempting to regain power over the woman or the relationship. Their analysis showed “that as the mandatory separation period increases for couples seeking divorce, the spouse victimization rate is magnified” (Stolzenberg et al, 2008, p. 292).

The views discussed by Stolzenberg and Aleesio are significant and gives an interesting lead. However, there are positive aspects that are missing in various ways. The authors suggest a deliberation of the economic decline that women typically encounter after a divorce, these may leave them incapable or reluctant to leave a violent marriage and more so when there are children involved.

The media, as earlier mentioned, is to be anticipated as a reliable and unavoidable way in which people are socialized. The conception that men should be focal, tough and in control is essential to remember, but masculinity is even more distinct for black men since there is little diversity for them to start with in the culture.

The issue of domestic violence has unreservedly become a black or white issue. Beliefs about justice in their cases were shown as separated by race. For example, a Los Angeles Times poll indicated that "71% of whites said they thought Simpson committed the murders, while 70% of blacks said they thought he was innocent." There were no polls shown taken by gender. In fact, they did not show through the polls that were done by race including comparative numbers of men and women of either race. It also did not show the income or social status.

Racism affects all aspects of a life. An examination of how racism affects black American women in terms of domestic violence shows that Racism affects how black American women get treatment through domestic violence resources. It also affects how   these women view these resources. Black American women, therefore have different issues when deciding on a violent relationship, and the kind of resources they would find to be helpful. These issues include the perception of race, black American men, and African American families.

 Asians are usually seen as being good in math despite the fact that they are not innately different from whites or blacks or any other race. To a certain extent, there is possible rather exceptional about the socialization of Asians develops that skill. Unlike the white or the blacks. Additionally to deny certain group recognition for their deeds or achievements based on generalizations and stereotypes that they are likely to succeed in other things than others. Socialization is likely to affect the way people will develop their skills. This affect how they develop in certain field compared to others.

While such inclination can not seem to be important, they sometimes may make a person feel that in order to succeed in an a certain field not related with his or her race, an aspect of that racial character must be changed. Marshall Mothers, a white rapper, famously called Eminem, has been constantly accused of acting black. His career in the music scene as dominated by black Americans,

If people sacrificed some of their racial identity in pursuing a type of accomplishment not by tradition ascribed to their racial group, it is just as imperative to regard as the persons who are not eager to make this sacrifice and, to a certain extent, than follow a certain type of success, prefer to continue being true to their socially distinct mode of behavior.

Racism against black American Women inside the subject of Domestic Violence Racism is an obstacle for the black American people affected by domestic violence in getting enough resources to leave the abuser and carry on a life free from violence. Professor of Law and domestic violence expert Zanita E. Fenton explain on the history of black Americans and the current state of black American women as the affected victims of domestic violence.

The black American woman, on the other hand, is not small, delicate, soft, or passive. But in the words of author and domestic violence advocate, Evelyn White, she is in part the "strong black woman." Evelyn White explains racism based on traditional behaviors of  black American women as a power that makes them perform difficult work between the sexual woman and the churchwoman, between the prejudiced, domineering woman and the submissive woman to her black American spouse. In particular, for many years, black American women have been compared to white women and thought of as wicked and immoral.

Being looked at as the "strong black woman" is compliment, but sadly, it leaves black American women as caregivers and with no chances for themselves when they require care. As a result, the black American woman must show herself to be a victim in general and there after a victim of domestic violence. She must demonstrate that she is that she a victim of circumstances which she could not control. The difficulty of not recognizing black American women as violence victims without more ado as white women challenges their capacity to make the most of resources, and these put the black American violence victim in a more dangerous position. Even when a black American woman overcomes the challenges of getting the domestic violence resources she still have to proof that she is a victim.

The result of these behaviors and racism together with the domestic violence movements focus on white women and leave the black American as a victim of domestic violence in an awkward position. Fenton states, "stereotype adds an additional tool for control, both within the family relations and in societal perceptions that influence a woman's ability to get help and succeed in the justice system." however, whether people use stereotypes to give good reason for a black American woman that she deserves the abuse, that she is capable of fighting it alone or some other reason to put the fault on the woman. This type of explanation perpetuates racism and the belief that abusing women is accepted in the society. Optimistically, with more consciousness on issues of domestic violence and awareness of how abusers seek to achieve control and retain power over women, black American women will not have to disprove the behaviors so as to get the necessary assistance and stay away suavely from the person abusing her.

Manifestation of racism in the domestic violence movement in the last few years looked as if domestic violence amongst minority and marginalized people was not taken into account while domestic violence issues among the whites were taken seriously. In the last few years, United States legislators began to take into account the fact that domestic violence is not only problem of the minority marginable people alone. The change in focus came with the awareness that domestic violence is also a problem among the whites.

Accordingly, domestic violence became part of the political issue. Domestic violence rose again to get national attention, little consideration to back women occurred and the only gains for them were gains in the white community. The positive consequences of the creation of new methods and tools to fight domestic violence and abuse in society became obvious.

Domestic violence victims often face a number of challenges when trying to leave an offensive condition, but the racism against black American women forces additional issues on women who are already burdened. The fact that black American women face racial based hindrances to get the resources shows that the legal system should be but in the fore front to enhance this struggle. The struggle of the black American woman should not be ignored but should be taken into account.

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