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Domestic Violence Is A Serious Crime In The United Kingdom. What Are The Underlying Causes Of Such Crime? How Might They Best Be Tackled?

1921 words - 8 pages

Many people are not sure of the definition of domestic violence; the official Home Affairs Select Committee Report defines it as "any form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse which takes place within the context of a close relationship. In most cases, the relationship will be between partners (married, cohabiting) or ex-partners".In most cases the abuser is male as stated by the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC), but this is not always the case, it is of course the most common but domestic violence can also be the woman as the abuser and the male the victim or children can also be victims and/or the abusers.But on the whole the government recognises that women at some point in their ...view middle of the document...

The violence may include physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse".Currently, the police policy on domestic violence is based on the premise that assaults within relationships is no less important than that of strangers. Guidelines have now been put in place to deal with this level of violence and most police forces now have Domestic Violence Units with trained Domestic Violence Officers specialising in this type of incident. They give a high level of support and advice to victims and give guidance towards other agencies with the power to help them start over.Violence against women can take many forms; physical, sexual, financial, verbal, psychological and emotional. Physical violence not only includes actual assault but also the threat of violence which limits a woman's actions or behaviour.Sexual abuse can include humiliating or degrading comments or jokes, unwanted touching or fondling, through to demands for sex, rape and causing injury during sex.Financial abuse can involve male breadwinners not giving their female partners enough money for food, health and housing or the threat of financial insecurity which is used to keep women trapped in violent situations, another form of domestic violence, leaving the partner feeling inadequate and worthless. Treated like slaves and expected to keep the house in good order and provide nourishment whenever required.Verbal abuse includes 'put downs', derogatory comments, persistent claims that a woman is incompetent, unattractive or inferior. It can also consist of actual threats of assault.Psychological or emotional abuse often comes from prolonged verbal abuse which destroys the woman's self-esteem but can also include the prolonged threat of violence and social isolation.Statistics on domestic violence do not reflect the severity of the problem; due to the victims being too frightened to report incidents of abuse, guilt or shame. Over half the reported incidents occur at the family home. The estimated cost of domestic violence based on figures in Greater London exceeds £278 million per year. The government's response to these figures and those of the HASC Report was to set up a working party called the Interdepartmental Working Party (IWP) dealing with awareness of domestic violence and improving care to victims, also including ministerial posts to combat this type of behaviour through the government.Many believe that domestic violence is all about power and control, the man has to be seen to be completely in charge, controlling the woman's every move, controlling whom she comes into contact with and any slight wrong look or spoken word and it gives him all the excuse he needs to repeat his actions.Domestic violence has been linked to childhood, men who were brought up in an environment where domestic violence was seen as the 'norm', now believe it to be the way to carry on, rightly or wrongly it stems back to education. Being educated to believe that hitting a woman is not wrong and it's...

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