Family Violence, Abuse, and Victimization

Family Violence, Abuse, and Victimization - Week 7 Family...

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Week 7: Family Violence, Abuse, and Victimization Lecture Notes and Questions to Consider for Discussion Part I: Introduction This week, we will be discussing the most common form of victimization in this country: family violence and abuse. Most of our discussion in these notes will concentrate on child abuse; however, your book also discusses issues of intimate partner violence and elder abuse. I do just want to mention a few things about intimate partner violence and elder abuse before proceeding: (1) Your book concentrates mostly on male partners as the perpetrators and female partners as the victims of intimate partner violence. In fact, your authors state that this is the case about 85% of the time, and that when women use violence in relationships, it’s mostly in self-defense or retaliation. However, there is a considerable amount of evidence that refutes your authors’ assertions. As a matter of fact, most of the time, women report that they use violence in their relationships to control their partner, because they are jealous, angry ,or hurt, and/or because they know that their partners will not hit them back. There is also lots of evidence that women are almost as violent as men are in intimate partner relationships. If you check out the website of Martin Fiebert on the Internet resources page (called Female Aggression) and the many articles on the University of New Hampshire’s Family Research Laboratory (also on the Internet resources page), you’ll see all of the articles that support the case that women are violent in relationships, and not just because of self-defensive and/or retaliatory reasons. Questions to Consider: 7. Do you know of any heterosexual relationship in which the female partner is a violent person? Why does she perpetrate violence? What does the male partner do? Why do you think that female violence in intimate partner relationships goes unnoticed to the general public (e.g., many of our domestic violence laws concentrate on women as victims, and most of our services only serve female victims)? What are the possible consequences of female-perpetrated violence to the male victims? (2) The next point I want to make about intimate partner violence concerns the section on same- sex domestic violence. Your authors point to a study by Turrell (2000) who found that 44% of gay men and 58% of gay women reported sustaining physical abuse in their relationships. These numbers are highly suspect and should be taken lightly. The fact is that there are no good representative studies on the extent to which gays and lesbians perpetrate domestic violence in their relationships. Therefore, at the present time, we can only conclude that the rates of domestic violence in these relationships is no different than the rates in heterosexual relationships. Studies show that the rates of any type of physical violence (e.g., as minor as hitting) in heterosexual relationships hovers around 12% of all relationships. (3) Finally, I want to make one point on family elder abuse. There seem to be three types of
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Family Violence, Abuse, and Victimization - Week 7 Family...

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