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Psychologists distinguish 3 phases of any cycle of violence:
– Tension – spontaneous cases of insults;
– Acute violence – attack of aggression in a very negative way;
– “Honeymoon” – an apology and assurances of love, and then… it all starts over again (Geffner, 2002. p. 74).
As men act as abusers more often than women, so the explanations below show women as victims.
Tension – spontaneous cases of insults. Women usually react calmly, trying to defuse the situation or try to defend her position in the family. Both partners can justify the behavior of the men as his reaction to stress because of work, money, etc. With the increasing of the stress, the woman’s ability to balance becomes weaker. Exactly on this stage, for women it is the most necessary and effective to find support and help.
Acute violence means an attack of aggression in a very negative way. Turns of anger are so intense that the abuser can not deny their existence, but the victim (woman) can not deny that they have a strong influence on her. However, the woman usually feels the approach of this situation in advance, her fear and depression increase. Nevertheless, acute violence exists because man chooses violent manner of relationship. After that, the denial of the seriousness of the incident, the appeal to the police and for medical help usually happens. At this stage the woman needs help to realize that the expected act of violence can and should be avoided; she can leave home, escape or call friends for the help.
“Honeymoon” In this period a man may be kind, loving, guilty, he can promise never to repeat the violence or, conversely to blame the woman in provoking the violence. During this period the woman is happy, she believes that her man will change. It is the time, when it is the most difficult for woman to leave her partner, but she needs to remember that the violence that happened once is likely to happen again with a gradual intensification.
According to some research, the manifestations of aggression and violence in the family are strongly affected by social factors, in particular, social norms and values on whom of the spouses must play the dominant role in the family and how it can appropriately implement his power.
For example, Randal Summers and Allan Hoffman argue that husbands beat their wives, mainly on the basis of their sustainable ideas that in such a way they can secure a traditionally dominant role in the family. Developing this theme, some researchers of family relations have argued that social norms initially determine who should command in the family, and who obey. They have seen it in different manifestation of power in domestic violence manifestation between men and women in the patriarchal tradition-oriented society (Summers, 2002. p. 78).
In fact, in this case, the problem is in the subordination of women, and its solution is in the fight against this phenomenon. This is confirmed by numerous research data, according to which the majority of abused women were playing at home so insignificant role that had little influence on decision making process in the family. Abuse of women was observed in 11% of couples in which husbands clearly occupied a dominant position, and only in 3% of families both spouses had approximately the same rights.
The man is particularly prone to take a dominant position in the family in cases where the woman is strongly dependent on him economically (because he provides basic income to the family budget), and /or psychologically (as in the case of dissolution of marriage, in her opinion, she will suffer more than her husband). The results of national study in the United States in 1975 showed that the violence against women most often occurred in the families where both types of dependence were present (Summers, 2002. p. 79).
It is interesting to note that the degree of relationship between the subordination of women and abuse of her changes according to changes in the nature of her dependence on men and severity of violence. The higher the wife’s psychological dependence on her husband, the greater the likelihood is that it will be the subject of “moderate” violence (shocks or light blows). Economic dependence, in contrast, is associated with more severe violence.
Studying both types of dependence, researchers have found that women who were heavily dependent on their husbands, were less able to reduce violence, cruelty or even end it, compared with those women, whose families tangible psychological relationship of the spouses were more balanced.
One more interesting study of violence in married couples was conducted in 1985. It compared the level of violence in the registered and unregistered couples, and it was found that the relationships in unregistered couples were more affected by conflicts and aggression. This study was conducted to test the opinion that the certificate of marriage, often at the same time is a testament to the right to abuse the wife. However, the authors say, the results of research prove that the marriage certificate help the achieving intra-family compromise (Johnson, 2008. pp. 161-164).
In addition, and violence and aggression in the family are generated mainly by the difference in opportunities in manifestation of power. One family member, such as a husband or father has the ability to make the rest members of the family to carry out his will due to the presence of his great physical strength or existence in society of certain norms of behavior. His wife and children do not have the economic, social, psychological or physical capacity to give him a real drag. This difference in the possibilities allows the dominant personality in the family disparage the weaker members of the family who do not meet his desires.