Family Violence: A National Epidemic

Hong refers family abuse or violence as an act of violence and abuse committed by one family member against another (9). Child abuse was first recognized over one hundred years ago in 1874. Within a year, New York had passed the first child abuse law in the nation and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded (Gellert 27). Family violence is not very rare, and it does not occur only within poor families and certain racial and ethic groups, and the victims of abuse do not provoke it and should not be blamed for it (Hong 15). Former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia C. Novello called family violence "an epidemic in America" (Hong 9), since family violence is becoming an epidemic, school's should be more involved and investigate rumors.

Love and Guilt play an enormous part of family violence. In order for a man to keep a woman there, he must divide the woman's guilt. The woman usually feels she must be a trusting, nurturing, a forgiving woman and it would be wrong not to give him another chance, when he tells her he is ready to change (NiCarthy 74). Within a few sentences the man can trigger the woman's addictive love, her guilt, her concern for him and her feeling that she's responsible for his life and feelings (NiCarthy 74). Pledge said there are fifteen things that something may be bothering you, including: mood changes, crying spells, feeling mad or irritable, feeling numb, wanting to get close or distant from someone, doing drugs of drinking, wanting of having sex, having headaches and stomachaches, and not sleeping well (103). In a 1974 study conducted by Suzanne Steinmetz and Murray Straus, over half of a sample of husbands indicated they would be jealous if their wives were unfaithful and that they would probably respond with some form of violence. (Nicarthy 70). The response of strangers to male violence against women supports the idea that such a reaction is acceptable. Both experimental and real life situations indicate that passersby will not help a woman assaulted by a man in public. Why do people stay with an abusive spouse is what Stark asked. He came up with the victims blame themselves for the abuse, or the abuser may have threatened them. Some may even think its normal of acceptable or too ashamed to admit the problem (Stark 24).

If a woman leaves paid work for a few years to have children, she's likely to lose both income and self-confidence (NiCarthy 73). She then believes that the man will provide for her, and may discourage a woman from taking seriously the need to earn an adequate income (NiCarthy 73). Since she does not have a job, and the man must provide for her, she is afraid of leaving, because she believes she would not make it on her own, and will not risk it (NiCarthy 73). Fear of poverty is one of the major reasons why women stay in abusive situations, hoping year after year it will change, and will not have to risk poverty (NiCarthy 73). There are a couple phases which help explain what will happens in violent families, such as the tension-building phase were the tension escalates between the couple. Excessive drinking, illness, jealousy, and other factors may lead to name-calling, hostility and friction (Marvin 103). The second phase is the explosion of violence. The batterer loses control both physically and emotional (Marvin 103). The third phase is a period of calm, loving, contrite behavior on part of the batterer. May be genuinely sorry for the pain he has caused his partner and the victim may sometimes feel responsible (Marvin 104).

Neglect is believed to be the most common of the four types of child abuse and can be the most life threatening, and could include the failure of a caretaker to provide basic shelter, medical and dental care, supervision, or emotional support to a child (Gellert 26). Physical abuse involves not only inflicting injury to a child through excessive (more than necessary) force, but also forcing a child to engage in physically harmful activities (Gellert 26). Sexual abuse is usually defined as any sexual contact between a child and an adult and, if there is a sufficient age difference between juveniles. This also involves an individual who exposes them sexually in font of a child (Gellert 26). Emotional abusive involves demeaning or very distance behavior by a parent of behavioral problems in a child (Gellert 26). Every 13 seconds an American child is reported as abused or neglected (Gellert 28). In 1991, state child protective service agencies received reports of 1.8 million instances of abuse and neglect involving 2.7 million children (Gellert 28). Rock music has always reflected rebelliousness and antisocial and sexually provocative images of young people. Viewing rock videos has been shown to have the same effect as viewing pornography (Wolfe, Wekerle, Scott 83).

There are several solutions with may prove helpful in this conquest to solve or at least help these women and children being abused, or just family violence in general. Living in a relationship that is built on love and guilt proves a big problem. They are forced to look at yourself with disgrace and low self-esteem, by allowing or taking them to a family violence clinic, you are able to get them out of the hostile environment and into a well-organized and safe environment to work with their guilt and low self-esteem. This proves helpful to get the children or women out of the house, and on their own, maybe even provide a job. Therapy also helps victims cope with a realistic view, providing them to see what others have seen. Therapy is designed to help with emotions that you may not know or keep locked away. Most of the time victims may be hesitant to talk to people close to them, or even in the same family, where they may think they will not believe the victims. Therapy is designed to allow victims to talk freely without having to worry they will not believe.

Living in poverty has not offer a lot of solutions due to the lack of money the victims or the family may have. There are designed places to help get women jobs, a new apartment and a new life without the hostile surroundings that proceeded before. Getting a job helps higher the independence the victim may feel or higher their self-esteem; providing in a better lifestyle. Therapy again also helps to allow victims to talk about living in poverty and what may be done; this helps victims to be more informed about their problems.

Being a victim or any sort is very emotional and physical, in order for the victim to regain what they have lost; they must take some action in order to prevent abuse or violence in their family from ever happening again. This is why family violence is dangerous and stood being stopped. In order to help stop family violence, police and the community must make an effort to put this problem to rest. Teachers, and people (role models) should be more involved in children's lives in order to prevent them from getting hurt. At the first sign of abuse they must take action and report their suspicions to the correct authorities.

Works Citied

Gellert, Geogre A. "Children Are Victims of Many Forms of Abuse." Family Violence. ED. J.D. Lloyd. Current Controveries. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2001. 26-31.

Hong, Maria. Family Abuse: A National Epidemic. Springfield, NJ: Enslow, 1997.

Marvin, Douglas R. "Stronger Efforts by Police Can Help Reduce Family Violence." Family Violence. ED. J.D. Lloyd. Current controversies. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2001. 101-109.

NiCarthy, Ginny. "Unequal Gender Roles Contribute to Family Violence." Family Abuse. ED. J.D. Lloyd. Current Controversies. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2001. 68-75.

Pledge, S. Deanna. When Something Feels Wrong. Minneapolis: Free Spirit, 2003.

Stark, Even. Everything You Need to Know About Family Violence. New York: Rosen, 1997.

Wolfe, David A, Christine Wekerle, Katreena Scott. "Violence in the Media contributes to Family Violence." Family Violence. ED. J.D. Lloyd. Current Controversies. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2001. 80-84.

Author Note: If you didn't notice, this has a work's citied which is required by law to be attached to this paper. This paper was originally for English, which I scored a 190/200 (95).