There are many theories on the root causes of domestic violence. The social learning theory states that people learn from their environment, and this explains, in part, why children who witness abuse often grow up with the tendency to continue patterns of abuse. The feminist (patriarchal) theory is when the male in a relationship uses violence and intimidation to destroy a woman's self-esteem in an attempt to take control of her. The modeling theory is a psychological theory where studies believe that domestic violence results from anti-social personality, a psychological disorder or problem such as low-self-esteem, post-traumatic stress or a person need to be in control. .
When evaluating theories, it's difficult to prove - or disapprove - the reliability and relevance. How does one define domestic violence many people believe it is the abuse that woman suffer from the hands of a spouse. The definition of domestic violence is defined as "Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married, heterosexual, gay or lesbian, living together, separated or dating "(domesticviolence.org). For many years domestic violence was kept private a woman would have not had any type of intervention from law enforcement. Today police seem to be getting more calls pertaining to domestic violence especially against woman.
Many theories have been developed in how to explain the deviance behavior in a human being. Much of the domestic violence can stem from situational situations such as substance abuse, financial abuse due to the economy and lack of employment. The violence can also come from contextual such as violence in the family to aggressive personalities and stress. The social learning theory believes that people are not born with violent tendencies (Gosselin 2010, p.75). This theory extends to explain these factors by giving understanding to the influence of children growing up with a combination of external forces (Lemkey, 2003).