Domestic Violence: Theory, Effects & Interventions .
"The female is, as it were, a mutilated a sort of natural deficiency. It is not appropriate in a female character to be manly or clever. The male is by nature superior and the female inferior." (Author; unknown).
I. Introduction Domestic violence has been present in our society and an accepted practice of many cultures for hundreds of years. Up until the late 1800's, a man in this country had the right to chastise his wife until the practice was declared illegal in two states (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence Manual, p. B-8). Old English Common Law allowed husbands to beat their wives provided that the stick they used was not thicker than his thumb; hence the phrase "Rule of Thumb"(Heart on a Chain [Video]). Although times have changed in this regard and laws have been enacted in order to protect women from abuse, the fact remains that acts of domestic violence occur every 15 seconds in the United States. Over the past two decades, extensive research has been done on the dynamics of domestic violence. Through this research, many of the aspects of domestic violence are better understood. Various researchers have theorized the causal mechanism behind domestic violence, have studied the characteristics of both the victim and the perpetrator, and have researched the effects on men, women, and the invisible victims of domestic violence: the children. Unfortunately, despite all that has been learned, domestic violence is still prevalent in today's society. The question is why? In an attempt to answer this question, this paper will present and discuss many of the theories of domestic abuse that have transpired as a result of years of research. Additionally, the emotional, psychological, and behavioral impact on the victim and children will be presented through the empirical evidence. Third, this paper will also present approaches to intervention strategies used with family members involved in violence.