Describe crimes in the home…………..
v Home is a restricted environment for providing care to physically and mentally disabled persons or considerate set up of associations or personal correlation while a Crime is an action that violates a law
v Forms of crime are domestic violence, homicide, and elder and child abuse.
v Domestic violence is often an exploitation of authority by men against women
v More women than men are prone to domestic violence
v Forms of violence against women include; sexual harassment, battery, societal abuse, pressure and monetary deprivation.
Theories of domestic violence
v Vary according to society, family, personal level and multi-level dimension
v Some theories asserts that women cause their own problems and they do enjoy them
v Some ancient societies accepted violence against women
v One of the main causative agent of domestic crime is personality traits
v Poverty is the greatest contributing agent to violence.
Forms of Gender based violence
v Sexual harassment, economic deprivation and emotional abuse and others to be discussed.
v Most of the forms of gender violence contribute more to HIV infection among women
Responding to domestic violence
v Application of law enforcement agents like the police to reduce the violence cases.
v Justice must take its course unbiased
v There should be instant response to domestic violence by the society.
v Human rights activists in the society must step up to alleviate domestic crime and help the victims seek justice.
v The increasing cases of domestic violence must be collectively dealt with.
v Reluctance in law enforcement must not be encouraged to safeguard the human rights
CRIMES IN THE HOME
The word home has a variety of meanings depending on the context of the topic and circumstances prevailing. Home may designate to personal correlation, a considerate set-up of associations or commitments. Moreover, home may mean an environment restricted for providing care to physically and mentally disabled persons. Home may provide security to all at the same time it may be a source of agony and pain for particular genre of people. Crime denotes to actions or omission that violates a law which results in a punishment or no punishment by authorities in governance. Crimes in homes do take place in different forms; domestic violence, elder and child abuse and homicide, (Australian Institute of Criminology 2003).
Domestic violence is an exploitation of authority against women by men in affiliation or subsequent to separation. It is as a result of efforts by physical or mental way to control the other (Partnerships against Domestic Violence 2000, P. 5). Most recognized forms of domestic violence the use of physical and sexual, terrorization, emotional, societal abuse, pressure and monetary dispossession.
International violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS) in Australia gives national frequency facts obtained from Australian women random sample (Mouzos & Makkai 2004). The survey indicates that more women than men are prone to domestic violence of which many cases are never reported. This paper is going to outline the causes of domestic violence, the theories involved and measures taken by law enforcement agents against offenders towards preventing and controlling the cases of violence against spouses.
Theories of domestic crime
The theories of crime in homes vary according to the comprehension of the problem at hand and how to illustrate it. It depends on whether explanations come from the society level, family level, personal level or multi-dimensional view. Many theories about crime offer a variety of explanations. However, most theories on crime in homes concentrate on brutality and connected aggressiveness rather than the conduct.
Theories of violence in homes in the ancient days were personal and in most cases they blamed the victim. For example, John Gayford (1979) a psychiatrist once supposed that explanation of domestic violence was attributed to female masochism implying that the women demanded it. He also asserted that most women really enjoyed the course of violence inflicted on them. His suggestions meant that when women were sexually harassed in those days they used to enjoy it. Furthermore, sexually harassing women was something that was initiated by women. That all the blame went to women and not the perpetrators of the action as men were not to be questioned. His work was not sufficient as to welcome critical assessment. Some societies like Aboriginal in Australia accepts violence against women.
Other modern theorists had different views on violence in homes. They viewed it as unreasonable or pathological which emanated from mental disorder, character disorder or excess abuse of narcotics. In some cases these factors may be reasonable in that they fail to give an account about the regular occurrence of the violence among men than women. What’s more, some of crimes take place where these factors are missing. An explanation is not also given as to why some men apply brutality in their families but not in different situations (Stubbs, Julie 2003).
However, the most influence on these behaviours can be attested to individualistic explanations. The Battered Women Syndrome (BWS) was introduced by defence lawyers and feminist psychiatrists to give a description of the impact of brutality on most women. Sociological theories pinpoints on the kin as a societal institution which deviate in intensity as to which they discover a wider communal framework. Feminists’ advancement on this issue is highly sociological although their spotlight is more explicitly on masculinity connections in the family unit and community. Components of sociological theory are general systems theory and resource theory.
General system theory has its main spotlight on dynamics of the family as giving the probabilities for hostility. On the other hand, resource theory views brutality as a way of creating family dominance in absenter of other resources. When the gains exceed the costs incurred, it is referred to as exchange theorem. The subculture theory of violence stresses more on values and norms that instigate violence. There is some evidence that children exposed to domestic violence in their homes are likely to repeat the same in their correlation and kinship. Nevertheless, there are many individuals exposed to violence at tender age who are not engaging in violence in their adulthood and families. The rest of the sociological theories describe hostility or violence in the families as emanating from poverty related stress, stress related to unemployment or other types of inadequacies (Stubbs, Julie 2003).
Theories of feminists on crime in the homes have added some facts to comprehension to homicide, domestic cruelty and sexual harassment. The theories now include scrutinizing of affronting by both men and women. The feminist approach can be approached from different angles and perspectives however most theorists lean to share a devotion to social transformation and an indulgent of community as coordinated in throughout gender based chain of command. Attention has been drawn on societal inequalities that minimize women chances for complete communal participation. This is inclusive of constrained access to paid work, learning and care for children which may undermine women’s susceptibility to violence.
Gender neutral accounts of aggression have been disputed by feminist theorists and the examination that illustrates personal cruelty acts failing to bear in mind the connotation and condition of the brutality. Home violence is rational in such a way that it is used to exercise authority and direction. Most characteristics of a broader custom like beliefs, rituals, and stories assumptions of coherent reasoning provide some meaning to violent actions in the homes and to some extent they may permit such offenses.
A lot of time is consumed by human rights activists analysing in their own perspective the multiplying cases of violence. More women and children die around the world due to violence. According to United Nations report violence compromises seriously to women’s labour force participation and their ability to actively involve freely in societal activities. In this context the responsibility for violence against women in homes respites with the state, society and persons. Definition of women has seen them being viewed as men’s property that possess few legal privileges, have little independence to finance or other resources exposes them to violence susceptibility.
Forms of Domestic Violence
Gender based violence
Men normally engage in domestic crime due to male chauvinism portrayed in the society. In a chauvinist community men are expected to be above women. The women are expected to submit to men’s demands whether willingly or unwillingly as defined by the strict gender roles and enforcement. As a result violence against women has high acceptance in the society and it has a serious long term effect on the health of women and their well-being United Nations (UNIFEM 2002). Men inflict sexual harassment to their wives, girlfriends or partners against their will. This is commonly known as rape. Harassing women sexually causes devastating physical and emotional wounds to a huge portion of women in work places around the universe. Sometimes the women may be harassed by male supervisors, male colleagues interrupting with their integration at the work place. Their dignity is violated which may bring in safety hazards at work. At the same time, poverty and stress adds more fire to intimate violence (Heidensohn 2002).
In most unions or marriages men control the wealth of the family therefore most decisions are dictated by men. Men normally use this as a tool to molest the women (Jock 2001). Women are barred from acquiring or maintaining a job, they are made to beg for money while in some incidences their money is taken away. Some men do not let their women to know what they are worth or access to family accounts making the women to be defenceless economically. Women wishing to have less number of children cannot make decisions on their own. Failure to give in to men’s demands on sex contributes to brutality. Women may wish to avoid sex during fertile periods but as the society demands of them they do not have a choice but to submit to men’s ego (UNIFEM 2002). According to World Health Organization study on Multi-country Women’s health abused women have poorer mental and physical health, more injuries and a greater need for medical resources.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a form of female violence practiced by some communities in different cultures. According to United Nations Development Fund for Women, (UNIFEM), FGM is more predominant in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The term FGM denotes to female circumcision where there is complete removal of female’s external genitalia for cultural and traditional reasons. FGM results into a series of health problems including chronic pain, infection, and dys-functioning of sexual tract. Some women, who refuse the practice, are threatened by display of weapons and intimidating them in any other form like threats of being disbanded from the society.
Relying on official crime statistics can sometime be misleading concerning the cases of domestic violence. This is because most of these incidences are never reported to the police. About 25% of all assaults that are physical, 20 % of all rapes and 50% of all stalking inflicted against women by their intimate partners are brought to light to the police (Patricia and Nancy 2000). All these culminates from the stigma and shame among victims which instils into them fear of revenges. Hence the report shows that domestic crimes will continue to be under-reported. Domestic violence against women is on the rampant with a third of women in current or former relationship encountering violence from their partners (Mouzos & Makkai 2004). Women are less expected to account their experience in domestic violence to the police or other agencies if the perpetrator is a present spouse rather than an earlier spouse. IVAWS also indicates that there were higher rates of bodily and sexual violence for duos that are separated than matrimonial duos.
Moreover, it is indicated that the most vulnerable time for women is the period of separation (Mouzos & Rushforth, 2003). Women who are divorced or separated with children are more vulnerable to recurring acts of violence from their former spouse for child relation. According to Kaye, Stubbs & Tolmie (2003) some women are attacked by former spouses during litigations making many courts to put in place safety procedures for women. Psychological and emotional abuse has been reported by women to be a frequent occurrence in their relationships and daily routines (Bagshaw & Chung 2000, P. 9). Most studies in Australia demonstrate that female victims of domestic violence reported are between 88 and 92 % (Bagshaw & Chung 2000, P. 2). Most of the women are made to feel guilty before the children and blamed for their calamities claiming they caused them.
Nevertheless, researchers who apply the use of Conflict Tactic Scale to determine the rate of domestic violence ascertain that some women are evenly as brutal as men counterparts. The modes of violence include giving threats using a gun, shouting, kicking or hitting their male spouses. However some researchers object the notion claiming that in most incidences the violence is normally instigated by men and therefore women only act in self-defence. This is as a consequence and motivation of the violence initiated. Consequently, men are less likely to report their own grievances faced in the hands of their female partners as cases of self-defence (Dobash & Dobash 2004). The brutality may result into fear and bodily injury with those researchers objecting to CTS finding that men’s violence being more severe. Abused women often live in trepidation and suffer from hopelessness, nervousness and post-shock stress confusion.
Gay and lesbian relationships also face domestic violence (Vickers 2000). Statistics among these couples is difficult to collect because gays and lesbians experience the greatest impediment to divulge due to stigma and societal norms.
Zimmerman and Watts (2002, P. 1233) highlights on women trafficking across borders. These women are forced into labour including sex work. The victims originate in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Caribbean and Africa. The women are sexually abused through their smuggling and subjected to very low income. The trafficked women will seldom look for health care assistance due to fear of deportation. They exposed to high risks of tricky situations and barrenness as a result of untreated sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. Besides, some who find themselves pregnant may incur great risks of unsafe abortion. Most of these women are isolated from contacting their embassies, through limiting their movement and controlling whom they talk to in the foreign countries. Some are made to do horrible and illegal things for the sake of money. For example some women will be used to traffic drugs and to steal from tycoons just for them to earn a living
Responding to domestic violence
According to Goldsmith, Israel & Daly (2006) guide the different states and boundaries must use their general laws of crimes in a justly manner in all the home places. Two primary concerns must be put in mind. The characteristics of restructuring and reforms of criminal justice must be considered in crimes such as domestic violence law making. The second concern is on how the law reinforcement department deal with domestic crimes; in particular the police (Stubbs, Julie 2003).Particular laws introduced to deal with domestic violence have been constantly questioned as to whether they are separate from the rest of the laws. These laws have been ineffective due influence by politics, economy, social and emotional factors. Most of these laws are debated on how to address the subject of casualties and perpetrators which seldom gives the sufferers power to receive justice (Kathleen, Lincoln 2003). The law further tends to personalise problems at hand especially in a chauvinist society. It is therefore necessary for these laws to be reformed and restructured in such away that victims should be given power to press charges without considering the relationship between them. This will ensure justice takes its course.
Consequently, there should be instant response to reports on assaults in the family by the law enforcement department without bias to save families and individuals from further harm. Obligatory arrests must be applied where detectable harm or breakage of property and eyewitness are involved. The police must not merely dismiss the reports of domestic violence on the basis that they are personal (Hoyle &Sanders, 2000)
Compulsory apprehensions reduce to a great deal, intensity of this violence. In the US compulsory apprehends have proved to work to a great extent on introduction of new guidelines and laws. Obligatory arrests also put to shame the offenders which limit a repeat of such incidences as they are exposed to light. However, compulsory apprehensions leads to more arrests crowding the police cells and sometime the police releasing the criminals before charges are dropped (Stubbs, Julie 2003).
It is therefore a societal and lobby groups’ mandate to help victims in obtaining justice for wrongs done unto them. Lobby groups must step in to support victims financially and socially by providing legal guidance and professional counselling. Most of these victims are normally psychologically traumatic and if the necessary help is not offered some might end up taking their own lives. What’s more some victims are usually physically hurt and without away to finance their hospital bills the wounds might get infected leading to serious damage and even death.
Criminal laws are highly dependable to deal or solve with cases of domestic violence. In most instances, the reaction to these crimes in the home across the world is not even. There are substantial variations inside and outside authorities in regard to response to domestic crimes. The criminal departments must be driven by communal desires and wants instead of personal interests in satisfying their needs by letting offenders scot free. The failure to report as a result of stigma and fear of revenge is a huge impediment to fighting these crimes across continents. Therefore in regard to these limitations there is need for cautious assessment of curriculums and guidelines to guarantee that they are well formulated, efficient and without loop holes. All offenders must be brought to hook regardless of their status in the society or relationship with the victim to serve as an example to other probable criminals.
Excusing the criminal justice system in jurisdiction of their mandate on domestic violence must not be permitted at all. The society at large must be keen to point at cases of inequality and peculiarity to declare domestic crimes as unreasonable and unacceptable. Moreover, there is high need for wider communal transformation in shifting blame from the perpetrators of crime to victims of crime to ensure justice takes its course. The society must be encouraged to expose the offenders at all costs to avoid recurrence of these unspeakable conducts in the society. The desire of the people is to live in a peaceful environment.
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