Partner and Violence Sociology Essay Sample

Social interaction is the most important sphere of human life as healthy relationships are the basis for a successful society. Nevertheless, usually, people who are involved in a relationship experience cases of physical force use. Today, the rates are alarmingly high and, thus, require additional studies. The paper analyzes violent behavior in couples and discusses different causes for it.

Violent Behavior in Couples

Partner-and-violence is a current issue in the public health domain. There are a number of different types of social behavior patterns that are recognized as violent. In most cases, the study of partner–and–violence problem focuses on couples, both married and dating. That is why, it is also regarded to as the intimate partner violence. In this context, the term partners is used to indicate sex couples that date, cohabit, are engaged, or married. Partner violence may be a one-time incident, which people are usually able to overcome together; however, in most cases, it is a recurrent pattern of actions. Partners in such couples experience fear and are under the control of a dominative individual who abuses. According to the World Health Organization, “Intimate partner violence refers to any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship” (World Health Organization, 2012).
In order to research the topic, the types of violent behavior patterns have to be discussed.

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The paper aims at describing the cases, in which violence is an issue; therefore, the following examples of violence between partners are considered:

  1. Acts of violent behavior when one partner uses physical force in order to influence the other. This kind of physical input includes hitting, beating, slapping, and kicking. The list may be completed with examples of situations when a man, for example, leaves a woman somewhere in a dangerous place alone. Physical assault is considered one of the most common cases of violence between partners.
  2. Sexual violent acts. Sexual assault refers to forcing a partner to have an intimate intercourse or telling humiliating comments during and after sex. Among more complicated problems, there is forcing someone to have unprotected coitus that may lead to unwanted pregnancy or diseases. In this case, rape is the most serious issue.
  3. Emotional violence. It is a kind of psychological abuse that includes various insults, humiliation, constant criticizing, and verbal threats directed at the partner.
  4. Controlling. In these situations, one of the partners prohibits another one to communicate or meet with family and friends, isolates him or her from the world, controls all movements, restricts using different services (education, medical care, and employment, for example). Such acts may be caused by jealousy and possessiveness.

Violence between partners is defined by scholars by the term intimate partner violence. This problem also may be regarded to domestic violence. However, this term is not appropriate as usually, it also includes abuse of children, elder people, or any other member of a family. In the article “Clinical Screening and Intervention in Cases of Partner Violence,” Griffin and Koss (2002) claim, “Because of the wide range of perpetrators who can be involved, and because of the multiple forms of violence they commit, the term “partner violence” is more precise than alternatives such as domestic violence, wife beating, or wife battering.”

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Violence between people who are intimately involved is a problem familiar to most communities. The studies show different numbers of violent act occurrences. According to the American Journal of Public Health, as of 2000, the estimates of physical partner violence range from 23% to 55%. Those who are married and are younger than 30 years old show higher numbers (over 55%) that were established by the National Surveys of Families and Households (Halpern, Oslak, Young, Martin, & Kupper, 2001). Violent behavior often begins in the early period of life. Studies report, “Dating violence has been documented in the middle adolescent years ranging from 10% to 25% of high school students” (Walton-Moss & Campbell, 2002). However, in terms of the abusing partner, they do not show a clear distinction between genders. Middle adolescence is a time to develop principles of normal relationships and, that is why, for example, school nurses should pay attention and shape a healthy attitude towards dating. High school students are carefully observed as they are considered to be a critical group that shows how common psychological and physical abuse is among young people. The results of investigations report, “3 of every 10 adolescents aged 12 to 21 who were involved in heterosexual romantic relationships in an 18-month period experienced some type of violence victimization within those relationships” (Halpern, et al. 2001).

Statistic data prove that the question of partner violence is a matter of high importance. That is why, some studies were conducted with the purpose of identifying individuals that may have violent features. The American Medical Association’s Practice Guidelines for Physicians suggests a system of screening a partner for violence.

The paper suggests discussing four main levels of the violent factors:

  • Individual
  • Relationship
  • Community
  • Social

The influences that may trigger violent behavior are not limited to any evidence, but they give a psychological review of the most common factors. These four levels are legitimate when analyzing violent behavior between partners in various countries. It should be noted that some patterns may differ in specific situations.

The individual level identifies features that are associated with the increased capability of committing violent acts. The first contributing factor here is a young age. The youth tends to express their negative emotions in a violent manner. Another thing is a low level of education. Moreover, witnessing or experiencing violence in a family in childhood may be a contributing factor, as well. One also should consider the use of alcohol and drugs the elements that lead to violent conduct. In addition, a person with psychological disorders tends to act violently. Any of these features or a combination of them can create an intense atmosphere between partners and require additional studies in order to prevent violence.

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Relationship level is associated with dissatisfaction in a relationship that a couple builds. Conflicts, explicit dominance, and stress usually provoke violent behavior. More often, violence is registered in couples that have different levels of education. It is also seldom tolerated if one of the partners has other sexual partners. This issue brings an individual to a point of committing violent acts.

Community and societal levels correspond to violence between partners who do not play an equal role in accordance with social norms. Different social statuses, economic discrepancies, and a high level of violence in a community provoke violence between intimately-closed people.

Scientists who study the matter of partner violence do not state that the factors described above inevitably lead to violent conduct. Nevertheless, they influence the nature of relationship between two people.

Often violence against women is explained by sociocultural theory. The discussed levels overlap with the beliefs that are historically accepted in some societies that relate to the way of how a woman and man are supposed coexist. Among them, for example, there is a right of a male to exhibit powers over a female who is socially inferior to him in order to curb the improper behavior of a woman. On the basis of certain religious and social standards, it is the woman’s duty to have sex with her man; consequently, she may be even forced to have sexual intercourse. The most crucial idea that makes females accept violent attitude is her responsibility for keeping a family together. Studies help to create lists of issues that are believed to make males behave violently. For example, when a woman refuses to obey a man, he may decide that she must be disciplined. When a woman does not prepare food, questions a man, argues and shows her opinions, a man is considered to have a right to use force. In some countries, women are not supposed to oppose these violent acts but obey. In order to decrease the level of violence between partners “community-based studies are needed that examine socioeconomic status variables such as employment, education, types of jobs/careers, and differences in status related to these variables between intimate partners” (Campbell, Sharps, Gary, Campbell, & Lopez, 2002).

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The statistical data and examples of violent partners signify that partner violence is an important problem, and it may increase if no measures to prevent it are taken. As of now, even though, the possible causes of partner violence are known, there are not many solutions. This kind of violence is one of the forms of antisocial behavior. It is crucial to deal with violence between partners because such relationships have severe consequences for the whole society. Violent conduct affects both partners and causes physical and mental injuries. Usually, prolonged stress in relationships results in chronic health problems. Moreover, experiencing violence has its influence even after violent behavior stops. The stronger the abuse, the more serious impact on health it has. It may even lead to depression and suicide acts. That is why, apart from identifying the factors of violent behavior and measures of preventing it, it is important to treat individuals who have been already abused by their partners. There are programs that employ a so-called group format in order to analyze personal experiences and find ways to cope with emotional pain, anger, and fear.

In the recent years, different health organization try to design effective preventive methods. First of all, cooperation between governments and civil society at all levels is crucial. Global reforms and programs are under international research now. Specific strategies may be also effective, including a criminal and civil legislation reform, organization of mass media campaigns, which will aim to inform about the existing situation and make people aware of the problem (with educational materials), providing women with more legal rights in terms of custody and divorce, paying more attention to violent behavior in various sectors, promoting social interaction, and providing more intervention services for families at risk. These strategies are but a few suggestions to cope with violence between partners.

The subject under consideration of the paper was partner and violence. Violence between partners was discussed in terms of the most common violent acts, including physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional ones. The analysis of statistical data and circumstances that can cause violent behavior proves intimate partner violence to be an important issue. It may be concluded that individual characteristics and social contexts are generally associated with acts of violent behavior. It is important to pay attention to the early stage of personality development. It is the time when, for instance, the exposure to different types of violence in a family, emotional disturbances, and social norms have the strongest influence on people.

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