Domestic Violence against Women as a Grave Threat to Society
Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence as it is also referred, is a serious problem in today’s society. This paper will focus on physical violence and abuse against women, though other types of abuse exist. Despite new and emerging laws, advocates speaking out, and a slight decrease in overall reported domestic violence incidents, women are still victims. There are adverse effects to prolonged and/or severe abuse, not the least of which include mental and social disorders, physical illness, feelings of guilt and shame, suicide ideation and even homicide. Domestic abuse is a grave threat to society because it can be linked directly to all of these lifelong illnesses and even some crimes.
Domestic violence against women is defined by the United Nations’ Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women as “physical, social, and/or psychological violence within the family, the community, and/or any violence that is condoned by the state” (Morgaine 2007). Domestic violence is not a new issue. It is present in every culture around the world and can be traced back through human existence. What is new is how this issue is being dealt with in society and by the government. The World Health Organization found in studies conducted in the late 1990s that one of every three women worldwide have been a victim of violence by a partner in an intimate relationship at some point in their lifetime (Nayak et al. 2003). This number is astounding. With violence and abuse toward women almost commonplace in intimate relationships, the question begs to be asked: What is being done to stop it?
Since the 1970s, many laws have been amended or created to include more variables of abuse. Victims do not have to seek divorce or separation before they are granted help. Laws requiring an arrest if a claim of domestic abuse is made and police are called out to the scene have been passed and put into effect. Other laws...