Family violence, also known as domestic violence, is a serious problem in America. In the Texas Family Penal code, family violence means:
“an act by a member of a family or household against
another member of the family or household that is
intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault,
or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places
the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive
measures to protect oneself.”
Domestic violence is not a problem that just began happening recently. Numerous historical articles state examples of the abuse and cruelty that women had inflicted upon them by their husbands. One article explains “ the scalding death of Fausta ordered by her husband, the emperor Constantine, which was to serve as a precedent for the next fourteen centuries.” Beating one’s wife was a social, moral and legal right. Socially, if you did not beat your wife, you were subject to public ridicule. Morally, the Bible says that women are to obey their husbands, which was taken to mean if she disobeys or misbehaves, she needs physical punishment. The eighth century Roman marriage law allowed husbands so much control over their wives, they could determine if their wife could live or die. Legally, there was no punishment for the husbands.
Although the battering of women has reached epidemic proportions, less than 1 out of every 270 incidents of wife abuse is ever reported to the police. Some of the reasons for not reporting the abuse are victim denial, protection of the abuser, shame, want to keep it in the family, and fear of further actions (i.e. continued, worsened abuse, or loss of support). It has been estimated that 1 out of every 2 women is battered. According to FBI statistics, every 18 seconds, a wife is beaten by her husband. This is said to be the most frequently occurring crime in the nation. In America in 1992, 29% of the...