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Domestic Violence
Lynn (2016), in her article 'Domestic Violence', refers to domestic violence as the victimization of a person with whom the abuser has or has had an intimate, romantic, or spousal relationship. According to the article, domestic violence encompasses the violence against and by both women and men and includes those in gay or lesbian relationships. Lynn (2016) asserts that the majority of the perpetrators of domestic violence do so to establish and maintain power and control over another person. The article focuses on the forms of domestic violence, the effects it has on the society, the elements that may deter its interceding under various factors such as age, sex, race and mortality/morbidity.
Domestic violence according to Lynn (2016) may occur in four different forms; physical, psychological, intimate partner stalking, and sexual abuse. These forms of violence can happen simultaneously or one result to the other. For instance, the article says that 81% of the women who face stalking by intimate partners also get physically assaulted. According to Lynn (2016), cyber-stalking is a new development in the psychological abuse where the perpetrator employees the use of the internet.
The article offers a brief history of domestic violence and concludes that it is not a new epidemic. In the England, for instance, the Common Law permitted a man to beat his wife as long as the cane used was not of a wider diameter than his thumb, hence the 'Thumb Rule.'
The findings from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as reported by the article states that victims of severe domestic violence miss at least 8 million days of paid work and 5.6 million days of household productivity annually. Physical assault tops the list with a cost of $6.2 billion, followed by stalking ($461 million), rape ($460 million), and $1.2 billion for the lives lost as a result of domestic violence.
Police, according to the article, spend a third of their time responding to domestic violence calls. Lynn (2016) says that this is a clear indicator that domestic violence is a burned to the law enforcement. Calling or visiting the emergency department (ED) is one of the ways through which the victims manage the episodes of domestic violence as it helps in de-escalating the violence, states Lynn (2016). Among the women and men asked on what they will do in case they faced domestic violence, the majority 31.2% said that they would seek the help from the police. Surprisingly, a rivaling 27.7% accepted that they did not know what to do. Only 10.7% would approach a family member while 3.1% would forego assistance and simply retaliate.
The study presented within the article also gives an insight on the extent to which domestic violence has on women. According to Lynn (2016), 95% of the women who had been diagnosed with domestic violence seek for care 5 or more times in a year. Between two and four percent of all the women who present themselves for the treatment of injuries are victims of domestic violence.
There are a number of challenges faced by the law enforcement to come up with a solution to domestic violence (Lynn, 2016). According to the article, not all cases of domestic violence are reported to the police. Only 20% of all rapes are reported to the police, 25% of all physical assaults, and 50% of all stalking. Additionally, Lynn (2016) understands that fewer men than women report cases of domestic violence crimes even when they are the victims.
This article is significant given that it provides a detailed analysis of the effects of domestic violence under various categories such as race, age, sex, and morbidity. According to Reaves (2017), an average of 1.3 million nonfatal domestic violence occurred in the United States annually for a period of ten years spanning from 2006-2015. This clearly indicates that there is an urgent matter that must be addressed. The first step to addressing it, therefore, is to have an in-depth study into the matter and make the society at large understand the cost. Lynn (2016) has done a vivid analysis of domestic violence and pointed out some of the discrepancies the law enforcement faces while handling the problem of domestic violence in the country.
After the detailed background of domestic violence, Lynn (2016) turned her attention to the main focus of the study; cycle of violence. According to Reaves (2017), more than a half of the domestic violence cases were known to the police. This implies that the rate of emergence of new offenders in the society is very minimal. Understanding the cycle of violence is another step to coming up with a reputable solution to domestic violence victimization. According to the article, there are three components of the cycle of violence namely; tension building, explosion, and absence of tension also called 'honeymoon phase'. They are these phases that the victim of domestic violence must face giving hope that it is very practical that a solution might be designed at the very beginning. However, according to Reaves (2017), at the tension building stages, the victim, even though faced with horrible conditions, will provide an inexhaustible list of reasons such as love, hope, dependence, fear, and learned helplessness why they will not take legal approaches to end the menace. This is a very important part of the article as it gives the relevant authorities reading it the most important reasons to why they should review the approaches they use to handle domestic violence.
Using a number of statistical evidence, Lynn (2016) presents a number of interesting findings that have been replicated in other literature. The article breaks the concept into various categories for the lay reader to understand them with little or no strains. Another very important aspect that can be borrowed from the article is that the author did not just view domestic violence as a problem that affects women only. Lynn (2016) was much unbiased in the study as she also mentioned those in gay and lesbian relationships as the victims of domestic violence.
While the findings were certainly of interest, the author laid much attention to women than men and people in the gay and lesbian relationship against the promise that was given at the beginning of the study. There are elements of thoroughness in the manner the author addressed the issue of domestic violence as it affects women and most importantly how women react to the cycle of violence. The author could have done better in case she addressed these effects as they affect both women and men on the same platform. Overreliance on women derailed the study to make the reader believe that the author was somewhat gendered biased or viewed the effects more detrimental to women than men. The relevance of this otherwise comprehensive and contemporary study was also hampered by the lack of proper address of the matter as it affects those in the gay and lesbian relationship.
Nonetheless, the article was of greater importance and has addressed some of the crucial parts that are rarely addressed by other authors. First, not many studies focus on race or age as one of the factors to consider while discussing domestic violence. There is the need for more studies to be conducted in the field of domestic violence that discuss the role of race and age. Unbiased studies will give the authorities the necessary tool needed; knowledge, to design appropriate measures that will ensure no man or woman is overlooked in the fight against domestic violence.
The study by Reaves (2017) indicated that 32% of those who did not report domestic violence did so to protect their privacy, 21% protected the offender, and 20% saw the crime was minor while 19% had the fear of reprisal. According to what has been presented with the article, Lynn (2016) made the appropriate claim when she suggested that the law enforcement faces the bigger challenge when the victims fail to report to the police. Additionally, the article pointed out that men are notorious for not reporting to the police at the right time. These findings as illustrated in the article leads to the questions of what should be done in the future to ensure that no one suffers in silence.
Lynn (2016) suggests that there are factors, therefore, that must be addressed to ensure low rates of domestic violence within the society. These factors include; personal factors, social factors, professional factors, institutional and legal factors, and other factors. These factors have been addressed in various literatures including that by Reaves (2017). In almost all these studies, what comes clear is that authors are very fond of identifying what should be done, but not how it should be implemented for positive results. The same happened with Lynn (2016) where she only identified the factors that should be addressed but did not give a substantial statistics and evidence on how the law enforcement should handle them. Instead of listing the factors, Lynn (2016) should have addressed each factor on its own and provide the way forward.
In conclusion, Lynn's article provides a distinct and vivid research full of statistical evidence to show how domestic violence affects the society. The article presented interesting findings that can be of good use for the present and future research. However, just like any other research, the article failed to address the issue of those in gay and lesbian relationships. Additionally, it concentrated heavily on women than men. Nonetheless, the article was well articulated with a smooth flow of argument and plenty of research evidence to support the thesis statement.
References
Lynn, B.B. Medscape. Domestic Violence. (2016). Domestic Violence: background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology.
Reaves, B. A., Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, & United States of America. (2017). Police Response to Domestic Violence, 2006-2015.