For the past decade, many households have been facing many social challenges such as child poverty which emanated sue to economic hardships that result in low income in families. However, besides this social challenge, many households have also experienced marriage related social challenges such as divorce, polygamy issues and adultery in relationships (Ademiluka, S. O. (2018).). This has resulted in couples separating, and in most cases, if a family has children, they are usually left behind without nobody to take care of them. Some even fall into depression due to a lack of basic needs such as clothing, shelter, and even food, and this may adversely affect the children as they grow up. It is estimated that close to 20% of families worldwide face marriage related social issues, usually between couples. However, one of the major household social issues that usually affect many families, especially couples, is intimate partner violence. According to recent research by the National Statistics Domestic Violence, an average of 20 people per minute are abused physically by an intimate partner. The research also explains that 1 out of 4 women and 1 out of 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence such as sexual violence and intimate partner stalking that may result in serious health issues such as injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and even sexually transmitted Infections (Akhmedshina, F. (2018)). Therefore, social workers need to embark on a serious course to eradicate this social challenge from society with such statistics. Therefore the purpose of this article is to articulate about intimate partner violence and its various effect on different realms of the social life of an individual or society.
Intimate partner violence refers to the behaviour between two partners in an intimate relationship which usually results in physical, psychological and sexual harm to the victim. Intimate Partner violence involves physical aggression, psychological abuse, sexual coercion, and controlling behaviours from either partners or all partners in a relationship. This form of violence usually covers both the current and former spouses in any relationship. A report compiled by the National Statistic Domestic Violence has revealed that at least 1 out of every three women and 1 out of every four men have experienced emotional and physical violence from their intimate spouses or partner globally. Such acts of violence include pushing, shoving and even slapping. The research reiterates that in most cases, such incidences are never reported due to fear of constriction, and therefore most of them are usually not considered domestic violence. In the same research, it is also estimated that at least 1 out of every five women and 1 out of 6 men have been victims of severe physical violence such as burning, strangling and beating by an intimate spouse in a lifetime (Glover, A. (2019)). Some of the most practices forms of Intimate Partner Violence include rape, Homicide, Children and Domestic Violence. Because women are the most abused gender in any relationship in a household, they indeed have to be protected from the effects of such violence. Social workers should amicably address the reasons that result in such violence against women and a way forward sorted towards ensuring that the society mitigates this social challenge.
Risk factors that lead to violence against women
With structural power imbalances and historical influences in most societies, More women are abused than men due to discrimination and gender inequality, resulting in violence against women. The structural power imbalance in most societies between men and women has immensely contributed to women’s discrimination and, consequently, an increase in intimate partner violence mostly directed toward women.
According to many types of research by psychologists dealing with women, one of the reasons and risk factors contributing to violence against women in society is the lack of power and control. Many societies perceive men as not only e heads of their families and the heads of the communities. On top of this is the belief in social codes and norms that describes the various roles of women and men in society, hence encouraging abuse of women (Messing, J. T.et al (2020)). The gender inequalities in cost societies usually impose limitations and restrictions on women’s freedom, rights, opportunities and choices. Women, therefore, end up being economically, socially, culturally and politically alienated from society; in trying to fight for their rights and book their places in the societies, most women’s risk of abuse, exploitation and violent relationships increases. Some women may be abused by their male partners due to economic dependency and limited income-earning options. Others may be discriminated against and abused under the law, which may bar them from having child custody rights and result in divorce. Therefore, violence against women results in gender inequality and reinforces women’s low status in society.
Another major risk factor that may result in violence against women is experiencing abuse as a child. This is one of the main reasons for the high increase in women violet abuse in most societies. For instance, many people would always look down upon a woman who has experienced child abuse such as rape. According to the research by National Statistics Domestic Violence, at least 1 out of every five women globally has experienced incidences of sexual abuse, that is, rape by either a close relative or an outsider. Many people usually feel that such women are not worthy of society due to their sexual violence encounters as a child (Piotrowski, C. C. et al (2020)). For most women whose close relatives have been sexually molested, the situation is even worse since they are always stigmatized and marginalized by their families. As a result, if such women are married, it is more likely that their intimate partners would not have respect for them due to their tainted image.
Another major risk factor contributing to violence in women is the association with drug and substance abuse such as alcohol and marijuana. In most cases, many women who engage in drug and substance abuse usually become intoxicated. Many sexual predators may find this an opportunity to rape women and taint their dignity. Some women may get unwanted pregnancies and even sexually transmitted infections, affecting their married life in the wrong run. Most women who get unwanted pregnancies as a result of rape due to drug and substance abuse are usually ridiculed not only by society but also by their intimate partners once they get married (Choi, C. (2020)). This is also higher chances of increased domestic violence in such marriages since such women are usually disrespected and undignified by their intimate partners.
A low level of education among most women is also associated with perpetrated violence against women. It has been noted that women with less education are more likely to experience domestic violence than women who have achieved higher education status (Couturier, V. et al (2017)). A person’s education level is usually associated with their earning ability and social status in the household. Therefore, most women are less educated than their intimate males. It is more likely that they will earn less than their significant other. This discrepancy will result in the abuser perpetrating their women psychologically and physically in forms of domestic violence to gain more respect and control over the household and the society.
Other risk factors may include attitudes and practices that result in female subordination and tolerance in the society, such as bride price, child marriage and dowry. Another more likely risk factor is the normalization of the use of violence against women in society and in the household to solve conflicts. This risk factor has resulted in many innocent women losing their lives. Another risk factor may include allowing the intimate male partner to take all the control over assets and decision making in the household, tension and conflict within an intimate partner relationship or marriage, as well as low levels of acknowledgement and awareness among the judicial actors, law enforcement and the protectors of women rights un the societies (Colley, L. (2019)).
Effects of intimate partner violence on women
One of the major impacts of intimate violence on women is murder. Over the past decade, it has been found that close to 50 % of women worldwide are killed by their significant partners as a result of domestic violence. Most women are subjected to extreme beating, strangulation, and manslaughter by their husbands due to stalking, caring allegations and loss of jobs.
Another major health effect of intimate partner violence is increasing the chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections. According to a research conducted by the World Health Organization on the prevalence of domestic violence in many households globally, it was found that at least 40% of the women subjected to domestic violence by their male partners are more vulnerable to contracting STIs and HIV due to forced intercourse by their infected partners and also prolonged exposure to mental stress. Studies have also suggested a huge interrelationship between intimate partner violence on women and suicidal behaviour and depression. Many women who have been subjected to mental torture and other domestic violence forms by their husbands tend to fall into depression and develop suicidal thoughts and feelings. Sometimes the pain of staying in toxic marriages and relationships is too much for them to bear, and most commit suicide.
On the other hand, being subjected to prolonged intimate partner violence may deteriorate the women’s health, either physical, mental or sexual wise (Trevillion, K. et al (2019)). For instance, adolescent pregnancy miscarriages, unintended pregnancies, abdominal pains, nutritional deficiency, anxiety, PTSD, Cardiovascular diseases and stillbirths are all the mental, physical and sexual effects of women being subjected to intimate partner violence. Therefore, it is upon the human rights organizations on women and the criminal justice system to work towards ensuring that the vulnerable women in the society are protected at all means for them to survive and increase their chances of being productive in society.
Human rights and social justice regarding women
Women play a very important role in society. Besides bearing the burden of being the source of life through birth, women also play a major role in caring for the child. They are always there for the child through motherly love, care, and support. Mothers ensure that children stay healthy by providing for their basic needs. There are always there for the child during the transition stage from childhood to adulthood, and therefore they should always be respected as the giver and supporters of life. Therefore women’s rights are usually very important rights that the United Nations even support. Women have the right to live freely. They have a right not to be enslaved, violated and discriminated against in society. Women should not be subjected to discrimination of any form, may it be institutional discrimination, societal discrimination, racial discrimination or even gender discrimination, since they equally contribute as their male counterparts to the success of the society. Women should also be provided with affordable and free education (McGuffee, K.et al (2012)). They should also be allowed to own property and earn an equal and fair wage like their male counterparts. Therefore, women should not only be given opportunities in society but also be appreciated and embraced in society for being part and parcel of the development of society. The criminal justice system should also implement laws and policies to ensure that women are treated justly and fairly. Societies and the criminal justice systems should also develop policies that empower women and invest In them through organizations and movements that seek to improve their welfare.
The law should also encourage women to come up with movements and organizations that would be used to champion their rights. Policies such as the Universal care for women should be
implemented so that pregnant women and those who have other health issues regarding sexuality and production should be prioritized in treatment. Through the Universal Declaration of Human rights, the vital rights for women’s equality work are implemented. Women should be granted free will and a free choice on the number of children they should have. This declaration would also ensure that a high-quality health care plan for women and children is also implemented. This will mean that no woman should die during pregnancy or childbirth and that women will always receive affordable health care regardless of their economic situation.
The law in all the jurisdictions globally should also provide for the clause that seeks to protect women against domestic violence. The male partners who practice acts such as beatings, slapping, strangulation and manslaughter on women should be apprehended and subjected to the full force of the law based on the weight of their criminal offences (Stuart, G. L. et al (2014)). This move would ensure that all women are respected both at the societal and institutional levels.
Ideologies surrounding women and patriarchy
With the prevalence of intimate partner violence mostly against women, feminist sociologies have developed numerous ideologies regarding women in leadership and their other specific roles in the male-dominated society (Lloyd, M.et al (2018)). A patriarchal society is a male-dominated society or a society in which the male are the heads of the family. In such societies, the male is usually reckoned as the head of various lines of leadership and power, and the female is only allowed to carry out other subordinate roles. Because women define their experiences and demands differently, it is more likely that in such a society, many gender wrangles would erupt, resulting in the occurrence of domestic oppression and violence subjected to a particular gender, mostly to women in this case.
The Anarchism theory is an ideology that combines Anarchism and feminism. This theory outlines that women should come forward and deny all forms of oppression subjected to them by their male counterparts. However, this ideology is sceptical when it comes to authority, and it abandons the hierarchical systems often society that is considered coercive and involuntary. This theory views patriarchy as coercive. It opposes all the treatments considered subjective to women due to the system. The ideology is important as it seeks equality for both men and women in all the activities of society through addressing the oppression subjected to women (Devakumar, D. et al (2018)). The theory opposes gender roles in the family and the general make-up of the institution of marriage. It attributed women’s low governance and personal growth to limitations on women’s roles and marriage. It, therefore, champions equal potentials and opportunities for both men and women in education, leadership and employment. It seeks to address all forms of social, political and economic injustices.
On the other hand, the functionalist theory states that men perform instrumental roles in society while women perform expressive roles. However, according to many feminist theorists, gender roles in a patriarchal society should not be regarded as fixed roles but universal. This theory does not emphasize gender socialization in society. Therefore, according to feminist theory, the theory is only meant to ensure that gender inequality is done away with within society and that women are treated as equals to men when it comes to leadership roles in public and private institutions.
In the conflict theory, others see women as disadvantaged when it comes to power between men and women. In a male-dominated society, this theory seeks to eliminate the notion that women should never be treated unequally to men regarding economic, political and social systems. The theory also addresses capitalism as one of the main reasons women are treated unfairly in a male-dominated society. Women should not be used to provide a cheap source of labour. They should be provided with equal opportunities to men, such as employment opportunities ( McIntosh, T.et al (2022)). They also do work the essential to life, and therefore this ideology is important in ensuring women’s justice is ensured in the society,
Intergenerational cycle of domestic violence and early childhood
Early childhood life experiences
A child who always behaves negatively when introduced to a particular activity, whether at home or school, is believed to be facing some really difficult experiences. Interventions have to be made to ensure that the child associates well with others and even the parents. Recent research has revealed that a child is a delicate creatures with a sensitive and emotional system that determines their reflective functioning. Reflective functioning refers to the cognitive and emotional process that indicates a capacity to understand the dynamics of an internal and interpersonal emotional life.
A child’s behaviour could portray that they have some internal experience that accounts for the relationship between the attachment status and their security and safety. For instance, when a child is raped at a young age, this feeling may haunt them into adulthood. The trauma created inside them may result in marriage challenges, and most of the time, they may feel disrespected and unloved by their significant other. Sometimes the child may fail to explain their internal experiences or trauma. However, when certain experiences are introduced to them that relate to their previous fearful experience, the child may behave differently, which would tell more of what the child has been experiencing (Merrin, G. J. et al (2020)). Therefore, a mother or guardian needs to have time and understand their children’s internal experiences to participate well in their activities. On the other hand, in such scenarios, parents should always devise better interventions to deal with their children since inadequate intervention may make the child inactive, and the same feelings may haunt the child to adulthood.
Effects of exposure to violence in early childhood
Research conducted by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services has revealed that children exposed to violence in the home are also the victims of physical abuse. The research also explains that children exposed to domestic violence at young ages are also more likely to be violent. Children are usually very active, and any slight exposure to a traumatic event may affect their transition from childhood to adulthood. Children usually learn through observation and practice, and they may consequently engage in the same violent behaviours in the future. According to the Social learning theory, children usually learn through the people around them. Their attitudes and behaviours usually develop in response to the encouragement and reinforcement they get from their parents. For a child who gets a negative reinforcement of violence during childhood, it is more likely that they will do the same in adulthood.
Additionally, it has been found that most children who are exposed early to violence may tend to have a greater risk of physical and long-term mental problems. For instance, children subjected to traumatic events such as parental violence may tend to be stressed, and most of them fall into depression, affecting their growth and development. Children in homes where one parent is abused may develop anxiety and fearful feelings. They will always be wondering when the next and hence they may tend to react In different ways
violence will happen. For instance, when school-going children witness intimate partner violence, they may start doing things that they used to do before, such as bedwetting, increased crying, and developing difficulties in getting sleep. Other children may end up fighting with family members or skipping school (Farber, N. B.et al (2019)). Others may engage in pre-marital sex and use drug and substance abuse. In other scenarios, a girl child who lives I t home where a father abused the mother is likely is more likely to be sexually abused as she grows up. Such traumatic events may affect the child in the long run leading to increased cases of future intimate partner violence.
As much as domestic violence is usually subjected to women, men also face this social issue, although not insignificant numbers. The male victi9ms of domestic violence are usually very closer to the abuser, whether it is a heterosexual or some sexual relationship. For the male, domestic violence happens when one of the partners wants to have control over the other partner. Most male victims are usually violated sexually, emotionally and physically. However, with men’s resiliency, they rarely report such matters and choose to keep quiet. As a result, most of them have ended up falling into depression and sometimes, most need to commit suicide. Only 20 % of the male victims may come out boldly and speak of domestic violence subjected to them. Domestic violence in men can take different forms, such as stalking or threatening. For men who are transgender, they are usually ridiculed, shunned and discriminated (Büttner, A.et al (2020)). against or even violently assaulted since they do not necessarily display the expected routines of gender. This results in stigmatization, and because domestic violence in men is usually overlooked, necessary actions may not be taken, resulting in long-run negative effects on the victim.
One of the ways of mitigating intimate partner violence and domestic violence is through risk assessments. Welfare organizations and the law should try and come up with a formidable plan to assess the risk that may come as a result of domestic violence. This is important in determining the nature of the violence, the underlying cause and victimization. Through risk assessments, proper methods of solving domestic violence such as mediation and arbitration can be sought.
Another important intervention I through family interventions. According to (Dominey et al., 2019), A family is a special and basic social institution that can be used to solve domestic wrangles between intimate partners. They may help salvage the marriage and protect children from abusive parents while helping partners come together again and build their homes.
Advocacy is also another intervention method that can reduce domestic violence globally. By advocating for equal treatment between couples and respecting each other, couples will learn to tolerate each other and live in love. They will learn to behave in front of year children and work together for their family’s good.
Law enforcement should also play its role in apprehending offenders who participate in domestic violence. They should rest on the intimate partner who has sexually abused another. They should rest the partner who has either case physical injury to their significant other through slapping, strange action or death so that they face the full force of the law.
Communities should also be educated on upholding love, peace and harmony at home between intimate partners. They should be educated on the dangers of engaging in domestic violence and the effects that it might have on children in their future life.
Because intimate partner violence is a global social issue that affects many families, the issue must be taken with much seriousness to create a stable, respectful, and developed society. Their word is peaceful coexistence with stable families and respectful partners in society (Soyinka-Airewele, P. et al(2018)). Many children would also grow and develop in the right way with good behaviours that will not import during adulthood. Therefore, families must stay strong and halthy together for a better future and society.
Ademiluka, S. O. (2018). Patriarchy and women abuse: Perspectives from ancient Israel and Africa. Old Testament Essays, 31(2). https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2018/v31n2a5
Ajayi, L. A., & Soyinka-Airewele, P. (2018). Key Triggers of domestic violence in Ghana: A victim centered analysis. African Population Studies, 32(1), 4097–4108. https://doi.org/10.11564/32-1-1181
Akhmedshina, F. (2018). Violence against women: a form of discrimination and human rights violations. Mental Enlightenment Scientific-Methodological Journal, 13–23.
Antle, B., Karam, E. A., Barbee, A. P., Sullivan, D., Minogue, A., & Glover, A. (2019). Intergenerational transmission of intimate partner violence and its impact on Adolescent relationship attitudes: A qualitative study. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 25(1), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2019.1634894
Barth, R. P., Kularni, S. J., Kohl, P., & Messing, J. T. (2020). Build healthy relationships to end violence. Grand Challenges for Social Work. Retrieved 2022, from https://grandchallengesforsocialwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/BHR-One-Pager-FINAL.pdf
Cameranesi, M., & Piotrowski, C. C. (2020). Critical review of theoretical frameworks elucidating the mechanisms accounting for the adverse developmental outcomes observed in children following exposure to intimate partner violence. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 55, 101455. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2020.101455
Choi, C. (2020). Intergenerational Intimate Partner Violence: Pathways of Genetic and Environmental Interactions. Inquiries Journal, 12(9). https://doi.org/http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1800/intergenerational-intimate-partner-violence-pathways-of-genetic-and-environmental-interactions
Colley, L. (2019). (Un)restricting feminism: High school students’ definitions of gender and feminism in the context of the historic struggle for women’s rights. Theory & Research in Social Education, 47(3), 426–455. https://doi.org/10.1080/00933104.2019.1593268
Domoney, J., & Trevillion, K. (2020). Breaking the cycle of intergenerational abuse: A qualitative interview study of men participating in a perinatal program to reduce violence. Infant Mental Health Journal, 42(2), 206–221. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21886
Domoney, J., Fulton, E., Stanley, N., McIntyre, A., Heslin, M., Byford, S., Bick, D., Ramchandani, P., MacMillan, H., Howard, L. M., & Trevillion, K. (2019). For baby’s sake: Intervention development and evaluation design of a whole-family perinatal intervention to break the cycle of domestic abuse. Journal of Family Violence, 34(6), 539–551. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-019-00037-3
Eigenberg, H. M., Kappeler, V. E., & McGuffee, K. (2012). Confronting the complexities of domestic violence: A social prescription for rethinking police training. Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations, 12(2), 122–145. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332586.2012.717045
Elmquist, J. A., Hamel, J., Shorey, R. C., Labrecque, L., Ninnemann, A., & Stuart, G. L. (2014). Motivations for intimate partner violence in men and women arrested for domestic violence and court referred to Batterer Intervention Programs. Partner Abuse, 5(4), 359–374. https://doi.org/10.1891/1946-65184.108.40.2069
Fellmeth, G., Rose-Clarke, K., Zhao, C., Busert, L. K., Zheng, Y., Massazza, A., Sonmez, H., Eder, B., Blewitt, A., Lertgrai, W., Orcutt, M., Ricci, K., Mohamed-Ahmed, O., Burns, R., Knipe, D., Hargreaves, S., Hesketh, T., Opondo, C., & Devakumar, D. (2018). Health impacts of parental migration on left-behind children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet, 392(10164), 2567–2582. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(18)32558-3
Hashemi, L., Fanslow, J., Gulliver, P., & McIntosh, T. (2022). Intergenerational impact of violence exposure: Emotional-behavioural and school difficulties in children aged 5–17. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.771834
Ingram, K. M., Espelage, D. L., Davis, J. P., & Merrin, G. J. (2020). Family violence, sibling, and peer aggression during adolescence: Associations with Behavioral Health Outcomes. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00026
Kim, J., Lee, B., & Farber, N. B. (2019). Where do they learn violence? the roles of three forms of violent socialization in childhood. Children and Youth Services Review, 107, 104494. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104494
Kolbe, V., & Büttner, A. (2020). Domestic violence against men— prevalence and risk factors. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. https://doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.2020.0534
Lapierre, S., Côté, I., Lambert, A., Buetti, D., Lavergne, C., Damant, D., & Couturier, V. (2017). Difficult but close relationships: Children’s perspectives on relationships with their mothers in the context of domestic violence. Violence Against Women, 24(9), 1023–1038. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801217731541
Lloyd, M. (2018). Domestic violence and education: Examining the impact of domestic violence on young children, children, and young people and the potential role of Schools. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02094