For many years the exploitation and spiteful crimes against women in the United States was not seen as a major concern in the nation. Women were and are still being abused by their intimate partner, sexually assaulted, and stalked. Generally, domestic violence is just seen as physical abuse.
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However, domestic violence is a legal concept that refers to physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse. It is rare but domestic violence is not just men being abusive to women but women can also be abusive to men. Domestic violence creates a toxic relationship with the couple. Some women do not escape from the partner because they are scared for their lives and possibly their loved one’s life. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic violence, the victim is often in the most danger directly following the escape of the relationship or when they seek help: 1/5 of homicide victims with restraining orders are murdered within two days of obtaining the order; 1/3 are murdered within the first month. This is a problem in the United States. Cognitive/Behavioral theory focuses on the abusers and the victims’ internal psychological processes that allow abuser to abuse and allow the victim to stay in an abusive relationship.
The second theory is ecological framework theory, this proposes risk factors for domestic violence at three levels: micro level (recovering programs), mezzo level (civil) and macro level (connecting with the community) (2015). Two causes of domestic violence are the way the abuser grew up and control. The way the abuser grew up plays a huge part in the cause of domestic violence. This is growing up in a violent and abusive household destroys the individual’s ability to trust other and control their emotions (2016). Control is a cause of domestic violence because the individual needs to feel in control of their partner and dominate over them. In 1994, the congress passed a policy associated with domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking against women called the Violence Against Women Act. This policy was a part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Initially this was developed to end violence against women but we all know that is impossible to achieve 100 percent (2017). The objective for Violence Against Women Act is Make tenants aware of causes, warning signs, supportive services and resources for victims and survivors of domestic violence. The values underlying the objective is to be certain to clarify the issue of domestic violence. The direct target of VAWA is to help women victims of domestic violence in the United States no matter what race you are.
The indirect target of this policy is the men or abusers. The 1994 Violence Against Women Act was intended to force the government to be more involved in the safety of America’s women. VAWA also intended to create shelters for women to escape from their abusers. VAWA did not intend to increase the potential for state control of marginalized women. Another unintended effect is the policy being looked at as a feminist policy. Although the Violence Against Women Act was intended to keep women safe, many people believe that VAWA punish victims of domestic violence by forcing them to choose between their personal safety and the risk of being homeless (2016). The change in the distribution of material resources in VAWA is receiving shelter until possibly safe, getting help with recovering from the abuse, steps on living on your own, and help with living assistance (e.g. WIC, Food Stamps, Healthcare, and Section 8). When the VAWA was established, many laws were passed to give justice to women who were victims of domestic violence. In 2005, Congress again reauthorized VAWA.
The legislation enhanced penalties for repeat stalking offenders; added protections for battered and trafficked immigrants; and added programs for sexual assault victims and American Indian victims, and programs designed to improve the public health response to domestic violence (2013). The Violence Against Women Act is not the only policy dedicated to the safety of women. Other policies include: The Center for Domestic Violence Policy and Model Workplace Policy. According to The Center for Domestic Violence Policy, this policy ensures that each state has proper laws to remove domestic violence and any violence in the workplace. They also educate individuals in all age groups on the warning signs of toxic partners and help them become aware of ways to avoid violent situations. The Model Workplace Policy states that their policy institutionalize responsive policies and procedures to assist employees who are impacted by violence, including the provision of training on this policy to employees and management. MWP also provides assistance and support to domestic violence victims and facilitate safety for victims and employees.
Abrahamson, J., & Cantrell, R. T. (2013). Violence Against Women Act: Elements & Considerations. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Model workplace policy. Purpose section. Retrieved at: https://www.workplacesrespond.org/resource-library/modelpolicy/
Newswire, F. (2016). Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Nuisance Ordinances. Retrieved at: https://feminist.org/blog/index.php/2016/10/10/domestic-violence-awareness- month-nuisance-ordinances/.
Pickert, K. (2013). What’s wrong with the violence against women act? Retrieved at: http://nation.time.com/2013/02/27/whats-wrong-with-the-violence-against-women-act/
Spencer, S. (2017). Why the violence against women act is more important than ever. Retrieved at: https://www.womansday.com/relationships/a59126/vawa-act-under-threat/
The center for domestic violence policy. (2017). About us. Retrieved at: https://dvpolicy.org/about/ U.S. Department of Justice. (2017). History of Violence Against Women Act. Retrieved at: https://www.justice.gov/ovw/about-office.
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