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Domestic Violence - Domestic Violence and Its Effects on Victims Within Richland County

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Domestic Violence and its Effects on Victims within Richland County

The United States has alarming rates of violent crime and domestic violence. Although women are significantly less likely to become victims of violent crime, they are more vulnerable to particular types of perpetrators (Cardarelli, 1997). Cardarelli (1997) postulates that women are more like to be victimized by intimates, such as husbands or boyfriends, as they were to be victimized by acquaintances or strangers.

It has been proven that women experience the majority of the violence directed at them by those with whom they have ongoing relationships (Cardarelli, 1997). The problem is that many men and women have fell victim of domestic violence in Richland County. However, this research is not limited to women and domestic violence. Men are also victims of domestic violence; they are often overshadowed by women in this area because men are often reluctant to report domestic violence. This research will focus on the victims of domestic violence in Richland County in particular. The significance of the research is to discover the effects of domestic violence in which victims struggle with after the incident of domestic violence.

The research will give a brief overview of some of the laws that have been put in place to protect victims from domestic violence. Also the research will explain some of the efforts in which the state of South Carolina is making to alleviate the problem of domestic violence. Currently there are thirteen emergency domestic violence shelters within the state of South Carolina (State Plan, 2008- 2009). The state of South Carolina has many different approaches to help solve the issue of domestic violence as such as shelters, hotlines and counseling services.


Research Questions:

What are some of the efforts that the state is making to alleviate the problem of domestic violence in South Carolina?

How do the laws pertaining to domestic violence protect victims of domestic violence?

What are some of the reasons victims stay in abusive relationships?

Review of Literature

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is when spouses, intimate partners, or dates use physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to control the behavior of their partners, they are committing domestic violence (Matthews, 2004). Also domestic violence is defined as violence that occurs between couples who are living together or once did live together in a conjugal- styled relationship (Davis, 1998). Although many people believe that domestic violence is limited to physical abuse, domestic violence has many other aspects as such as physical, emotional, verbal abuse and stalking.


What is Physical Abuse?

According to Haley and Stein (2005, pp. 2-3), physical abuse is the use of strength or weapons or the threat of injury to hurt or control another person. Many types of physical abuse are crimes; those committed by relatives and domestic partners are rarely reported to the police (Haley and Stein, 2005). Relatives and domestic partners are often reluctant to file criminal charges against a loved one (Haley and Stein, 2005). Physical abuse is identified by grabbing, pushing, shoving to name a few (Haley and Stein, 2005).

What is Emotional and Verbal Abuse?

Emotional abuse is the use of words and actions to control or hurt another person (Haley and Stein, 2005). According to Haley and Stein (2005, pp. 3) emotional abuse is harder to identify than physical abuse. Also emotional abuse is not considered criminal unless it involves a serious physical threat (Haley and Stein, 2005). Emotionally abusive behavior includes behavior and actions. Some examples given by Haley and Stein (2005) of emotional abuse are controlling all finances or major decisions and isolating the other person from friends or family members. Some examples of verbal abuse are yelling, sarcasm and constant criticism to name a few (Haley and Stein, 2005).

What is Stalking?

Stalking is defined as making unwanted contact with someone in a way that communicates a threat or causes the other person to fear for his or her safety (Haley and Stein,


2005). Also Haley and Stein (2005) stated that stalking conjures up images of a man following, spying on, and even physically assaulting a woman. According to the Domestic Violence Sourcebook, Second Edition stalking is referred to as harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person's property.

The Characteristics of Domestic Partner Abusers

Perpetrators in domestic violence are not exclusive from any economic, race, and ethnic group. They include those who live in million-dollar homes and people who barely have a nickel to their names (Haley and Stein, 2005). Some of the characteristics that abusers possess are low self- esteem, uncontrolled temper, extreme jealousy and intense fear of abandonment (Haley and Stein, 2005).

Historical Perspective

Domestic violence has been a huge problem for a very long time. However, it was not until the nineteenth century when domestic violence became an issue. It seems as if for a while before domestic violence was brought to the forefront that this violence was viewed as being acceptable. During the nineteenth century there were many efforts to help protect women from domestic violence.


From 1978 to 1984, several different bills were presented to Congress (History of Domestic Violence, 2010). However it was not until 1984 when The Family Violence Prevention Services Act was passed. During



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