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Jose Vega

Professor Olivas

English 101

26 June 2017

Domestic Violence

In the short story, Shattered and Beaten, by Audrey Austin, Alicia is the daughter of

parents that were both raised in domestically abused homes. Alicia witnesses first-hand domestic

violence in her home when her mother is under constant domestic abuse by her alcoholic father.

What is domestic violence? Donna Batten describes domestic violence as,

Domestic violence consists of acts committed in the context of an adult intimate

relationship. It is a continuance of aggressive and controlling behaviors, including

physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, that one adult intimate does to

another (Donna Batten).

Nothing can justify the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of another individual. As of now

the punishment for domestic violence varies depending on whether someone is arrested for

misdemeanor or felony domestic violence. Domestic abuse must be put to a stop.

Domestic violence has always occurred and at one time or another and was an accepted

practice in many countries including the United States, says Keith Bell.

For centuries, domestic violence was an accepted practice in many countries,

including the United States. Historically speaking, primarily women were

victimized in the domestic relationship, and women who sought help from law

enforcement or community members to deal with a violent spouse were

ostracized, publicly humiliated, or often forbidden to return to the community

(Kieth Bell).

Domestic violence has been an increasing issue in todays society.

Awareness and services have increased exponentially over the past three

decades, and as of 2007, a total of 1,949 domestic violence programs were

operational across the United States (National Center for Victims of Crime,

2008) (Angela Gover).

What this statistic indicates to us is that domestic violence has been an issue of concern for a

minimum of three decades. It can be traced back to the late 1960s and early 1970s. There are

various theories as to what exactly causes domestic violence. The four theories are family

systems theory, feminist psychological theory, learning theory, and psychoanalytic theory (Paul

Moglia). As Donna Batten stated the different types of domestic violence include physical,

sexual, and psychological. Batten also identifies the indicators and warning signs of domestic


The victim is very fearful of the partner, The victim states that the partner is

extremely jealous, The victim describes the relationship as full of conflict, The

Victim makes references to being forces to have sexual relations with the partner,

The victim states police have often been called to the home, The victim states that

the partner controls everything the victim does (Batten).

It is important to be able to identify the indicators and warning signs of domestic violence in

order to prevent it from occurring. While some may argue that abusers in domestic violence

relationships must be stopped, abusers may argue that there is nothing wrong with their actions.

Their manipulative ways often times convince their significant others that domestic abuse is

indeed ok when in reality it is not.

The effects of domestic violence and abuse often times creates deep psychological

wounds. For example; in Beaten and Shattered, a short story by Audrey Austin, the little girl was

abused by her alcoholic father. To cope with her abuse the child developed an unhealthy method

of eating junk food to make herself feel better.

Because my mommy loved me she let me eat all the cookies, sweets, and ice

cream I wanted. Because I ate too much I grew fat. Kids at school teased me and

some of the boys bullied me according to the NCADV, support comes from a

variety of sources, including crisis intervention, emotional support, legal

assistance and advocacy, and other services (Michelle Parke).

There are various ways to treat domestic violence and abuse, such as therapy or counseling.

When left untreated domestic violence and abuse can lead to dramatic long-term effects. Some

of the psychological responses include borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress

disorder (of which battered women syndrome is a subcategory), Stockholm syndrome, and self-

inflicted violence (Parke).

There are various ways you can prevent domestic violence and abuse from occurring.

Abusers in domestic violence relationships would argue that retraining orders do not restrict

them from abusing their victim because once a cycle of manipulation and abuse begins nothing

can be done to stop it from continuing.


a significant tool in the defense against domestic violence has been the civil

order of protection, better known as a restraining order. Protection orders are

intended to create distance between an offender and their victim and provide relief

from abuse for the victim (Parke).

Other non-abusers would argue that taking advantage of the different resources can indeed

prevent domestic violence and abuse from occuring.

As it stands the current punishment for domestic violence is too lienent. In order to put an

end to domestic violence and abuse we must reconstruct the punishment. Ken LaMance states

the legal consequences for a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.

Domestic violence misdemeanors are treated very seriously. They can

sometimes require aggressive intervention by police and other authorities. The

penalties prescribed for domestic violence may vary from state to state, but most

misdemeanors result in: Fines, and/or Jail time (up to one year) Furthermore,

federal and state laws often impose additional legal consequences besides the

punishments listed above. Domestic violence misdemeanor charges can also have

drastic effects, such as: Loss of or change in custody/visitation rights, decreased

ability to obtain employment or housing (many employers and housing authorities

require disclosure of domestic violence misdemeanor charges) (Ken LaMance).

The legal consequences for a felony domestic violence offence include all for misdemeanor

domestic violence including aggravating factors.

Aggravating factors may convert a misdemeanor charge into a felony, such as

when simple assault becomes aggravated assault. A domestic violence incident is


generally classified as a felony if it involves the following aggravating factors:

Acts of violence that result in death or serious bodily injury to the victim,

Criminal acts directed towards minors, especially very young children, Violent

acts or threats that involve the use of a deadly weapon (for example, threatening

the victim with a knife or gun with the intent to intimidate them), Criminal acts

that involve forced sexual abuse, such as rape or sexual assault (LaMance).

To prevent domestic violence and abuse from continuing to reoccur we must convert the

consequesces of felony domestic violence offences to misdemeanor offences as well as develop

harsher punishments for felony domestic violence offences. While some may argue that this is

cruel and unusual punishment others may say the true cruel and unusual punishment is inflicting

domestic violence and abuse onto another individual by ways of manipulation and fear.

In conclusion, we must put an end to domestic violence and abuse. In order to put an end

to domestic violence and abuse we must come to the realization that we can no longer live in the

past and continue to believe that this type of behavior is ok. Although some may argue that there

is nothing wrong with this behavior others will argue that there is no tolerance for this type of

behavior in our current society where we constantly strive to make women just as equal as

opposed to men rather than put them down with domestic violence and abuse.

Works Cited

Gover, Angela R. "Domestic Violence." 21st Century Criminology: A Reference Handbook,

edited by J. Mitchell Miller, vol. 2, SAGE Reference, 2009, pp. 472-480. 21st Century

Reference Series. Gale Virtual Reference Library,


8a7667b5f102f9becb1be7838cb. Accessed 28 June 2017.

Parke, Michelle. "Domestic Violence." Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender, edited by Fedwa Malti-

Douglas, vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, 2007, pp. 404-408. Gale Virtual Reference



990f5ac073ed9293727a798b90d. Accessed 28 June 2017.

"Domestic Violence." Adolescent Health & Wellness, edited by Paul Moglia, vol. 2, Salem

Press/Grey House, 2015, pp. 850-854. Salem Health. Gale Virtual Reference Library,


4ff61bc0e8985e7986418769025. Accessed 28 June 2017.

"Domestic Violence." Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law, edited by Donna Batten, 3rd ed.,

vol. 1: American with Disabilities Act to First Amendment Law, Gale, 2013, pp. 707-

711. Gale Virtual Reference Library,


5811b3f9f99867694313cd3efe7. Accessed 28 June 2017.

Bell, Keith J. "Domestic Violence." Encyclopedia of Social Deviance, edited by Craig J. Forsyth

and Heith Copes, vol. 1, SAGE Reference, 2014, pp. 215-217. Gale Virtual Reference



b460d901132d0d6ab5357de363c. Accessed 28 June 2017.

LaMance, Ken. "Misdemeanor Domestic Violence." Misdemeanor Domestic Violence |

LegalMatch Law Library. N/A, 02 May 2017. Web. 28 June 2017