Spousal Abuse

Sociology / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
A look at physical and emotional abuse of spouses in America.

The paper examines spousal abuse from the point of view of the victim, focusing on abused women. The paper relates cases that received much media coverage as well as lesser-known cases. Finally, the paper examines the role of society in maintaining the rate of spousal abuse, as well as what can be done to reduce it.

Introduction: What is Spousal Abuse?
How Common is Spousal Abuse?
Who are Battered Women?
Why do Battered Women Stay with their Abusers?
A Brief Historical Overview of Spousal Abuse
What is to be Done about Spousal Abuse?
“The term “spousal abuse” may seem self-explanatory. In the purely definitional sense it refers to the abuse of one of the individuals in an intimate relationship. Usually the relationship is that of a marriage, other times that of a domestic partnership. Slapping, hitting, kicking, burning, punching, choking, shoving, beating, throwing things, locking out, restraining, and other acts designed to “injure, hurt, endanger, or cause physical pain,” to one’s spouse would come under the definition of abuse. (Berry, 1996, p.3) The term also encompasses emotional abuse, such as a spouse’s consistently doing things to ridicule or demean their partner, refusing to let their spouse seek work outside the home, see friends or handle money, or threatening to hurt or abscond with the children. The term can also refer to sexual abuse (rape) or stalking, which often occurs when the abused partner attempts to leave the abusive relationship. Ninety-five percent of the victims of battering are estimated to be female under this definition of spousal abuse. However, men can abused as well, most commonly in a verbal fashion, or in regards to the custody of children.”

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