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NCJ Number: 99378 Find in a Library
Title: Domestic Violence - A Sociological Perspective (From Male Batterer, P 1-32, 1985, By Daniel J Sonkin et al - See NCJ-99377)
Author(s): D Martin
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: Springer Publishing Co
New York, NY 10036
Sale Source: Springer Publishing Co
11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10036
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The author surveys the battered women's movement and feminist research on wife beating before examining the critical role of sex-role stereotyping in domestic violence, police response to such calls, and treatment for the batterer.
Abstract: During the 1970's, feminists addressed expressions of men's violence directed toward women by setting up rape crisis shelters, examining child sexual abuse and sexual harassment in the workplace, and starting the battered women's shelter movement. Feminist research argues that the patriarchal structure of society which has condoned violence against women since ancient times is the root cause of male battering, not factors such as drugs, poor impulse control, or stress. Researchers also have shown that expectations of marriage by men and women are different, that the initial violent episode comes as a great shock to the woman, that the battering pattern will continue unless something is done about the husband's violent response, and that resources to help the victim are inadequate. Effective service providers must understand that men have to change their sex role attitudes and behaviors to stop their violence. Sexist attitudes which define masculinity as strong and aggressive and feminity as weak and passive pervade society. They can be seen in child socialization processes, the law, advertising, the media, and religion. Overall, the power dynamics in a patriarchal society creates male agressor/female victim adversary relationships. Because police have had a nonarrest policy when crimes of violence occur in the home, it is vital that officers receive training about domestic violence and more effective ways to respond. For example, the Coalition for Justice for Battered Women in San Francisco has helped police establish new regulations which have substantially increased arrest rates in domestic violence cases. Other advocacy organizations have focused on improving prosecutorial intervention and using expert testimony on the battered women's syndrome. California has established a diversion program for misdemeanor cases which mandates counseling for the batterer.
Index Term(s): Abusing spouses; Battered woman syndrome; Crime Prevention International Inc; Female sex roles; Feminism
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