Domestic violence, encompassing spousal abuse, child abuse, and elderly abuse is the most prevalent type of violence. Apparently, in the United States, spouse abuse is identified to be a key factor causing mortality and morbidity (Kenney, 2012). Cases of spousal abuse have been significantly increasing every year with the highest number of victims being women and children as well. As such, spousal abuse affects families, those in the relationship, and society at large too. The effort to eliminate spousal abuse in families and society has been rendered futile as the case of spousal abuse still keeps increasing day by day (Kenney, 2012). In essence, in order to effectively eliminate spousal abuse, the main factors that cause spouses abuse needs to be determined. Therefore, the research question is; what are the contributing factors that lead to spousal abuse? The core interest of this paper is to use a socio-historic perspective to discuss both direct and indirect factors that cause spousal abuse so as to get an understanding of how spousal abuse arises and that can be useful in designing effective mitigation strategies against spousal abuse. In this case, the socio-historic perspective involves social and historical factors of spousal abuse.
The feeling of having control over your partner is one of the major factors contributing to spousal abuse, this may be due to low self-esteem, anger or strong emotions, jealousy, or even when one of the partners feels more/less educated than the other (Gagne et al., 2017). Abusers may also have traditional belief such as women are not equal to men, which make them feel superior to their partners. Others may develop this behavior of having control while they were growing up in homes where domestic violence was normal in their family. Domination may occur physically, emotionally, or in form of sexual abuse. According to studies, violent behavior is mostly a result of individual factors and interaction between situational factors. Victims, in this case, maybe the children who are the witnesses, and thus may end up believing that violence can be used in resolving a conflict (Gagné et al., 2017). For example, boys who witness this may perceive that women are not to be valued nor given respect and thus may end up abusing women when they are grown-ups. A drunken person may have less control over his/her violent behavior towards their partner, thus minimum intake of these drugs may help reduce cases of domestic violence.
The socioeconomic status of a couple may lead to the occurrence of domestic violence; this may be in a case of low income which may lead to frustrations thus violence and bitterness between the couples (Putman, 2017). In most instances, the poor tend to be the ones who report domestic violence cases since they mostly depend on the police to solve their differences, but also domestic violence may occur within income brackets. According to surveys, victimization is more frequent among lower-earning women than among wealthier women. Families of women earning below, $ 7,000 are five times prevalent to be victimized by spousal abuse as compared to women in families that have incomes ranging from $ 50,000 to $75,000 (Kenney, 2012). Women obtaining government income aid are more prevalent in spousal abuse from a former spouse or the current spouse than women who do not receive government income aid.
The race also has a major impact on domestic violence. For example, according to research based on race, blacks were found to be more prevalent in spousal abuse and more cases of victimization than other groups in the United States. According to surveys, 35% of black females are victimized as compared to white females. On the other hand, 62% of black males are victims of intimate violence more than white males while being about three times more than men from other races (Tamas, 2016). Research shows that American Indian women are more prevalent in cases of domestic violence in terms of physical abuse. Migrant women are also prone to abuse.
Age is also another factor contributing to domestic violence within households. Women can experience family and domestic violence at all ages of their lives. However, for younger and older women, it can arise due to particular issues. The younger girls in the age group of 16 to 24 are at the highest risk of domestic victimization (Putman, 2017). It is determined that married women aged between 25 to 45 years experience more spousal abuse than women older than 45 years (Putman, 2017). Most of these people were undergraduate college students. The older they may have experienced violence for a longer time, or are in a present violent relationship than the younger women, thus leading to health and mental problems.
In essence, if we are concerned or worried about our behavior, we should acknowledge that we are abusive, controlling, or violent. This will be the first step towards us getting help. Domestic violence is a serious offense that affects the victim’s physical and emotional well-being and also destroys families while imprisoning the victims who become accustomed to the abuse and hence start to think they deserve poor treatment.