Spousal Abuse Abuse means to deceive, to vilify, or violate one's space. Spousal abuse means to abuse one's partner. Whichever phrase is used to define it, domestic violence means one thing: a violent act against another. Although many actions are being taken to resolve this problem, to the surprise of many, there still exist a large number of reported cases of domestic violence.
The statistics on spousal abuse are staggering. According to Sandra Arbetter, every fifteen seconds a woman in this country is battered. Almost two million women are's everly assaulted every year. One-third of female homicide victims are killed by a husband or partner (1) Furthermore, as stated in the National Academy of Science, "Twenty-nine percent of the women murdered in the United Stated in 1992 were killed by a husband, ex-husband, or suitor". After the breakup of the relationship, the batterer tends to become a stalker, often times, putting the woman in a situation that might become more dangerous for her if she tries to leave (Koshland 1). It is true that spousal abuse occurs in families of every racial, ethnic, and economic group (Arbetter 1).
In the biblical days, the man was considered by all to be the head of the house. It is reported by Koshland that many cultures have an unwritten code that states that the husband is in command and deserves to control the wife. He adds, "The wife's personal fear is only one of the factors that lead many to tolerate the abuse" (1). Desire preserve the home, stability, economic dependence, and concern about separation all lead to a woman's unwillingness to leave or to press charges even when police intervene after an urgent call for help. Koshland states that there is also a generational influence in relation to domestic violence: 80% of abusers were the sons of batterers, having observed their fathers abusing their mothers (Koshland 1). For example, nearly 2 of every 1,000 women with family income over $40,000 dollars reported being victims of severe violence ar recorded in a recent study at the University of Rhode Island (Arbetter 1).
Domestic abuse is not only represent in the lives of common housewives and mothers; many famous women have been victimized by abuse. Randolph reveals that Halley Berry id deaf in one ear because of abuse. As a little girl, Terry McMillan grew up in a violent household, and as a grown woman, she left her son's father after she became a victim of it. Tina Turner ended both her marriage and her legendary singing career with Ike Turner after years of suffering from it. Every year more than 1,300 women die from domestic abuse. It goes by a multitude of terms: wife-beating, spousal abuse, and domestic violence are just a few.
But whatever terms are used, they all mean the same thing: husbands beating up their wives and boyfriends battering their girlfriends. Men brutalize the women they claim to love in almost incomprehensible numbers. Every 16 seconds, one women is beaten by a spouse or loved one; four million women are abused every year (1). In addition, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna S halala states that domestic violence in the United Stated is just about as common as giving birth. In fact, domestic violence is so common that it is now the leading cause of injury to American women. Representative Barbara Rose Collins claims that domestic abuse accounts for more visits to the hospital emergency rooms than car crashes, mugging and rapes combined.
Furthermore, in 1992, the U.S. surgeon general ranked abuse by boyfriends and husbands as the leading cause of injuries to women age 15 to 44 (Randolph 1). These are only a few of the reported cases and outcomes of spousal abuse. Fischer and Rose suggest that women may leave battering relationships in a number of ways, one of which may be utilizing the assistance of the legal system through a court order of protection (1). When involving the legal system, it adds an additional consensus in the decision-making process (Fischer and Rose 1). "Obtaining a court order of protection involves a two-step process" (Fisher and Rose 1). First, the victim is granted a shot-term restraining order; next, the victim must return to court to obtain a more permanent order.
One of the major barriers to obtaining orders of protection is fear. The victim should take heed of the threats and go the legal system to prevent being physically abused (Fisher and Rose 1). Koshland finds spousal abuse, now generating much attention in the United States, a tragedy viewed from any perspective. However, he feels that the exposure of the subject of domestic may help to produce appropriate action (1). The "Violence Against Women Act" passed last year by Congress provides $426,000 dollars per state per year for six years and created the first United States office mandated to coordinate a comprehensive assault on the problem. One article notes that the number of shelters for battered women has grown dramatically, from fifty or eighty in the mid'-70's to several thousand today; most are professionally staffed ("USA " 2).
In addition, there comes a time when enough is "Enough!" When the victim decides to seek court orders of protection he / she is saying I have had enough. Consequently, the order of protection comes to symbolize that all the relationships can be broken: the victims silent compliance, the batterer's hold over his victim through violence, and the batterer's power to define his victim no longer exist (Fisher and Rose 8). Spousal abuse is a severe violent act at any perspective. It has become very common in the United States.
At the same time, many prevention methods are being used to resolve this tragedy. The problem of spousal abuse could be diminished easily if women would learn how to overcome their fears. Women have the authority to stop domestic abuse. They have to realize that they don't have to accept such an act of violence..