Domestic Violence: A Global View

By Randal W. Summers; Allan M. Hoffman | Go to book overview

13
UNITED STATES

Randal W. Summers and Allan M. Hoffman


PERCEPTIONS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED
STATES

Domestic violence is not a new phenomenon associated with modern times. It has been a common occurrence throughout history. From a social/cultural point of view, the woman was considered the property of the man and his duty was to discipline her and the children (and slaves/servants) with thorough beatings. Consistent with eighteenth-century English common law, the only concerns about this related to the thickness of the stick that the law allowed for the beatings. Although there were some earlier unenforced laws against spousal abuse, it was only as recently as the 1970s that the U.S. justice system began to view the problem with any seriousness and consideration of domestic violence as a crime. Until that time, social services for the victims of domestic violence were almost nonexistent.


Definition

There have been considerable viewpoints and definitions of violence that occurs within the family context. For example, family violence encompasses not only violence between female and male partners or same sex partners but also child abuse, elder abuse, and sibling abuse. However, domestic violence, more specifically, refers to the abuse by one person of another in an intimate relationship. These relationships can be comprised of marriage partners, partners living together, dating relationships (Berry, 1998), and

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Domestic Violence: A Global View
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents viii
  • Series Foreword ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1: Australia 1
  • 2: Canada 13
  • 3: England and Wales 25
  • 4: Germany 39
  • 5: Italy 55
  • 6: Jamaica 69
  • 7: Japan 83
  • 8: Russia 97
  • 9: Slovenia 111
  • 10: South Africa 125
  • 11: Spain 143
  • 12: Thailand 155
  • 13: United States 169
  • Index 185
  • About the Editors and Contributors 195
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