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Family Violence & Sexual Abuse Michael Itagaki Sociology 275, Marriage and Family.

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Presentation on theme: "Family Violence & Sexual Abuse Michael Itagaki Sociology 275, Marriage and Family."— Presentation transcript:

1 Family Violence & Sexual Abuse Michael Itagaki Sociology 275, Marriage and Family

2 Family Violence and Abuse in America Every 30 seconds, a woman is beaten by her boyfriend or husband. At least a million children are physically abused by their parents each year. Almost a million parents are assaulted by their adolescents or younger children every year. As many as 27% of women and 16% of men have been victims of childhood sexual abuse.

3 Models Used to Study Family Violence Psychiatric model - finds the source of violence in the personality of the abuser. Ecological model - looks at the child’s development in the family and the family’s development in the community.

4 Models Used to Study Family Violence Feminist model - finds violence inherent in male- dominated societies. Social situational model - views family violence as arising from structural stress and cultural norms. Social learning model - violence is seen as a behavior learned within the family and larger society.

5 Models Used to Study Family Violence Resource model - assumes force is used to compensate for a lack of personal, social, and economic resources. Exchange/social control model - holds that people weigh the costs versus the rewards in all their actions and will use violence if the costs are not high enough.

6 Three Factors That May Reduce Social Control Inequality of power in the family The private nature of the family The “real man” image

7 Causes of Family Violence Gender  Violence by males has different causes (power and control versus self-defense), and results in different consequences (physical injuries and domination). Power and Control  Violence may be used as a tool to obtain and maintain power, in or outside of families.

8 Causes of Family Violence Stress  As individuals are subjected to a variety of stresses (unemployment, illness, pregnancy) tensions between family members may rise. Intimacy  Cultural beliefs about intimacy allow loved ones the right or responsibility to influence or affect each other’s behavior.

9 Findings: Report on Violence Between Intimates There are an estimated 1 million rapes, sexual assaults, robberies, or assaults between intimates each year. Approximately 85% of these incidents had female victims.

10 Findings: Report on Violence Between Intimates 150,000 men were victims of violent crimes committed by an intimate. In 2000, there were nearly 1700 murders attributed to spouses, ex-spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends; 1 in 11 homicides was a murder between intimate partners or ex-partners.

11 Findings: Report on Violence Between Intimates Spousal homicides are down dramatically, however. Nearly 40% of violent incidents occur on weekends and most occur in or around the victim’s home. 1/3 of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims in 2000 were killed by an intimate.

12 Characteristics of Perpetrators Believes in the traditional home, family, and gender-role stereotypes. Has low self-esteem and may use violence to demonstrate power. He may be sadistic, pathologically jealous, or passive-aggressive.

13 Characteristics of Perpetrators He may have a“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality and capable at times of great charm. He may use sex as an act of aggression. Believes in the moral rightness of his violent behavior (even though he may “accidentally” go too far).

14 The Cycle of Violence Phase 1: tension building: Minor battering incidents may occur. Phase 2: the explosion: This is the shortest phase, usually lasting several hours but sometimes longer. Phase 3: the “honeymoon”: The batterer is contrite, begs forgiveness, and promises never to do it again.

15 Dating Violence and Date Rape Dating violence is often precipitated by jealousy or rejection. Date rape may not be recognized by the assailant or the victim because they assume rape is something done by strangers. Date-rape drugs (Rohypnol and GHB) are used to sedate and victimize women, prompting the passage of date-rape drug prohibition laws.

16 Reasons Women Stay in Battering Relationships Economic dependence Religious pressure Children’s need for a father Fear of being alone Belief in the American dream Pity for her husband Guilt and shame Duty and responsibility Love Cultural reasons Nowhere else to go

17 Report: Children's Defense Fund Every 10 seconds, a child is reported abused or neglected. Every 14 seconds, a child is arrested. Every 2 hours a child is killed by firearms. Every 4 hours a child commits suicide. Every 5 hours a child dies from abuse or neglect.

18 Prevalence of Psychological Aggression Measure% in last year Overall88.6 Name-calling17.5 Severe33.4 Shouting, yelling74.7 Threatening to spank53.6 Swearing or cursing24.3 Name-calling17.5 Threatening to kick out6.0

19 Characteristics of Parents Who Abuse Their Children Father was physically punished by his parents, and his father physically abused his mother. Believe in corporal discipline of children and wives. Marital relationship may not be valued by the parents. Believe the father should be the dominant authority figure.

20 Characteristics of Parents Who Abuse Their Children Low self-esteem. Unrealistic expectations for the child. Parents use the child to gratify their own needs. Parents appear unconcerned about the seriousness of a child’s injury.

21 Battered Children Abused children are often labeled by their parents as unsatisfactory. They may be:  A “normal”child who is the product of a difficult or unplanned pregnancy.  An “abnormal” child—premature or born with congenital defects.  A “difficult” child—with traits such as fussiness or hyperactivity.

22 Characteristics of Families that Experience Child Abuse The family experiences unemployment. The family is socially isolated. The family has a low income. The family lives in an unsafe neighborhood.

23 Characteristics of Families that Experience Child Abuse The home is crowded, dirty, or unhealthy. The family is a single-parent family in which the parent works and is consequently overstressed and overburdened. One or more family members have health problems.

24 Hidden Victims of Family Violence Siblings  Have the highest rate of violent interaction. Parents assaulted by their adolescent or youthful children. Elders assaulted by their middle-aged children.

25 Recommendations for Reducing Family Violence Reducing sources of societal stress, such as poverty and racism. Eliminating sexism. Establishing supportive networks. Breaking the family cycle of violence. Eliminating the legitimization and glorification of violence.

26 Children Most at Risk for Sexual Abuse Females Preadolescents Children with absent or unavailable parents Children with poor parental relationships Children with parents in conflict Children living with a stepfather.

27 Child Sexual Abuse: Initial Effects Emotional disturbances Physical consequences Sexual and social disturbances

28 Child Sexual Abuse: Long-term Effects Depression Self-destructive tendencies Somatic disturbances and dissociation Negative self-concept Interpersonal relationship difficulties Revictimization Sexual difficulties

29 Sexual Abuse Trauma David Finkelhor and Angela Browne suggest a model of sexual abuse that contains four components:  Traumatic sexualization  Betrayal  Powerlessness  Stigmatization These create trauma by distorting a child’s self- concept, worldview, and affective abilities.

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