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and Other Health Issues

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1 and Other Health Issues
Marriages and Families: Changes, Choices, and Constraints Seventh Edition Nijole V. Benokraitis Chapter Fourteen Family Abuse, Violence, and Other Health Issues

2 Family Families can be warm, nurturing, and loving, but unfortunately for some families the picture is a bit different. We are more likely to be injured by a family member than a stranger at any time during our lives.

3 Intimate Partner Abuse and Violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs between two people in a close relationship. The term intimate partner refers to current and former spouses, couples who live together, and current and former boyfriends and girlfriends. Social scientists use the terms intimate partner violence and domestic violence interchangeably.

4 Types of Intimate Partner Abuse and Violence
Includes three types of behavior: Physical abuse—a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by using physical force. Sexual abuse—forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when she or he doesn’t consent (most commonly rape). Emotional abuse—threatening a partner or his or her loved ones or possessions or harming a partner’s sense of self- worth.

5 The Prevalence and Severity of IPV
Women are five times more likely to be abused by a partner than a man is. Almost 75% of all attacks by intimate partners are against women. Each year, IPV results in an estimated 1200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and 330 deaths and nearly 600,000 injuries against men.

6 The Prevalence and Severity of IPV
Women are more likely to report serious psychological impacts as a result of IPV after an attack. IPV is a leading cause of death for women ages in the U.S. It seems that pregnancy is an especially dangerous time for women—why do you think this is?


8 Characteristics of Abusive Households
There are several characteristics that make it more likely that a household will experience domestic violence, such as unemployment and other more personal things such as drug abuse. Women are much more likely to experience IPV then men. Men are more likely to use a deadly weapon in an attack on their significant other.


10 Age In general, younger rather than older people are more likely to be the victims and perpetrators of IPV, and the victims tend to get younger over time. Teen mothers are especially venerable for several years after the child’s birth.

11 Race and Ethnicity IPV occurs across all racial and ethnic groups, although multiracial and American Indian women report the highest rates overall. Social class—again IPV is common across all class statuses, but it is most commonly reported in lower socioeconomic classes.

12 Marital Rape Marital rape is an abusive act in which a man forces his wife to have unwanted sexual intercourse. Marital rape has been a crime in all states since 1993. An estimated 25% of women nationwide have been raped by their spouses, yet they don’t often report it.

13 The Cycle of Domestic Violence
Women who have killed their abusers have been pardoned based on the battered-woman syndrome defense. There is a “cycle of battering incidents” that causes women not to leave their abusers.

14 The Cycle of Domestic Violence
Phase 1—the tension-building phase: The woman tries to reduce her partner’s anger by catering to him or consoling him in some way. At the same time, she believes her partner’s abuse is justified in some way.

15 The Cycle of Domestic Violence
Phase 2—the acute battering incident: This is when the actual physical or other abuse occurs. Some women anticipate this phase and actually trigger the violent incident to get it over with.

16 The Cycle of Domestic Violence
Phase 3—the calm or “honeymoon” phase: The abuser is calm and promises never to abuse again. As the cycle progresses over time, the first two phases get longer and the third phase can be left out altogether.

17 Why Do Women Stay? Walker theorized the cycle of violence results in learned helplessness—the woman becomes depressed, loses her self-esteem, and feels incapable of seeking help for herself. Some women stay out of hope that the abuser will change. It is hope that keeps many women tied to abusive men. The women may have low self-esteem and feel incapable of helping herself and even her children. However, some women find the courage to leave when the violence spills over into the lives of their children.

18 Why Do Women Stay? Economic hardship and homelessness—many abused women do not work outside the home and may have nowhere to turn when her husband is abusive. There are more animal shelters in the U.S. than there are shelters for battered women and children. It has been estimated that perhaps as much as half of homeless women and children are running from abusive situations.

19 Why Do Women Stay? Need for child support—leaving her husband and filing for divorce may leave the woman and her children in poverty. Shame or guilt—that they should be able to make the relationship work. Blaming themselves—battered women often believe it is their fault—that they have brought on the violence in some way.

20 Why Do Women Stay? Fear—is a MAJOR reason that women stay in these relationships. Some men threaten to kill the woman, her relatives, or the children to get the woman to stay. The home becomes a prison—both emotional and physical abuse trap the woman and her children.


22 Women Who Abuse Men In situational couple violence both the woman and the man are perpetrators—perhaps not fighting for control, but the violence is the result of conflict that turns into physical violence. Women aren’t always the only victims of IPV—it has negative effects for men, women, and children.

23 Child Maltreatment Abuse and/or killing of one’s children is not a new phenomenon. However, child abuse didn’t become a household word until the 1980s. Child maltreatment includes a broad range of behaviors that place a child at serious risk of physical harm. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect can all play a role in child abuse.

24 Child Maltreatment Sexual abuse is a type of maltreatment that involves the child in sexual activity to provide sexual gratification or financial beneficial to the perpetrator in some way. Neglect is failure by a parent or other caregiver to provide child with life’s basic necessities. In cases of medical neglect, the caregiver doesn’t give the appropriate health care that will ensure the child’s development.

25 Child Maltreatment Although not visible, emotional abuse could very well be the cruelest form of abuse. It conveys to children that they are of no consequence—that they don’t matter.

26 Prevalence and Characteristics of Child Maltreatment
Child maltreatment rates have dropped in the last decade, but there were still 794,000 confirmed cases in 2007. Victims—although a child is often the victim of more than one kind of abuse, the most common form is neglect. Girls are slightly more likely than boys to be neglected.


28 Perpetrators About 80% of people who abuse children are parents and more than half of them are mothers. An additional 8% are relatives of the parents. Most states don’t have data on the relatives of the victims, so some data is incomplete. Fatalities—homicide is the leading cause of death among infants, and the rates have doubled since Of the 1,760 children who died of abuse in 2007, 42% were younger than 1 year old and 76% were younger than 4 years old. About 70% of child deaths are caused by one or both of the parents.

29 Sexual Abuse and Incest
While the sexual abuse of children by strangers gets much media attention, sexual abuse is usually perpetrated by someone the child knows—90% are family members, friends of the family, and other people children know. Generally, children are too frightened to tell anyone, especially if the person who is abusing them is a family member.


31 Why Do Adults Abuse Children?
There are many reasons for child maltreatment—some are: substance abuse stress poverty partner abuse divorce a combination of factors


33 How Abuse Affects Children
Children often suffer a variety of physiological, social, and emotional problems stemming from abuse of any kind, whether it be physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological. Some other effects are: Children are more aggressive. It increases the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile. It increases the risk of early, unplanned pregnancy.



36 Hidden Victims: Siblings and Adolescents
Violence between siblings and abuse of adolescents are less visible, primarily because the authorities are rarely notified. Such abuse can be extremely devastating. Sibling abuse—physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of siblings can leave lasting scars just as abuse from other sources.

37 Sibling Abuse Physical and emotional abuse—a national study found that almost 30 percent of children ages 2 to 17 had been physically assaulted by a sister or brother at least once during the proceeding year. In 24% of all cases, the assault was serious enough to call the police.

38 Some Common Forms of Sibling Abuse
name calling and ridicule degradation intimidation torturing or killing a pet destroying personal possessions Parents rarely take abuse between siblings seriously.

39 Sexual Abuse by a Sibling
Perhaps the most insidious form of incest is the sexual abuse of a sibling. It is rarely an isolated event, it often goes on for years without being reported to any authority. Often the sibling being abused is afraid of not being believed by parents or of being blamed.

40 Adolescent Abuse Victimization of teens is the root of many problems later in life. Prevalence—many parents are physically and verbally abusive toward their children throughout their teen years. Of all child victims, an astounding 27% are between the ages of

41 Consequences of Adolescent Abuse
Some teens strike back physically and verbally. Others rebel or run away, withdraw, use drugs, or become involved in juvenile prostitution.

42 Elder Abuse Elder abuse is another form of family violence that is rarely talked about. It can include physical abuse negligence financial exploitation psychological abuse deprivation of basic necessities isolation from family and friends not administering needed medical care

43 The Victims Researchers estimate that 1 to 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by a family member or caretaker. About 66% are women and 43% of both sexes are over age 80. Older women are more likely than older men to be abused because they live longer than men and may not be able to care for themselves.

44 The Abusers Adult children make up 53% of abusers, 19% of abusers are the victim’s spouse. 90% of abusers are family members.

45 The Abusers Reasons: Shared living arrangements can be stressful.
Social Isolation of the elderly is common. Alcohol abuse—the abusers tend to abuse alcohol as well. Impairment of the caregiver or the care recipient—they are often unable to care for themselves as well. Dependence of the elderly person. Medical costs and financial stress. Personality.


47 Violence among Same-Sex Couples
There has been considerably less research on domestic violence between same-sex couples, still the presence of battering in gay and lesbian couples is about the same as for heterosexual couples.

48 Racial and Ethnic Groups
Domestic violence cuts across all races, sexes, and ethnicities. Immigrant women generally experience more domestic violence than American-born women. They may not report marital violence because of their poor language skills.

49 Explaining Family Abuse and Violence
Why are families abusive? There have been several theories proposed as to why violence happens within families.

50 Explaining Family Abuse and Violence
Patriarchy or Male Dominance Theory—maintains that men’s authority creates and condones violence against women and children. Social Learning Theory—posits that we learn by observing the actions of others, so if people have experienced abuse between their parents growing up they are more likely to be in abusive relationships when they are adults.

51 Explaining Family Abuse and Violence
Resource Theory—according to this theory, men usually have greater financial, educational, and social resources than women do, so they have more power. The presence of abuse is based on the power in the relationship. Exchange Theory—both assailants and victims tolerate or engage in violent behavior because they believe that the benefits outweigh the costs.

52 Explaining Family Abuse and Violence
Ecological Systems Theory—explains domestic violence by analyzing the relationships between individuals and larger systems such as the economy, education, state agencies, and the community. Using Several Theories—researchers rarely rely on one theory, but use all theories to explain violence in relationships.

53 Other Family Health Issues
Substance abuse—The use and abuse of illegal drugs, alcohol, or pharmaceuticals can result in health risks or death. Depression and suicide—depression is a mental disorder characterized by pervasive sadness and other negative emotions. Depression may lead to suicide.



56 Suicide Is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.
More than 33,000 Americans kill themselves each year. Males take their lives at nearly 4 times the rate of females. Suicide rates are highest among males 75 and older.


58 Eating Disorders Overweight and obesity—refer to ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered normal and are measured by body mass index scales. Among children ages 6 to 17, the percentage of overweight increased from only 6% in 1976 to 15% in 2006. Obesity is a concern because it has negative health risks including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and early death.

59 Eating Disorders binge eating—consuming an unusually large amount of food and feeling that the eating is out of control. Binge eating is one of the most common eating disorders in the U.S. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia—these are very dangerous eating disorders and are common among teens in the U.S., perhaps due to the media’s influence on behavior.

60 Combating Family Abuse and Violence
Raising awareness about family violence and abuse—until we raise awareness about the problem, the abuser continues to have control of the victim. Victim-advocate programs are inadequate to handle the shear amount of victims that make contact.

61 Preventing Family Abuse and Violence
Numerous organizations offer programs to prevent violence and other family crisis. Many schools and communities have implemented programs to teach youth about violence and its consequences. There are limited intervention services for victims and even less intervention services for abusers who are serious about changing their habits.

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