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Summary

It is theoretically and practically important to differentiate acts of physical violence from other harmful but nonviolent coercive acts. Physical violence is qualitatively different from other means of harming and injuring people. Thus, although physical violence shares with other abusive acts the central characteristics of malevolence and harmful intent, the nature of the intended harm—physical pain and suffering—is unique. This text will examine the current research on the scope, nature, causes, consequences, and policy and practice interventions regarding the various forms of intimate partner violence and abuse.

Discussion Questions

  • 1. Why is it useful to examine all forms of family violence instead of concentrating on just one single type, such as child abuse or intimate partner violence?
  • 2. Why do the myths and controversies about family violence exist? What possible functions might these myths serve for practitioners who treat family violence? For society? What impact might these myths have on victims as well as abusers?

Notes

  • 1. An exception that occurred simultaneously with the Rice and Pistorius cases was the indictment of Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson for child abuse.
  • 2. The AAU is organization of 62 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1900 to advance the international standing of U.S. research universities, AAU today focuses on issues that are important to research-intensive universities, such as funding for research, research policy issues, and graduate and undergraduate education (see http://www.aau.edu/about/default.aspx?id=58), accessed October 19, 2015).
  • 3. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/survey-more-than-1-in-5- female-undergrads-at-top-schools-suffer-sexual-attacks/2015/09/19/c6c80be2-5e29-11e5- b38e-06883aacba64_story.html. Downloaded October 19, 2015.
  • 4. The agency is now named the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN).
 
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