Week 11

Kia Chaney

Intimate partner violence is something that occurs all throughout the United States of America. Between 1998-2002, family violence accounted for 11% of all unreported and reported violence. Violence between intimate partners, though, accounted for 49% of all family violence. Minority women report higher rates of IPV; in 2000, 20% of minority women and poor women reported in the past year. IPV is an acronym for Intimate Partner Violence. What IPV constitutes is anything physical, psychological, sexual and emotional abuse that occurs between intimate partners.

Authors do not use the term “Domestic violence” because they are not referring to violence that happens between members of the domestic household that are not intimate. An example would be abuse of the children by the parents. Another reason that authors do not use that term is because the word domestic refers to a shared residence and many people who are involved in intimate partner violence do not live together. The violence may have occurred prior to the move in or even after getting married to one another. Lastly, using the word intimate instead of domestic shines light on the nature of the relationship between the two. These two individuals are intimate partners who love one another regardless of their marital status. Some couples choose to only cohabit rather than marry, and authors feel the need to include those couples in the definition as well.

Approximately, 1,500 women are killed each year due to IPV. If IPV does not kill these women, it causes them to need medical treatment because of the severe abuse. It may come as a surprise, but domestic violence used to be legal in the states. Men were legally allowed to beat and abuse their wives “as long as they did not kill them or the violence did not get out of hand”. It was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that second-wave feminists started to draw attention to the epidemic of domestic violence, as well as its victims. These scholars had writings that brought the experience of IPV to a larger population’s attention.

The most common factor across all of the various forms of violence is the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. The authors of the book provided some examples which included: older siblings abusing younger siblings, husbands and wives, male siblings and female siblings, etc. They also pointed out that there are two elements to consider, no matter the form referred to. These elements include: power providing license to abuse and violence is an effective strategy for controlling the behavior of other family members.

Mutual combat, also known as situational couple violence, refers to IPV exchanged between both individuals in the intimate partnership. Although this occurs, most batterers are men and most of the victims are women. IPV is a direct outcome of a social system dominated by patriarchy and is one of the challenges to explain mutual combat. When examining IPV, authors weave together racism, sexism, and classism.  IPV is also structured by a system of racial superiority and by the intersections of the two.

A key issue involved with IPV in all families is women’s economic dependency on men. One of the strongest compulsions for women cohabiting or marrying is the fact that their economic standing is almost always enhanced by the economic contributions of the males. One mechanism by which inter-generational IPV transmission may occur is due to the lack of positive role models for a romantic relationship. There is no exact description of a batterer. Men who become batterers come from all races, ethnicities, levels of education, ages, occupations, etc. The biggest predictor to becoming a batterer for men is growing up in a household where there is intimate partner violence, mainly the father or stepfather beating on the mother.

“Cool Pose” refers to a form of masculinity that involve “behavior, scripts, physical posturing, impression management, and carefully crafted performances that deliver a single, critical message: pride strength, and control”. Being considered cool for black men is sort of a booster; it gives them confidence compared to the white man. Lastly, the first “B” is breadwinning and has been described as one of the key roles that men must play in society. The term sort of speaks for itself; men are known to be the ones that bring in the money compared to the women. Even though nowadays that perception is not always the case, but it is what role men are known to play. The second “B” is bedroom and has difference issues within it. Examples are sexual satisfaction, men’s acceptance in the bedroom, number of partners, etc.

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