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Family Violence

Family Violence

Author: Paul Hannan

Identify the different types of family violence.

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Source: Intro Music by Mark Hannan; Public Domain

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to this episode of Sociology-- Studies of Society. Today's lesson is on family violence. As always, don't be afraid to pause, stop, rewind, or even fast forward to make sure you get the most out of this tutorial.

So today is a brief tutorial looking at family violence. Now, family violence is a very broad topic. And there's many emotional connections to family violence, especially if you know someone or have ever been a victim of family violence. But in this tutorial format, we're just going to be teaching some of the basic terminology, so you have a better understanding of how sociology defines family violence.

So family violence is just a violent act-- well, a violent act or a threat of a violent act against a family member. Now, this violent act, or a threat of an act, it can come in a lot of different ways.

It doesn't have to be physical. It can be emotional. It can be sexual. It can be verbal. There's many different ways that this violence can occur.

You can divide family violence really into two different subcategories. You have violence against significant others and violence against children. So violence against significant others, that violence is directed at a spouse, a boyfriend, a girlfriend. It is the person that the relationship-- the other half of the relationship.

Historically, looking at violence against significant others, it is really seen as a private issue. So if there is a conflict between a man and his wife, and it turned to a blow, the man struck his wife, society really wouldn't jump in to defend that woman. They would leave that alone. And they'd say, nope, that's a private family issue. We're not going to deal with that.

Now, things have changed considerably as society has modernized. But you will still see some pockets of society that views family violence as historical. Sorry-- not as historical-- as a private issue. And again, this is going to vary from culture to culture. So what is considered violent here in America might be something that's more normal on a different part of the world.

Now, family violence against a significant other is much more likely to have women as the victim. The numbers vary from study to study in what the exact numbers are. But normally, you can pretty easily say two-- two times more likely that a woman is going to be the victim instead of a male.

Now, another thing-- I have the bullet point, traditional marriage there. Family violence-- and this kind of ties in I guess with that first point, that historically it was a private issue. Traditional marriages, maybe it's not fair to say are more likely to have family violence. But there's some things about the way traditional marriages are structured that prime the relationship to allow family violence to occur.

The basic structure for traditional marriage, when the male has all the powers, they extend that power, without taking into account the women's rights and the women's hopes, and dreams, and wants. So when you have that basic structure of your marriage, that violence is much more likely to lash out and happen.

Now, the other type of violence that is under the category of family violence is found against children. Now, this violence against children is something that's very, very hard to track down and really get a grasp of how often it is happening and where it's happening because the victims are powerless. Especially, the more powerless you are, the more likely you are to be a victim of violence against children.

Now, one thing that's important when you think about violence against children, is it's not just hitting someone. It can be neglect. So it could be emotional neglect. It could be as punishment, locking them in a closet for six hours.

So again, it's really hard to track because the victims are powerless. And the violence takes different forms than the violence against significant others. Normally, violence against children actually originally starts with kind of an acceptable punishment. But that acceptable punishment crosses the boundary of an acceptable punishment and becomes family violence.

So today's take-away message. Today, we learned about family violence. And that's just an act or a violent threat of violence against the family member.

Well, that's it for this lesson. Good work. And hopefully you'll be seeing me on your screen again soon. Peace.

Terms to Know
Family Violence

Physical, emotional, or sexual violence enacted by one family member against another.