Domestic Violence Essay, Research Paper
Imagine that you fall in love. That the man of your dreams says ?I DO? and that you may live happily ever after. Imagine you have your dream wedding, followed by your dream honeymoon. It seems that you have found the prince charming most women seek in their lives. A few months later you get the unexpected. Your husband comes home, he?s had a few drinks with his buddies from work and he has a look in his eyes you have never seen before. He begins to complain about the way the house looks, the way his wife looks, and the way his life is going. He then proceeds to take out his anger on his wife. He beats her, smacks her, and pulls her hair. He may even punch her in the face as he would another man.
This woman who thought she found the man of her dreams has just become a victim of Domestic Violence. A disease that has plagued our society for many years. A woman in this situation is confused and doesn?t know what to do or who to turn to. In this time of confusion she may feel its her fault, that she brought this vicious beating on herself. She may turn to her mother and her mother may tell her to stand by her man. There are many scenarios you can look at, but they are all pretty much the same. Domestic violence is one of the most terrible crimes there are. The reason being is that the victim gets attacked by a loved one. It doesn?t make any sense to the victim and that is why they remain in these relationships until sometimes, it is too late.
In my research of domestic violence I found a sea of information. Domestic violence seems to be one of the most common of all crimes. I interviewed Police Officer Jorge Chico from the 49th precinct in the Bronx. Officer Chico informed me that most of the calls made every day are domestic violence disputes. He said that when an officer arrives at the seen of a domestic violence dispute where the victim 99 times out of 100 is a woman the officer checks to see if there are any visible injuries. He said that most of the women are afraid to make a complaint against their husbands and therefore the officer cannot make an arrest. If the woman says ?he hit me, I want him arrested? the officer will arrest. Officer Chico told me that most of the calls result in a summons called a Domestic Incident Report and a Complaint Report, and that the man remains in the home with his victim. If the officer sees visible injuries then he will arrest the assailant right away. Officer Chico works the four to twelve shift where he says there are about thirty (DIR)s Domestic Incident Reports a day. I asked Officer Chico do the calls vary in ethnic groups. The answer was one which was sad both to him and myself. Officer Chico replied: ?I work in a predominately white neighborhood, but most of the Domestic Incident calls are made by black and Latino families?
I interviewed Police Officer Raymond Gutierrez of the 90th precinct in Brooklyn. Officer Gutierrez confirmed what Officer Chico had told me. He said most of the calls made every day are domestic violence disputes. He says in his precinct most of the calls lead to arrests. He patrols an integrated neighborhood where there are blacks, Latinos, and Jews. Officer Gutierrez says most of the calls are made by Latino and black families as well.
I don?t know why it is that minority families have the more domestic dispute calls. My opinion is that they have more problems and are therefore affected more. Domestic violence in any race, or culture is a tragedy.
There are many statistics that indicate that domestic violence is considered common in our society. The United States Department Of Justice states that ?Police were more likely to respond within five minutes if the offender was a stranger than if an offender was known to the female victim?. Another statistic says ? 90% of all family violence are never prosecuted, and one third of the cases that would be considered felonies if committed by strangers are filed as misdemeanors (a lesser crime).? U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, September 2, 1993.
Another quote says ? One out of every four men will use violence against a partner at some time in their relationship.? (Violent No More, Michael Paymar, 1993, Hunter House).
According to FBI statistics, 30% of female murder victims in 1990, were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. Approximately 3000 women. These statistics give a new meaning to the movie, Sleeping With The Enemy.
I can produce a stack of pages on statistics that show what a major problem domestic violence is in our society.
It has become a major issue as of late, due to the highly publicized cases like the O.J. Simpson case, and the John Wayne Bobbitt case.
In the O.J. Simpson case O.J. Simpson was accused of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, his wife. At the trial a tape was played from a 911 call Nicole had made in June of 1993. The tape said ? I don?t want to stay on the line. He?s going to beat the s*#t out of me? In October of 1995 Mr. O.J. Simpson was found not guilty.
In the John Wayne Bobbitt case, his wife Lorena Bobbitt severed her husbands penis with a knife claiming that her husband repeatedly beat her and even raped her. Lorena?s attorney made a statement which made a lot of sense, she said ? A life is more valuable than a penis?. Simply stating that Ms. Bobbitt may have been killed if she did not get out of that relationship.
In my research I found a quote which brings sadness to my heart which said ?There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters?. (Shneider, 1990). This is the importance our society has placed on domestic violence.
I can write about this topic with a lot of passion. The reason being, I was there. I can clearly picture sitting at home with my mother, I was about 8 years old and lived with my mother and my stepfather. My mother and I were always very close. So we were sitting at the kitchen table. My mother was excited because she had just bought a ceramic doll, a centerpiece for the kitchen table. The doll had many slots that were to be filled with napkins. So my mother and I sat at the table inserting one napkin of different colors in each slot. It took us a few hours but we finished and it came out beautiful, my mother loved it. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. My stepfather came home drunk that night. I called him papi because at the time I thought he was my father. He came into the apartment and began to argue with my mother right away. Then the beating began, it was not the first yet I remember it better than most. My mother was screaming and there was nothing that I could do. I ran up to him and he just slapped me away. When he hit me my mother became very angry and attempted to defend herself, but it was to no avail. She just got a bigger beating. He used to grab her by her hair and drag her. I wanted to help but there was nothing that I could do. I ran to the kitchen and picked up the doll my mother and I had worked on and slammed it against the wall and screamed with all my heart. It was sought of a diversion to keep him from hitting my mother, and it worked. They both ran into the kitchen and tried to calm me down while I just screamed my lungs and my heart out. It wasn?t the first time I saw my mother getting hit or the last. I never could help even though I tried. My little body was no match for this guy. He was about 5?8? 180 pounds and I was eight. I will never forget the abuse my mother took from that guy and could never understand it. When I was around twelve my mother cracked his head open with a large ash tray that sat on the living room table. She grabbed it while he dragged her by her hair across the living room. My mother was afraid because an ambulance came to pick him up, we thought he was dead. My mother and I hid at a neighbors apartment while the ambulance and police came.
The next day he came home picked up his stuff and left. No questions and no answers. I remember my mother actually cried for this guy when he left. Till this day I still don?t understand why the tears for this man who hurt us so much.
I was into my teens when my mother met the father of my brother and sisters. I remember being very protective of her, and I even told him once that if he ever touched my mother I would kill him. He promised he would never hit her. I could never understand why any man would hit a woman. I understand that women should have equal rights, but I don?t understand why any man would hit a woman. As I grew in my teen years I learned how to defend myself and be a protector for the women in my life. I joined a boxing club and fought in many tournaments as a novice and the an open class fighter. I grew into a big man in my mid twenties and instilled into my brother that the women in my house were not to be touched.
I was a child when my mother got those beatings. Today, I will attack anyone with extreme prejudice that lays a finger on my mother, and my younger brother will do the same.
My younger siblings often told me that I was my mothers favorite, and my reply was that I had seniority. My mother and I went through a lot before they ever came to be. I lived with a woman for five years and I never hit her. When ever we argued I would simply leave the house if I felt very angry. I am very well disciplined with my emotions.
In my family all the men know not to hit the women. I have four sisters and they all have men. All their men know, if they hit one of these women they have a lot to deal with.
I hate to think that there are children out there feeling what I felt the day I broke my mothers doll, defenseless and weak. I wish I could have saved my mother then. My mother has become a stronger person herself, she doesn?t let anyone push her around. Not that anyone dares.
It is for this reason that I think domestic violence should be viewed closer with more options for women in these circumstances. Domestic violence should be a subject introduced to children so they may not become a victim of it. The women in our society are the heart and soul of every family. They are the power behind every great man. We should treat them as what they are, the greatest thing god created.