Abusive relationships and domestic violence is one of the most serious and widespread social problems. However, the lack of clear definitions, comprehensive information on the extent, and reasons for the use of force obstruct the efforts to resolve the problem.
The study of abusive relationship began in the sixties, with a focus on children’s issues. It should be noted that in the 19th century in the U.S. child maltreatment has been the subject of public concern. Nevertheless, most people were convinced that the violence in the family was an extremely rare and considered attributed to certain psychological disorder. In the seventies in America and Europe, the ideas of equality between men and women in marriage and at work have been widely accepted. In the 70-80’s, wide public recognized family violence and spousal abuse as inadmissible.
For example, in 1985 in the U.S., everyone’s attention was drawn to a senior government official, who for 18 years of marriage, had abused and beat his wife. In Canada, abusive relationship drew attention in the light of the overall campaign for gender equality. The problem of abusive relationship became gradually very urgent for the Canadian public through the efforts of non-governmental women’s organizations, experts in the field of gender studies, and social workers.
Already in the 70 years, due to the massive public pressure the state began funding crisis centers and shelters for women survivors of violence. In 1981, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare was established Center for analysis and synthesis of information on family violence. In 1984, B. Levi has published a book on family violence, in which he has concluded that this phenomenon is widespread, serious, and may be attributed to all sectors of society.
It is known that 30-40% of violence occurs in the family and may be considered abusive relationship. Each year, several thousand women are beaten to death in their own homes, as well as about two million children are beaten by their parents. In 10% of these cases, the beating becomes the cause of death, and two thousand children die by suicide. More than 50,000 children escaped from their parents and spent totally over a year outside their homes. Many people are killed and injured due to family and domestic conflicts. The number of abusive relationship victims firmly occupies the first place among the various categories of victims of violent crimes and is far ahead of the number of victims of new types of violent crimes. Women and children make up 70% of all victims of serious violent attacks committed in the family. In battered women, the need for psychiatric intervention is 4-5 times more than average, suicide attempts are 5 times more often than in women who have not been beaten.
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