Behind Closed Door: A Comparative Analysis

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Behind Closed Door: A comparative Analysis of Global Domestic Violence


I. Background Information
Domestic violence is a universal phenomenon, with millions of people as victims and perpetrators (. It destroys homes and families. Victimization occurs regardless of race, gender, religion, class, and sexual orientation. The term is often used to refer to violence that occurs between two people in an intimate relationship, but extends to violence against children and the elderly (Valiulis, 2014, p.124). I use the term domestic violence in this research refers to intimate partner violence. Globally, 35% of women have endured either physical or sexual abuse at the hands of their partner (World Health Organization, 2012, p.2). Unfortunately
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Sometimes the definition changes and becomes complicated as society begins to speak against the phenomenon. According to Johnson and Kelly (2004), ?the term domestic violence was adopted by women?s advocate to emphasize the risk to women within their own family and household (p. 476).? Two controversies surround the definition of domestic violence. The debate focuses on two areas: breadth (narrow v. broad) of definition and language. According to the narrow v. broad argument, the narrow definition focuses only on physical assault and sometimes sexual assault regardless of injury (Straus, 1999, p.37). The problem with this definition is that it exacerbates the problem of reporting because it disregards other forms of victimization. It also creates the hierarchy of abused based on seriousness. On the other hand, Straus notes that the broad definition tends to use a wider range of behaviours such as physical, sexual, verbal, economic and spiritual abuses and the resulting injuries (p. 37). The differences in definition are seen with how each country defines domestic…show more content…
Feminist scholars view the term domestic violence as gender neutral because it hides the fact that women and children are more often abused (Hammer & Itzin, 2000, p. 26). It is for this reason Hammer and Itzin noted, terms such as ?wife battering? or ?wife abuse? are preferred as it clearly identifies the victim and the perpetrator (p.26). This is a response to researchers that denies the gender asymmetry of domestic violence (P.26). I expect my research to support the gender asymmetry in domestic violence.

IV. Objective of the Research
Despite evidence showing that domestic violence occurs in every culture and country, leading literatures and evidence are largely from North America. Therefore, this research is necessary because other than the World Health Organization studies, there are little to no research on global multi-country analysis of domestic violence. This study has three aims.
The first goal is to examine the incidence of domestic violence in five countries.
The second objective is to scrutinize the legal framework around domestic violence in those countries.
The third objective is to explain the prevalence and the manifestation of domestic violence in those states.
The study aims to answer two central questions. Do different cultures have similar risk factors that lead to domestic violence? Is it possible to implement an efficient global response method to deal with domestic
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