[Essay Help]: Homicides and Assault
Homicides and Assault. Task:
In the last lesson we discussed the first part of Chapter 9 which explored Homicides and Assault. In this lesson we will continue our review of Chapter 9 with a discussion on Family Violence.
The national data on family violence in general, spouse abuse, child abuse, elderly abuse, sibling abuse, and child-to-parent abuse is startling. About one of every five criminal homicides in the United States and Canada involves a family member killing another family member. Psychologically-related explanations, including the acquisition and maintenance of violent behavior, frustration, and the offender’s perception of loss of power in the family relationship are discussed by the course textbook authors.
Child neglect is demonstrated by a failure to provide for a child’s basic needs; it is an act of omission rather than one of commission. Examples of child neglect include failing to provide adequate supervision, or failure to provide necessary food, shelter, medical, or dental care. Neglect may also include failure to educate a child or attend to special education or emotional needs. Child neglect can have tremendous long-lasting physical and psychological implications for children who are victims. This can include both “internalizing” problems such as apathy, withdrawal, and low self-esteem, and “externalizing” problems such as conduct disorder, verbal and physical aggression.
Child abuse may be physical or emotional. Physical child abuse is anything that may cause physical injury (for example: punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, burning, or hitting). About 19% of maltreatment victims experience physical abuse. Emotional child abuse is any behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-esteem or worth and may include such things as constant criticism or rejection. This accounts for at least 8% of cases.
Forms and frequency of abuse, age, and mental condition of the child, as well as his or her personality, will all play a role in how the victim reacts to abuse. The consequences of abuse will vary according to multiple factors. The age, emotional and cognitive development, gender, race/ethnicity, personality, and strengths or resiliency of the child all play a part in determining the effects of maltreatment. All forms of maltreatment to a child, physical, sexual, psychological/emotional abuse, or witnessing domestic violence, carry the possibility of long-term effects on the psychological and social adaptation of the victim. When multiple abuses occur simultaneously, the risk of maladaptive behavior is heightened as a result. Frequently, emotional/psychological abuse occurs when any other form of abuse is perpetrated. Child relationships affect the resiliency of the victim and his or her ability to overcome adverse effects of abuse. All relationships that the child has with the victimizer, the non-offending parent, other family members, other adults, and peers will affect the consequences of abuse and/or neglect.
Certain professions have a duty to report child abuse. Any person who has a duty to care for or protect a child may be considered a mandated reporter, governed by the requirements of each particular state. Typical mandated reporters include physicians, childcare givers, police officers, and teachers. Compliance for reporting of child abuse is also difficult to determine, and we can only speculate on the cases that are not investigated due to a lack of reporting. While the federal government has mandated child abuse reporting within the states since 1974, it was not until the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 that similar provisions were created for federal reporting laws. Child abuse and neglect that involves any Native American as perpetrator or victim that occurs on Indian reservations must be reported to the FBI under the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act of 1996.
Munchausen syndrome by proxy (or MSBP) is a consistent and chronic form of child abuse in which a parent falsifies or induces injury to a child in order to obtain medical treatment. An individual diagnosed with munchausen syndrome by proxy intentionally plans and conceals his or her abusive behaviors, which may include suffocating a child or demanding painful medical tests and procedures for the child. Munchausen syndrome by proxy abuse is characterized by repeated unnecessary medical tests and procedures, which are demanded by a caretaker and cause physical injury to the child. Common methods of fabricating illness are lying, poisoning either with drugs or other substances, suffocation, specimen tampering and chart falsification. The vast majority of munchausen by proxy perpetrators are women. They report that the victims are equally divided among male and female children. It is a difficult diagnosis to make because the perpetrators believe or have convinced themselves that the child is sick, even though they have caused the ill effects by their own behavior.
Shaken Baby Syndrome (or SBS) is abuse involving a parent who shakes a baby so hard that serious head injury results. Shaken baby is relatively new classification of death or injury to infants, and the number of child victims is uncertain. Children from birth to age two are at the highest risk of suffering harm from shaking because their neck muscles are underdeveloped and their brain tissue is fragile. Repeated vigorous shaking causes the brain to slam against the skull from side to side. It can cause brain damage, blindness, paralysis, seizures, and death. Most SBS victims present with retinal hemorrhages that look like broken blood vessels and small pooling of blood on the white of the eye. Research indicates that most perpetrators are male.
Infanticide is killing of an infant, but the term is now commonly used to refer to any killing of a young child by a parent. Neonaticide is the killing of a newborn within the first 24 hours after birth. Filicide is the killing of a child older than 24 hours. Traits of Mothers who commit Fillicide include coolness and detachment during childhood from their own mothers, suicidal thoughts or attempts, substantial feelings of personal inadequacy, actual mental illness, and feelings that their child are somehow defective.
Motives of Mothers who Commit Fillicide include suicide, to relieve suffering, misguided altruism, and acute psychosis. Filicide associated with suicide occurs when the parent (usually the mother) desires to commit suicide but does not want to abandon the child when she kills herself. Filicide to relieve suffering is where the parent kills a child (or children) to relieve real or imagined suffering. Misguided altruism occurs when the parent believes that the killing is actually in the best interests of the children. Acutely psychotic filicide is where parents kill due to psychosis, active hallucinations, and delusions.
Intimate partner violence (also called domestic violence, battering, or spouse abuse) is violence committed by a current or former spouse, opposite-sex cohabiting partner, same-sex cohabiting partner, date, or boyfriend or girlfriend. Intimate partner violence and abuse takes many forms and it is often a repeated offense.
Battered Woman Syndrome (or BWS) is a cluster of behavioral and emotional features that are shared by women who have been physically or psychologically abused over a period of time by a dominant male. Symptoms include low self-esteem, depression, and helplessness. The syndrome is controversial because some mental health professionals view it as a separate entity, while others view its symptoms as a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD). Other mental health professionals do not want this to be considered a “disorder.” They believe that the behavioral patterns of battered women syndrome may in fact represent a woman’s survival and adaptation to a dire situation.
Victims of abuse often hear that they must like or need such abuse, or they would leave. Others may be told that they are one of the many “women who love too much” or who have “low self-esteem.” No one enjoys being beaten, no matter what their emotional state or self-image. A woman’s reasons for staying are more complex than a statement about her strength of character. In many cases it is dangerous for a woman to leave her abuser. If the abuser has all of the economic and social status, leaving can cause additional problems for the woman. Leaving could mean living in fear and losing child custody, losing financial support, and experiencing harassment at work. Battered women experience shame, embarrassment, and isolation.
The first national study of intimate partner violence, Behind Closed Doors, reported that spouses strike partners in one out of every six households. That now-famous study on family violence found that there was little difference in the rate of violence between husbands and wives. The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment is important on a number of levels; first of all, it was the first scientifically controlled test of the effects of arrest for any crime. Secondly, the authors considered the three most common approaches used by police in responding to domestic violence and evaluated them to see which was most effective in reducing repeat offending. Third, it was instrumental in the enactment of mandatory arrest procedures in cases of domestic violence. The results of the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment helped to change police response to domestic violence nationwide and shaped current response to intimate partner violence in America. The findings of the study to assess the effects of various police responses, including arrest, suggested that the arrest of the perpetrator produced the least amount of repeat violence for the same victims within a six-month period. Subsequent intimate partner violence was reduced by nearly 50 percent when the suspect was arrested, as opposed to other interventions, such as ordering one of the parties out of the residence or counseling the couple.
Chapter 9 also focuses on abuse against older adults. The most probable source of abuse to elders is at the hands of their adult children. The dynamics of these relationships and the relative dependency that typically exists between the victim and the perpetrator render these crimes particularly difficult for the criminal justice community. Only recently has society recognized that abuse occurs to this category, and we have therefore been slow in responding to their needs. Legislation to address abuse in later life is emerging nationwide. These initiatives are often complex and difficult to understand. Family members may unintentionally cause injury to an elder through the misuse of restraints and ignorance. Further confusing is the possibility of self-neglect, which can be misdiagnosed as abuse
Studies have also revealed that a significant proportion of family violence is perpetrated by a juvenile against parents or siblings. The data suggest that the percentage has increased and is likely to continue. Reasons for the increase in reported cases may include better training that enables police to identify domestic violence, a broader definition of domestic violence that includes family members other than parents, and greater awareness of what is unacceptable behavior within a family. In this limited data set, the primary victim of juvenile violence in the family is the mother.
The cycle-of-violence hypothesis is the belief that individuals grow up to be abusive because they were abused themselves. Witnessing of intimate violence places children at greater risk for numerous psychological, behavioral, social, and educational problems. These children are also at increased risk for physical abuse and may also be at an increased risk of being murdered. Children are sometimes injured accidently or intentionally during an incident of intimate partner violence. Children who witness domestic violence often exhibit more behavioral and emotional problems compared with other children. Research suggests that these children display more aggressive and antisocial behaviors, in addition to fearful and inhibited behaviors. Socially they may be less competent. Emotionally they may have lower self-esteem and more depression. In addition, they may believe violence is an acceptable form of conflict resolution and may use violence to solve problems and cope with frustration.
Family violence is a broad subject that encompasses child abuse, spouse or partner abuse, elder abuse, sibling abuse, and child-to- parent abuse. Some researchers also include intimate partner abuse that occurs when the victim and perpetrator occupy separate households. Abuse comes in many forms, including physical, psychological, or sexual abuse. Family violence is found across ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic classes. Women are disproportionately subject to spousal violence and the dire economic situations that may lead to both victimization and victimizing. Children are particularly vulnerable targets for family violence and maltreatment, enduring physical maltreatment, sexual exploitation, medical and emotional neglect, and psychological trauma; all of which are usually lifelong in their consequences. A major objective of this lesson is to sensitize you to the sheer volume and prevalence of family violence in its many forms.
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!