Family can be defined as a group of persons associated by affinity, consanguinity or co- habitation. It is an institution for children socialization. Family has various concepts e.g. marriage, honor, tradition, affinity culture or friendship. Marriage constitutes a family, and is not always about what individuals need or wants but is a central public commitment that is needed by the society, therefore making it a public institution. Family being a public institution then society and the community has every right to intervene in the best interest of society as a whole. The society need to intervene in family matters such as family violence.
(US Bureau of Justice, 2005) showed that Family violence especially in women is very high registering about 73% of family violence cases. From the statistics given by the Bureau of justice there were about 84% females being abused by their spouses and about 86% were abused by their boyfriends or girlfriends. Between 1998 and 2002 the reported and unreported cases of family violence was 11% with about 3.5 million crimes being committed against family members,
(US Bureau of Justice, 2005)Approximately 60% of these crimes are reported to the police, where the victims not reporting the crime says that it is a personal/ private matter about 34% while 12% did not report the offence so as to protect the offender. Others may not report the crime due to the fear that they may be victimized again if they report the offenders. With this rate of family violence it is clear that the society should intervene when it comes to family violence as it is a public affair. The society should help the victims and make them understand that they will be helping themselves or their children or even the society if they report the crime. Police should also help in the intervention by ensuring that the offenders are caught and also making sure that the victims are well protected so that they will not be victimized again. From the statistics it can be seen that about 49% of the reported crimes resulted into arrest, it is commendable but they should try and increase that number so that the victims can feel safer.
At present, many occupations such as social workers, medical professionals, and educators, are obligated by the law to report suspected domestic violence. These laws should be expanded so as to cover and include all the citizens because some of the victims will never report the crime as it was seen that they feel it is a private matter, wants to protect the offenders or even fear that they will be victimized again. With such a law these victims will be obligated to report them crime and these may probably reduce the cases of family violence as many would fear to be jailed.
(US department of agriculture (n.d)) showed that a violent crime control and law enforcement Act was signed in 1994 by President Clinton who was the president by then to ensure that the offenders are punished. And from then states and local law enforcement agencies have started programs that help to prevent domestic violence and punish the offenders. Also hotline has been established to handle national domestic violence. Many YWCAs had offered to provide free cell phones for the purpose of calling the hotline. There are also domestic violence advocates that the police can call to help the victims. Although these laws have been enforced at times the police are hesitant to arrest suspects where they might tell you that they cannot do anything even there are no evidence that one is being offender. This therefore leads to increased cases of violence which could have been prevented if the police had arrested the suspects instead of waiting for the crime to be committed. However, after arrest police, Legislators, courts and other soci8al services are very effective in implementing the laws and ensuring justice is given to the victims.
(Colorado bar association, n. d) Domestic violence affects the society in that when children grow up experiencing violence in their families they may think that violence is a way of life and even when they grow up they are likely to be violent with their family creating a cycle of domestic violence. Children may also suffer and display behavioral and emotional disturbances such as low-self-esteem, withdrawal and even aggression to their peers. Do0mestic violence also affects the costs of health care and also it affects the work performance of the victims as it may affect their concentration at work.
(US department of justice,2001) did a survey and it showed that about 22.1% of women and 7.4 percent reported cases of domestic violence while in England and wales a survey done by UK home office only 4% of women and 2% of men were reported to have cases of domestic. This shows that cases of family violence are more common than other western, industrialized countries,
Some of the causes of this problem are need to feel to be in control and dominating others and these is caused by low self- esteem, jealous ,anger or even inferiority complex. Other causes are depression, stress, provocation, anger, economic hardships and desperation. Also children who have experienced they may feel that violence is the only way of solving conflicts.
Some of the social norms that make domestic violence so prevalent are some men still have the traditional beliefs that they have the rights to control and dominate on the women, some also belief that women are not equal to men. These beliefs make men commit domestic violence to women so that they can prove that they are superior to them.