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The Domestic Violence Cycle Essay, Research Paper

Imagine this if you would as a parent or as a child. Late in the evening you are

awakened by your mother returning home from the motel in which your father is staying

as a divorce grows near. You are young and do not know about what or why grown ups

do things. You haven?t the slightest idea of what domestic violence is. Seeing your

mother crying you ask her, ?What happened, why are you crying?.? She pulls the sleeve

of her shirt down to reveal her shoulder and upon your eyes you see a black and blue

circle just a bit bigger then a grown mans fist. Now, what do you say to the child? How

does one go about saying what happened? Tell the truth. Explain to the child the reason

for it and that it is something never to be done by that child.

Domestic violence is a cycle in which the development of a child determines if

the cycle continues or not. They are placed into the factors of which keep the cycle going

or ending not only by choice but by subconscious inputs from their surroundings. My

views of this may differ from others, but this is my knowledge and understanding from

first hand experience.

Growing up as a child, I experienced this first hand. It didn?t have as dramatic an

effect as it may have on other children. There are three general ways in which a child

may be affected, but are a wide variety of situations. I can?t predict the future so I cannot

tell which one I will fall into, but I am hoping it is the second way. Firstly, the child may

take on the psychological effect that it is OK to do since one has seen their mother or

father commit the acts. Children may do this cause they grow up as followers of grown

ups around them. Sort of like that monkey see monkey do concept. On the other hand

they could be doing this cause their parents told them not to. Secondly they may never

repeat this act seeing there is no good in it, which could depend on how the parent

discuses it with the child. Maybe not just how the parent discuses it but a child instinct

to be better then their parents may be a driving force. Finally, they may experience it

once as a victim or victimizer and forever feel the guilt and be scared inside of

themselves and if others can tell. Kind of like experimenting with a new vegetable but

more abusively.

Children growing up in a violent household will be forever emotionally scarred.

the violence does not stop with the last punch thrown between spouses, but instead

lingers in a deep emotion in the minds of the true victims, the children. They may be

fixated in the childhood stage where they viewed violence as an innocent bystander and

mentally, if you will, ?took notes? on both the effects and how to commit violence

themselves. I am not saying that all kids in this situations will grow up and do this in

their households. But a majority of them will grow up with ?lower morals,? like low

goals, using their parents as role models and not wanting to be better then them, in the

sense of being a part of a ?broken household.? Throughout their lives during times of

trouble and times of failure they in turn associate this with the ?broken household?

experience. A number of kids will in life turn to fit the typical stereotype of ?bad kids.?

The other side of the coin would be those kids who take this experience and make their

life better and exceed their parents. The effect of domestic violence is much deeper then

a physical one on the victim. An effect on me that I can see for myself is when I wrestle

around with my dad, I know his weak spot and it is the spot I go for just naturally and

ironically this spot is his shoulder. So as a child, psychologically I was fixated with this

area from viewing what I did.

Domestic violence if taught and handled correctly can be the learning stone to the

next level decreasing the number of incidents, and put a halt in the cycle. But if not

addressed it could be a breeding ground for future offenders, and the cycle will continue

on or start over depending on how you look at it as the beginning or the end. That is a

debatable statement, similar to which came first the chicken or the egg?

The missing piece of the cycle is how they in turn act as adults based on the

factors of income and education levels are put into by their morals and the choices &

subconscious inputs I mentioned earlier.

The income level in which a child receives is based on by a standoff between

which path they take, the low morals or their own choice path. The upper class income

level has the fewest of the three classes domestic violence situations. Why? Some would

say the nonstress comfort level is present due to having the good life, some would say

because they are afraid of losing wealth by divorce due to violence, but maybe inside the

parents have high morals, some higher then their parents and therefore don?t want to

tamper their child?s morals by exposing them to violence. The middle class is between

the upper and lower classes in domestic violence. This may be true for your, for lack of

better wording, typical reasons. Wanting better wealth, schooling for children costs or

bills for the parents conflicting with each other. Since middle class is the most numerous

class in America, some of these took the morals as their parents did when they were

children. Nice home, car, family typical American dream stuff. Or they had higher goals

and failed for their own reasons. This is the class I am from and the wanting of better

wealth was the case in my household. The struggle for income and the stress of having

little leads to the domestic violent attaches in the lower class bracket. The unhappiness

due to being unable to provide leads to stress which is more then often released through

violent acts. The ?broken home-low morals? point I mentioned earlier may be a cause

for them being in the low income level. Some people will say it is because of their own

failure to make choices and laziness.

The education levels of abusive families are very similar to the income levels. In

which I mean they are more dependent on which path they take, more cases in lower

levels, and the more education you have generally the more money you make and vice

versa. Domestic violence is highest in households were a parent or both parents didn?t

finish high school. Because typically they are making less money and are in lower

income levels. Or they could have missed some vital teaching depending on how far they

made it in school. Cases are smaller in homes where high school was finished but little

or no college was taken. College graduation individuals have the fewest acts of violence

in their homes. This is all based on morals set for them as children. How far in

education they will go, which in turn places them into income levels, which contributes

to domestic violence occurrences. All like a mini-cycle inside a big one. Maybe there

would have been a role model for them to follow in school which would guide them

away from violence.

When it comes to the race factor it has been proven that blacks are committing far

many more of these crimes then that of white people, while Hispanic Americans fall in

between. Why does a color of skin suggest if a household commits more or less domestic

violence? Maybe because when it comes to violent acts they are usually done upon a

weaker individual. Well in America white people are the more ?powerful? race so blacks

have no other race weaker then them so the violence is carried on into their households.

As children maybe they viewed some violence in the house and followed the monkey see

monkey do approach.

The autobiography of Mary Rowlandson has an instance of domestic violence

from an Indian chief on his wife. In this society it was acceptable, but that person would

become some big guys girlfriend forever in prison if done today. The knocking of her on

her head just cause she wanted to leave ended with her death like does unfortunately to

others today. the children of these natives viewed this and it was accepted so when they

are adults and have their own families they too will do this. Noone was there to teach

them otherwise.

Domestic violence will continue to exist in this world until the day comes when

each child will be taught enough to learn as grown ups not to follow their parents or

others footsteps in doing these crimes. If a child is not exposed to this as a child, maybe

it won?t be revealed as an adult. This domestic violence cycle needs a kink in the chain

for it to stop. Whether it starts at the child?s development or starts at the adult levels is

arguable. But domestic violence will most likely effect each person at some point in life.

it is up to us as American adults to prevent American children from following in our

wrong footsteps and shoot for right ones.

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