Domestic Violence as a Social Justice Issue
Domestic violence has been a problem of many families not only in the United States, but also in the whole world. Many people find themselves confused and embarrassed when they fall victim of domestic violence. Unfortunately, only recently the authorities of the United States started to pay attention to the problem. Because it affects those who cannot physically protect themselves, mainly women and children, domestic violence can be considered a social justice issue and should be treated accordingly.
Domestic violence often occurs when one or more family members for members of any other relationship suffer from a physical abuse. Domestic violence does not only take place in the families where there is a problem with alcoholism, low social and economic level or drug addiction. On the contrary, and domestic violence happens in the families where it is least expected to happen. “Up to one half of all American women – and approximately two thirds of women who are separated or divorced – report having experienced physical assault in their relationships” (Scott 368). These statistics are monstrous, since not many readers suspect that domestic violence is such a common occurrence in the United States. People will never find out what happens in families behind the closed doors. Domestic violence is hard to research because it often happens within the household, and women prefer not to make it public in order not to compromise the image of their successful families. Sometimes, women do not voice their opinions and openly talk about experiences due to the sense of fear that they feel towards their abusers, who often live in the same space. When people have a difficult living situation, and it is impossible for a woman to move out and leave her abuser, she prefers to keep silent instead of trying to fight for her position. But because domestic violence is a social justice issue, just like racism, ageism, and gender discrimination, it gradually becomes public, and more and more women feel courageous enough to talk about it.
Domestic violence is a form of discrimination. It discriminates against those who cannot protect himself. Often, women and little children become victims of violent fathers and husbands, who abused their physical power in order to control their families (Scott 336). Control is an ultimate way to establish one’s authority within a family with the help of fear, which some men consider to be a synonym of respect. Scott adds that controlling women was something many men considered normal for ages (336). If one looks at other social justice issues, one can surely find out that each of them involves power abuse and discrimination. Racism puts importance on a particular skin color, making the white population of the United States more powerful and important. Just like domestic violence, racism makes only one kind of opinion matter, while all of the rest is ignored. Ageism involves discrimination based on the ages of the participants. Like domestic violence, it emphasizes that one …