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Domestic Violence In Northern Ireland

Domestic Violence In Northern Ireland

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Published by: Huxley10 on May 10, 2008
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10/07/2012

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Domestic Violence In Northern Ireland
Presentation backupByLiam Hogan9843183October 2002
The purpose of this presentation was to pursue enlightenment in relation todomestic violence in Northern Ireland. It occurred to me that all too oftendomestic violence is seemingly overlooked by more “important” violence in theNorth – that of terrorist acts, punishment beatings, assassinations, bombings,even political lip service garners more attention from the media than the starkreality of women and child abuse.
So what exactly is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the physical, emotional, sexual or mental abuse of oneperson by another, with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship.Over 90% of reported cases of such violence are by men against women
.
Domestic violence is rarely a one-off event. It tends to escalate in frequency andseverity over time. It can be
physical
and can include: slapping, punching,beating, kicking, cigarette burns, knife wounds — often leading to permanentinjuries and sometimes death.
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It can be
sexual
abuse, this could include being forced to have sex against yourwill, sexual degradation and forcing sex in ways that hurt and injure.Domestic violence can also result in
emotional
and mental harm caused forexample by constant criticism, being told that you are useless, ugly, worthless orhumiliating you in public. Threats to kill or harm you or the children,intimidation, bullying, being locked in or kept in isolation away from family andfriends, withholding money, food, sleep and being made a prisoner in your ownhome: - all these are patterns of abuse experienced by many women.
 
The definition;
"Domestic violence is the use of physical or emotionalforce or threat within close adult relationships in a waythat causes harm or distress to victims. In addition toactual or threatened physical or sexual assault anddamage to property, domestic violence includes non-physical intimidation, such as persistent verbal abuse,emotional blackmail and enforced social or financialdeprivation. Having abused once, perpetrators usuallypersist, intensifying and escalating the maltreatment."
 Northern Ireland Office Policy Statement 19952
 
This clarifies matters as to what domestic violence means, but as an aside, isdomestic violence the best way to describe what is essentially ‘Spouse Bashing’,‘wife beating’ or ‘Child Abuse Assault’?As the Australian writer Don Edgar says the term ‘Domestic Violence’
 
“trivialisesthe offence and perpetuates the myth that men can get away with forms of behaviour for which they would be criminally liable if committed against astranger in the world outside.”
A Common Act?
So just how widespread is domestic violence in Northern Ireland? Surely in acommunity with two devout religious persuasions it
should
be minimalist?This is not so.Statistics from the RUC claim that one woman is seriously assaulted (ABH, GBH,attempted murder) by her male partner every day in Northern Ireland.In 1782 Judge Buller held that assaults on wives were legal provided that thehusband used a stick no thicker than his thumb. Today in Northern Ireland, wifeassault is no longer legally permitted, but its recognition as a criminal offenceappears to have had little impact on the widespread practice and extent of theproblem, which affects hundreds of women and children throughout NorthernIreland. The fact that large numbers of women and children suffer persistentphysical, emotional or sexual abuse within the family has been largely ignored.Indeed, domestic violence is only beginning to be a matter for public andgovernment concern and part of the 'public agenda'.
 
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