Risk and Protective Factors of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a widespread epidemic in many societies cutting across all religion, gender and race globally. There are different risk factors of domestic violence such as drug/alcohol abuse, educational level, economic condition, family factors and gender. On gender risk factor, research has shown that females are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than males. The aim of this essay is to conduct a systematic literature review of previous studies on education as a risk factor associated with domestic violence. Educational risk factors of domestic violence include lack of education of the victim, lack of education of the offender, educational differences between offenders and victims.
In a study to identify risk factors for physical domestic violence against women, Jeyaseelan et al, (2004), showed that there is a relationship between educational level and domestic violence. According to the study, less formal education creates a sense of dependency as individuals are not able to support their needs as well as those of their immediate family members. Individuals with higher levels of education have higher opportunities for advancement compared with those with less levels of education. College experience acquired while undertaking education programme provides an individual with the opportunity to gain new perspectives on life on what is acceptable and unacceptable with regard to social relationships. Also, higher levels of education provides individuals with better opportunity to rationalize with others thus enabling them to make better life decisions that are against some vices such as domestic violence. The study concluded that people with higher education levels tend to communicate better with their partners. Thus, this acts as a protective factor against domestic violence. However, their study failed to study the effect of education discrepancies between spouses on domestic violence.
Lack of education is a risk factor linked to domestic violence. Most research findings on level of education as a risk factor for domestic violence have shown that females with lower levels of education compared to their wives tend to be domestic violence offenders. The scenario is quite different when both husband and wife have the same education level. One research that focused on level of education as risk factor concluded that males in most instances are offender due to the fact that communication skills in any social relation are enhanced through higher levels of education whereby females with lower education levels tend to resolve to violence as a result of inability to effectively communicate their anger and frustration (Naved and Persson, 2005).
Another study aimed at establishing as to whether the woman’s level of education has a casual relationship with domestic violence in rural Bangladesh has been conducted. The study was conducted by analyzing primary data and researches on domestic violence and associated risk factors. The study showed that educational levels play a significant role in reducing domestic violence against women. According to the study, there is a casual relationship between individual’s educational levels and domestic violence. In most cases, women with lower levels of education (below secondary education) are highly susceptible to domestic violence as such women end up in early marriages thus increasing her vulnerable position in the society. For instance, if a woman decides to leave her husband and stay alone, she can only do that if she is engaged in a formal income generating activities with higher wage rates as a result of higher levels of education. This tends to reduce instances of marital violence as opposed to uneducated women without any formal income generating activity (Marium, 2014). However, the study overlooked the effect of husband’s level of education as well as educational differences on domestic violence.
Jeyaseelan, L., Laura S. Sadowski, Shuba Kumar, Fatma Hassan, Laurie Ramiro, and Beatriz Vizcarra., (2004). ‘‘World Studies of Abuse in the Family Environment: Risk Factors for Physical Intimate Partner Violence.’’ Injury Control and Safety Promotion 11, no. 2: 117–124.
Naved, R. T., and Persson, L. A., (2005). Factors associated with spousal physical violence against women in Bangladesh. Studies in Family Planning, 36(4), 289-300.
Sarah Marium, (2014). Women’s Level of Education and Its Effect on Domestic Violence in Rural Bangladesh, IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume 19, Issue 5, Ver. III (May. 2014), e-ISSN: 2279-0837, p-ISSN: 2279-0845. www.iosrjournals.org www.iosrjournals.org pp. 40-45.