The study is aimed to assess whether gender affects citizens’ perceptions about punishment for domestic violence taking place within the United States’ society. The research is conducted in order to answer three questions, including discovering: 1) the major differences between the way that men and women view punishment for domestic violence, 2) the forms of punishment that are supported by the two different genders for those convicted of domestic violence and 3) how far can gender explain differences in opinion regarding domestic violence as an overall issue in society?
This study was completed using a quantitative research methodology with a focus on gaining statistical data, as well as simple random sampling, to assess the gender-based perceptions of the phenomenon of punishment for domestic violence. One hundred male and one hundred female participants took part in a random sampling. Each participant was provided with a survey of closed responses, in which they had to respond with a level of agreement to each statement regarding domestic violence punishment.
The study found that gender-based domestic violence is a rapidly increasing vice in modern society. Victims, who experienced domestic violence, tend to suffer a range of physical and psychological problems, usually in silence. In the paper, it is suggested that the identification of various victims of gender-based domestic violence should be prioritized and accorded due prominence. This can only be achieved through legal reform. The law should be more proactive in advocating for a just and fair punishment for perpetrators of domestic violence. In particular, the law should better ensure the rights of victims, who often fail to report crime and go latent due to fear or shame.
The research stresses that the legislation establishing provisions aimed at appropriate treatment of domestic violence perpetrators should be formulated with a tacit recognition of the fact that domestic violence is unacceptable in whatever form it may assume and regardless of the targeted victim. The law shall also specify various interventions to provide victims of domestic violence with adequate and proper protection against their perpetrators by expediting domestic violence cases and empowering the court to deliberate on effective measures that would promote establishing safe and appropriate legal framework.
CDC - The Center for Disease Control and Prevention
NISVS - National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
NIJ - The National Institute of Justice
SPSS - Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
ANOVA - The Analysis Of Variance
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Domestic violence is a prevalent topic of discussion at the current time, especially considering the growth of awareness of domestic violence over the past decade. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that “intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking are important and widespread public health problems in the United States” (CDC, 2014). Moreover, a recent survey conducted by the CDC entitled the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) outlined, “On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States (CDC, 2010)”. A quick calculation helps to underline that this equates to approximately 12 million men and women each year, stressing the importance of heightening awareness of domestic violence in the United States and the need for appropriate punishment to ensure that these levels reduce as we move onwards in the 21st century.
Through this acknowledgement of the high level of impact that domestic violence has in society, the concept and physical incidence of domestic violence is clearly a topical and important subject for discussion. Moreover, it is a also a subject that is heavily situated within gender analysis and discussion, given that men and women often feel differently about the concept and how it impacts on them as individuals (Shipway, 2004). This study focuses on providing a detailed assessment of the perceptions of both men and women towards the punishments put in place for those individuals that commit domestic violence crimes, analyzing whether men and women think the punishments are fair, lenient or too harsh in modern American society.
Statement of the problem
The issue of domestic violence as a major problem in the United States has a long tradition and one in which only relatively recently have there been steps taken to reduce the prevalence of the problem in society. The nature of domestic violence is that it is defined as “a form of oppression that occurs within a social context that makes violence against an oppressed group possible and even acceptable” (McCue, 2008, p.3). Furthermore, the same study has assessed that “the oppression of women and the right of husbands to physically abuse their wives is rooted in a long patriarchal tradition” (McCue, 2008, p.3). However, it is also important to understand that this study does not only focus on domestic violence directed at women but also domestic violence aimed at men. While scholars rightly point out that the majority of domestic violence occurs towards women, it is also pertinent to stress that men also are often the victims in abusive relationships and this needs to be recognized as the work continues. This is stressed by Buzawa & Buzawa (2003) who note that “although injuries due to violence occur disproportionately against women and that men commit more serious violent acts, both genders do engage in violence” (2003, p.13). Through this discussion, it is clear that domestic violence and the punishment directed towards those that commit the crime, are complex issues rooted in societal and traditional beliefs. This is why the study has targeted an analysis from a gendered perspective, aiming to assess whether men and women really view domestic violence and its punishment in the same way or if common gendered differences exist in their attitudes towards the subject.
Significance of the Study
The significance of this study is of a high importance, mainly because of the need to fully understand attitudes towards domestic violence and the punishments that are provided in society to those that are perpetrators of this crime. Historically, for those men and women both affected by domestic violence, it has often been the case that the perpetrator has not been brought to justice. Therefore, with this renewed focus in society on domestic violence (through advertisements by the government and health organizations in the media), it is necessary to study the reaction of both genders to domestic violence punishment in an attempt to see whether attitudes need to be improved and education given to specific groups in society. In this way, not only will both men and women be assessed in their attitudes towards domestic violence punishment, but also different categories within each gender (age-related) to test whether there are generational perceptions that exist. The findings from this study will enable domestic violence groups and health organizations to be able to use the results to help improve perceptions towards domestic violence and its punishment in the future, for the betterment of American society in general.
This study is one that is multi-faceted and focuses on two important concepts; that of gender and domestic violence punishment. The study has created three research questions that will help target the major research aim of this current work. The study has aimed to assess whether gender affects citizen’s perceptions about punishment for domestic violence, with this study taking place within United States’ society. To achieve this main aim, the research study needed to create research questions that provided measurable data (statistical) for the researcher to analyze. Therefore, the importance of the development of these research questions was paramount in the overall success of this research study. The literature has announced that to ensure research aims are met, the research questions need to reflect the narrow focus of the study (Cryer, 2006). In this manner, the research questions have been designed to ensure that the study can answer the major aim, which was the ultimate purpose of this current study initially. The four research questions include:
- Are there major differences in how men and women perceive who is the primary aggressor in domestic violence cases?
- Are there major differences in how men and women perceive who is more likely to sustain injuries in domestic violence cases?
- Are there major differences in how men and women perceive the appropriate punishment for domestic violence cases?
- Are there major differences in how men and women perceive who is likely to suffer the greatest trauma for domestic violence cases?
The creation of these four questions has enabled the researcher to fully assess both the differences and similarities between the perceptions of citizens towards domestic violence punishment. To make sure that these research questions were answered, the researcher also developed research objectives, to help guide the researcher as the study was completed. These were important, given the complexity of the study and the need to devise a methodology that could adequately assess the differences and similarities between the two genders in terms of their own perception. The research objectives included:
- Conducting a thorough review of the literature on domestic violence punishment and the attitudes of both men and women in American society.
- Creating a methodology that could be employed to help provide statistical data on the subject, allowing for gender generalizations to be made on the subject.
- Using data analysis methods that were reliable and valid, ensuring that the research was open to as limited an amount of criticism as possible upon publication.
The creation of these three research objectives underlined the desire of the researcher to create a study that could be completed in a valid and reliable manner, ensuring that the findings were able to further the knowledge of the subject in question without being subjected to greater scrutiny by the wider research field.
This study has been organized into four further chapters following this introduction chapter. The review of the literature (Chapter 2) presents an overview of the current knowledge of the subject before the research methodology is justified in Chapter 3. The methodology focuses on a quantitative approach, aiming to gain statistical data to help support and answer the major research questions in this study. Chapter 4 presents the results of the data collection, analysis and discussions. The final chapter (Chapter 5) outlines the major conclusions that emanated from this study as well as further recommendations in the future.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
The completion of the review of the literature is viewed as a compulsory and critical part of any particular research study (Hart, 1998). For this study, the belief is no different and it is vital to gain a detailed understanding of the concept of domestic violence and the punishment that occurs when found guilty, as well as the possible differences in attitude between genders. This review has been split into four major sections, including an analysis of the overall concept of domestic violence initially, to assess potential differences in gender perception between men and women, followed by an analysis of the research specifically focused on domestic violence punishment. After this, the impact of gender in this type of social debate is provided before a consideration of successful research methodologies helps to complete the chapter. A summary of the findings of the literature and how this has helped shape the design of the research methodology is also presented at the end of this chapter.
This first section presents a brief discussion of domestic violence as a key issue in modern society, as well as offering a definition of the term and the subject of punishment. The literature has grown in its condemnation of domestic violence over the past few decades, with the attitude towards the issue developing from one of a matter to be dealt with internally (in the household) by the partners involved to one in which society now realizes the extent of damage (physical, psychological and emotional) done to victims of domestic violence (Hanmer & Itzin, 2013; Davis, 2008). This has led to the viewpoint that “domestic violence is one of the most significant issues facing the criminal justice system today” (Levinson, 2002, p.544). Moreover, the assessment of domestic violence and a synthesis of the literature on the subject outlines that while domestic violence has grown in its widespread knowledge, there are those that still equate it to arcane beliefs such as that men commit the crime and only women are victims (Newman & Newman, 2010). Summers and Hoffman (2002) is one such study that attempts to define domestic violence as a term that refers to “violence that men use against women to whom they are married or with whom they live in marriage-like relationships” (2002, p.39). This study, completed in 2002 (only just over a decade ago), highlights that there is great confusion that still exists in society towards domestic violence. These attitudes are not only outdated but fail to take into account the different types of relationship that are now legal in society, with a growing number of gay couples to go alongside the traditional husband and wife scenario (Goodmark, 2012).
Although domestic violence has been clearly viewed as an issue in society for many years, it is perhaps eye opening to underline the fact that the Violence Against Women Act was only passed in the United States in 1994. This aimed to “heighten public awareness of domestic violence and its detrimental effects on society. As awareness of domestic violence has increased, society has been more willing to acknowledge the complexity and prevalence of the problem” (Levinson, 2002, p.544). However this type of legislation, while very important, also helps to present the view that only women are impacted negatively by domestic violence and so it perhaps comes as no surprise that many studies refer to the confusion and lack of understanding that exists when it comes to both the occurrence of domestic violence and the punishment that is equated with it (Newman & Newman, 2010). As well as the legislation in the United States, there has also been the creation of guidance developed by the United Nations, with its Committee on Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. This has “recommended that State parties should act to protect women against violence of any kind, especially that occurring within the family” (Verlag, 2005, p.1). Therefore, domestic violence has become an important issue in modern society and one that is now focused upon, rather than simply left to occur without any intervention from the State.
Punishment for Domestic Violence
This second section helps to provide a detailed assessment of the work completed on the nature of the punishment that takes place when people are caught and convicted of conducting domestic violence against their partner. Having assessed the literature and outlining the rise of knowledge towards domestic violence following the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, it can be noted that the punishment of and the nature of the prosecution against those conducting domestic violence has improved greatly in the United States. Levinson (2002) notes that “law enforcement was the first segment of the criminal justice system to institute major reforms in its response to domestic violence and court systems across the nation are increasingly forming institutional partnerships aimed at improving the prosecution and adjudication of domestic violence cases” (2002, p.544). However, other literature on the subject notes that actually, the changes towards domestic violence and its punishment occurred because of the rise of the women’s movement in the 1970s, with “special attention given to domestic violence, stalking and child abuse during the 1980s and early 1990s” (Wolcott & Head, 2010, p.242). Regardless of the start of the change in the criminal justice system, it is apparent that the punishment for domestic violence has become much more serious over the past two decades and the procedure to help catch and convict those that abuse in a domestic setting has also become far more rigorous than before.
The most common punishment for domestic abuse in the United States has been that of a conditional discharge although other sentences are handed down including jail time, probation and the imposition of a fine to the accused, which has not necessarily had the desired effect of deterrence. The literature does acknowledge though that there have been “new amendments to laws in the United Stated that enable judges to grant protection orders that last for fifty years when a survivor has had two previous protection orders against the abuser or when the abuser has violated a protection order on two occasions” (United Nations, 2010, p.52). The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has acknowledged that the current abuser sentencing practices vary widely but that the practices listed above are commonplace. The NIJ states that in Chicago for example, a little less than a third were given conditional discharges, 24 percent received probation or court supervision, and 23 percent were sent to jail (including time served pending trial)” (NIJ, 2009, p.1). This differed slightly to that of the Brooklyn Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court study that assessed 9,157 cases. This study found that “51 percent received a conditional discharge, 35 percent received jail, 7 percent received probation, 5 percent were ordered to complete community service and 1 percent were fined’ (NIJ, 2009, p.1). This underlines that the punishment for domestic violence varies and depends on both the nature of the attack and the actions of the court in which the case is tried. The punishment for domestic violence is therefore varied and dependent on a wide range of variables, which can make the assessment of the issue as a whole more complex, particularly as there is no standardized form of punishment across the United States due to the differences between State and Federal laws.
The Impact of Gender
The impact of gender on the understanding and attitude towards both domestic violence more generally and the nature of the punishment given out by courts to those convicted of the action is an area that has been understudied in the literature. This is one of the major reasons for the completion of this current study, although it is possible to outline certain previous works on the subject. Work by Locke and Richman (1999) just before the turn of the century stated that “previous research has not extensively addressed how attitudes towards domestic violence varies between both ethnicities and genders” (1999, p.227). Furthermore, their work stressed that the precise number of women (and men) abused by their partners is not necessarily known in its full extent, due to the belief that domestic violence is a private issue, the failure of many victims in reporting the incident and the “knowledge that many police officers and judges dismiss abuse as inconsequential” (Locke & Richman, 1999, p.228). The study by Locke and Richman (1999) focused on providing participants with domestic violence scenarios and completed questionnaires about their attitudes towards the scenario. Their findings showed that “women relative to men blamed the husband more for the abuse, sympathized more with the wife and rated the incident as more serious” (1999, p.227). In this sense, the study highlights that there is a gender divide in terms of the attitude towards domestic violence, which has provided a platform for this current work. It should be noted at this juncture that the study by Locke and Richman did not focus at all on the nature of punishment of domestic violence crimes and that this would be a new subject entirely, but it is possible to refer to the gender differences found in this study. Their work used 265 participants so the findings can be generalized to some extent but it cannot be seen as representative of the entire male and female populations in the United States.
After assessing the literature that exists on the concept of domestic violence abuse and the gender attitudes that exist towards this action as well as the punishment provided to the perpetrator, it is possible to note that there are several consistent research methodologies that have been used to great success in developing conclusive findings on the subject. The most effective form of research method seems to focus on the use of the questionnaire, in conjunction with information presented to the participants. For example, the study by Locke and Richman used domestic violence scenarios, supported with questionnaires relating to the attitude of the participants regarding these scenarios. As well as this, the work by Hanmer and Itzin (2013) was effective in discovering attitudes towards gender violence in general and used questionnaires that were quantitative in their nature, allowing the researchers to explore the attitudes using statistical analysis. This type of analysis provides the researcher with the chance to present key numerical evidence and is easier to generalize and summarize than the use of qualitative data. This was also used to great effect in the study by Belknap (2014) that has recently been published that identifies how women view the treatment of their gender in terms of domestic violence abuse and law officials not necessarily taking their claims seriously.
Through the analysis of the research methodologies used in the literature, it was possible to develop a methodological approach for this current study. This is discussed and justified in the next chapter and includes the use of a quantitative questionnaire alongside information pertaining to the current format of domestic violence punishment used by the criminal justice system in the United States. This will be used to gain the participants’ attitude towards domestic violence punishment in the primary research part of this current study.
In summary, it is apparent that there has been a wealth of research conducted on the subject of domestic violence. The research usually focuses on the fact that it has become a serious issue in modern society, although this introduces the idea that it was not serious beforehand, which is inaccurate. The rise in the research on the subject has meant that society is now more aware of the issue rather than it only recently becoming a serious and widespread problem. The research outlines that while there has been a great deal of work on the subject, there are still common myths that exist about domestic violence. These include the view that it only occurs by men against women, despite the research to the contrary and the fact that gay couples also experience domestic violence. Moreover, it has also been stressed by the research that there is debate as to what constitutes domestic violence and that there are various levels of seriousness when it comes to punishment. Therefore, through the research of the literature it has become apparent that while there is a great deal of research on the subject, this research has been completed in a haphazard and disorganized manner, mainly because of the fundamental misunderstandings that exist at the heart of the debate.
More conclusive evidence was found in terms of an appropriate methodology to be used in this current study. It was assessed that the most effective studies completed so far in this field are those that utilize quantitative research, especially because of the need to provide a direct comparison between male and female responses to the concept of domestic violence punishment. The assessment of the literature found that those studies that used surveys to question both genders were the most likely to secure statistical data that could be then used to generalize the findings within a gendered perspective.
Domestic violence is a critical attribute in the American society. The dynamics of domestic violence have changed with time. For a long time, domestic violence was only associated with women alone. In the current state, there are male counterparts that happen to be victims of domestic violence. The mode at which the American society views domestic violence has changed with time. In the past times, people were afraid of talking about domestic violence matters openly. Since people from all gender lines are affected, everyone’s attitude towards domestic violence matters has changed with time. As time goes by, people are ready to address their domestic violence issues openly. Currently, people are more empowered concerning gender related matters than before. This explains the change in the way America handles domestic violence cases.
As times have changed, the criminal system faces numerous challenges when handling matters that relate with domestic violence. The reality about the impacts of domestic violence is a known phenomenon among citizens. There were times when citizens had little knowledge in relation to domestic violence matters. In the current state, people are aware that domestic violence brings forth psychological, emotional and physical harm. Through awareness, people are able to know the criminal punishments that come with domestic violence offenses. Unlike before, people are aware of the criminal punishments that await them if found guilty of domestic violence crimes.
Gender views concerning domestic violence have also changed with time. Before full awareness about criminal offences was created, people believed that men alone committed domestic violence offences. This left the perception that women were only victims of domestic violence. With time, gender perceptions towards domestic violence have changed completely. People from across all gender lines are aware that gender violence affects both men and women. This means either men or women can perpetuate or be victims of gender violence.
There will a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive who is the primary aggressor, who is more likely to sustain injuries, the appropriate punishment, and who is likely to suffer the greatest trauma in domestic violence cases.
- There will be a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive who is the primary aggressor in domestic violence cases.
- There will be a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive who is more likely to sustain injuries in domestic violence cases.
- There will be a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive the appropriate punishment for domestic violence cases.
- There will be a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive who is likely to suffer the greatest trauma for domestic violence cases.
- There will not be a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive who is the primary aggressor in domestic violence cases.
- There will not be a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive who is more likely to sustain injuries in domestic violence cases.
- There will not be a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive the appropriate punishment for domestic violence cases.
- There will not be a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive who is likely to suffer the greatest trauma for domestic violence cases.
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
This chapter will analyze the research methodology that was employed in assessing whether gender affects citizen’s perceptions about punishment for domestic violence in the United States. The chapter will particularly explore how the methodology was employed to collect data and support pertinent theories that are relevant to the problem. A comprehensive description of various research instruments used in the study and the method used in administering such instruments will also be undertaken in this section. Lastly, the chapter will examine how quantitative research methods were used to engender the findings. The chapter has been organized as follows: section 3.1 will elaborate on the use of interpret theory as the most appropriate research paradigm for rationalizing research approaches and research design; section 3.2 will explicate the method that was used in analyzing the research objectives, namely: 1) the major differences between the way that men and women view punishment for domestic violence, 2) the forms of punishment that are supported by the two different genders for those convicted of conducting domestic violence and 3) how far can gender explain differences in opinion regarding domestic violence as an overall issue in society? Section 3.4 will delve into an examination of the ethical considerations. Lastly, section 3.5: will discuss the research limitations.
Subjectivity: Interpret Research paradigm
According to Noaks (2009) a fundamental attribute of the interpretive research paradigm lies in the fact that knowledge is gained and filtered through prominent aspects of social constructions such as consciousness, language and shared meanings. In addition, interpretive research emphasizes the inherent intimate relationship between the subject of research and the person undertaking that research. It also examines pertinent situational constrains that shape the research process (National Policing Improvement Agency, 2008). Shorey, et al. (2010) has also examined the interpretive paradigm in relation to its methodology. They contend that interpretive research does not set out to predefine independent and dependent variables or test hypothesis. Instead, the approach aims to engender a better understanding of the apparent social context existing between a particular phenomenon and the process influencing such a phenomenon (Neyroud, 2009).
In reference to the interpretive research, this study therefore commenced on the data collection process by first looking at the various theoretical lenses that would guide the process, then reviewed the various methods that would guide the process of data collection and analysis.
Another key attribute of the interpretive paradigm is the view that people have the capacity to symbolically and socially construct their realities from an organizational context (Johnson, 2005). Therefore, by espousing the interpret approach the researcher assumed that the respondents’ process of decision making and their perceived meaning of appropriate punishment for perpetrators of gender based domestic violence was not an objective phenomena that would be deemed to have known dimensions or properties (Smartt, 2007).
Noaks (2009) has argued that the variables are a key aspect of quantitative research, which a researcher manipulates. The method also involves examining relevant theory and hypotheses by testing them using data collected from respondents (King, 2008; Henning &Smit, 2004). One significant characteristic of quantitative approach is the fact that it views human behavior as essentially regular and predictable. Therefore, the method tends to emphasize use of numerical information to describe, predict or explain behavior. In this study, the researcher used qualitative method in analyzing data collected from various respondents with a view to establishing the Assess whether gender affects citizen’s perceptions about punishment for domestic violence in United States’ society.
3.4. Ethical Issues:
Alder, (2008) posits that ethical principles apply in research and are actually binding on researchers just as they create obligation among professions in other fields of professionalism. Consequently, in undertaking this study, the researcher had to abide by the following ethical principles:
Voluntary informed consent
According to Connell (2006), voluntary informed consent requires that before researchers engage in data collection from respondents, they must endeavor to obtain permission from any person in authority. A letter seeking permission to conduct a study in a specific are or using certain respondents can serve as proof of informed consent. In this study, informed consent was obtained from the study participants before they took part in the data collection process.
All the respondents were assured that the information they would disclosed would not be disclosed to third parties prior to obtaining their consent. Such information would remain private.
The respondents were also assured that their identity would not be disclosed to any third parties. However, in order to further enhance anonymity of respondents they were required to refrain from including their names or any identifying mark or label on the questionnaire.
Duty to cause no physical or psychological harm:
As part of the researcher’s responsibility to ensure that respondents were protected from any psychological or physical harm occasioned by the researcher’s actions, the researcher had to take all due diligence when formulating questions to avoid sensitive questions that would affect the respondents.
For the period of undertaking the study, the researcher was responsible for all its consequences as far as this was foreseeable. This responsibility included actively engaging in the research process and working to ensure that the research objectives were achieved within the stipulated time. It was also the researcher’s duty to ensure that the objectives of the study would contribute to the society by resolving a crucial problem in the society.
Plagiarism and research fraud
The researcher had an obligation of ensuring that the research was originality and that no idea was taken from any other source without acknowledging that source. According to Geis, (2004) plagiarism involves using information taken from another source without acknowledging the author of such information of ideas.
In order to enhance the collection of accurate data from the respondents, the researcher had to refrain from attaching excessive and undue importance to the study findings. Objectivity was necessary to avoid any temptation to manipulate the study findings in line with researcher’s expectations.
Finally, in writing the conclusion the researcher had to ensure that the inferences made were consistent with the overall objectives of the study. A consistent conclusion was also vital since it ensured that the study objectives did not detract from the main problem.
This study used descriptive research methodology to collect information from the respondents. Descriptive research design was deemed appropriate in this study, since it documents the state of things as they are and facilitates the collection of data from population in order to help understand the prevailing status of that population particularly in respect to variables in question (Geis, 2004). Given that the present study was meant to assess the gender affects on citizen’s perceptions about punishment for domestic violence descriptive survey was the most appropriate approach as it enabled the researcher to obtain information from those concerned and in the process use the information obtained to make appropriate inferences about the problem.
Population and Sampling Procedure
A sample of 200 respondents, 100 male and 100 females, was selected as a regionally representative sample that would yield the desired results. The individuals who served as the respondents included single men and women as well as spouses.
Data collection method
Each respondent received a questionnaire consisting of multiple Likert questions. The questions were formulated in a way that would help gather more in-depth information from the respondents. In order to minimize losses that would have been occasioned by non-response or failure to return questionnaire, the researcher administered the questionnaire and waited as the respondents filled them. All the questionnaires, were thus, filled and collected by the researcher.
Once data was collected, it was then subjected to relevant electronic analyses involving Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Information obtained from secondary sources such as journals, media reports text books, documents generated by government agencies and nongovernmental agencies were also used to corroborate, supplement and present theoretical perspectives that would help in arriving at relevant conclusions in line with the study objectives.
One major limitation of this study relates to the restricted extent of its applicability broader populations. This is primary occasioned by the fact that the study sample was limited in size and is considerably lower than the general population. The fact that the sample size comprised of people, some of whom might not have firsthand experience as perpetrators or victims of domestic violence is another limiting factor. It is therefore largely possible that the opinions and accounts offered by the respondents are not volunteered from their own perspective. In addition, the researcher chose to ignore certain pertinent information about the respondents such as demographic information and age due to confidentiality issues. Hamilton, (2011), has argued that violent behavior occurring within the context of marital relationship can only be understood when the violent behavior of a perpetrator is placed in the context of their victims. This view has been supported by George (2007), who posits that men and women typically have different views concerning the occurrence of violence in relationships. A more in-depth approach would thus have involved inclusion of victims and perpetrators in the study. This study is thus, limited in this area, given that the respondents were not married couples, a fact that made the process of accurately interpreting the study conclusion problematic.
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
The main aim of this study was to determine if there was a statistical significant difference in how men and women perceive the primary aggressor, the more likely to sustain injuries, the appropriate punishment and who is likely to suffer the greatest trauma in domestic violence. Furthermore, the study also examined if there was gender based difference in individual variables such as, primary aggressor, injuries sustained, form of punishment and greatest trauma suffered. To achieve this, the analysis was divided into four parts, that is, (1) descriptive statistics; aimed at providing information on the collected data. (2) Reliability and factor analysis; was used to show inter-consistency among the variables given that they came from multiple Likert questions. (3) Correlational analysis; was used to show relationship between the variables and if correlation was statistically significant. (4) Inferential analysis; these was used to test the hypotheses earlier stated through various statistical tests.