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The controversy around domestic violence is not only legal and civil issue. It is also an issue that concern’s the victim’s health and wellness. Victims of spousal abuse are prone to experience trauma following a traumatic experience. In this regards, nurses play a special role in assisting the victims of domestic violence. This paper discusses the article Intimate Partner Violence in Rural U.S. Areas: What Every Nurse Should Know and the relevance of the points presented by the authors.
Keywords: Domestic violence, role of nurse, medical social worker
Over the years, a plethora of doubt hounds society over how it treats women as secondary class citizens to men. The women’s status in society paved the way for abuse and injustice to be directed on them. In fact, over the years women had suffered from numerous injustices from sexual exploitation to social, political and legal isolation, not excluding physical, mental and emotional abuse. In addition, the patriarchal social system further contributes to the escalating abuse on women. As the contributing factors grow very little attention and solution had been given to rectify the problems on the inequality that exist between men and women. One of the solutions that were given was to bring the issue of domestic violence to the attention of the proper authorities. In their article entitled Intimate Partner Violence in Rural U.S. Areas: What Every Nurse Should Know, authors Dudgenon and Evanson, stress the role of nurses in combating this issue of domestic violence (2014).
In an article written by Amanda Dudgeon and Tracey Evanson, they discussed a highly controversial social issue that affects 6% of the women in the US (Dudgenon & Evanson 2014, p.27). This was the topic of domestic abuse largely cause by spousal abuse. The nature of domestic violence has been an interesting subject for psychologists and social analysts alike. However, largely because of the prevalence of spousal abuse in the rural areas of the US territory this issue has expanded to concern even the people from the medical profession. This is made specifically a concern of the nurse having to be more directly involved in providing care to the patient.
According to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention while 80-90% of spousal abuse as directed to women, a good percentage of 10-20% of reported abuse involves men being badly treated by their woman partner (Black, Basile, Breiding, Smith, Walters, Merrick, Chen & Stevens, 2011, p. 35). But while this fact stands, it cannot be denied that there are more women being abused by their partners as there are women who commit the crime. Author, Fran Hosken, states that the reason there are more men abusing their spouses was because the society seems to tolerate this act of violence (1981, p.3). Ever since social order has been created our society operates under a patriarchal system where men have the dominion over the women. Women are seen as the weaker sex, always dependent to men and totally submissive.
The nurse assumes the role of medical social worker. This role is not less than any traditional or typical social worker who is assigned in the academic setting and the workplace environment. The difference would only be the ambiance and nature of assistance that the social worker provides. However, regardless of this imperative social workers are task to provide quality care to their subject.
Initially, the nurse who also performs the function of a medical social worker is assigned to a patient as part of the attending medical team. However, depending on what the patient needs, the nurse may extend his or her services to the patient even after the patient had been discharged. In this case, the nurse may try to provide assistance to the patient through counseling and education.
It is important to take note also that while a nurse works for individual patients and their families, they can also work with a small population. This means that the nurse can go into the rural setting to inform women about spousal abuse and how they could prevent such event from taking place right inside their own home.
Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dudgenon, A. & Evanson, T. (2014). Intimate Partner Violence in Rural U.S. Areas: What Every Nurse Should Know. American Journal of Nursing, 26-35/
Hosken, F. (1981). Towards a Definition of Women’s Rights. Human Rights Quarterly 3.2 1-10.
Muller, R. (1996). Family Aggressiveness Factors in the Prediction of Corporal Punishment: Reciprocal Effects and the Impact of Observer Perspective. Journal of Family Psychology, 474-489.
Wilson, S., Roberts, F., Rack, J., & Delaney, J. (2008). Mothers’ Trait Verbal Aggressiveness as a Predictor of Maternal and Child Behavior During Playtime Interactions. West Lafayette, IN: Human Communication Research.