How can psychological violence be accurately and validly defined as a Violence against Women (VAW) when most of its effects are mental and cannot be physically quantified? Where does normative psychological aggression (non-harmful) become psychological violence (harmful)? How can any violence against women qualify as a psychological violence when psychologists and researchers on Violence against Women such as Mauiro admit that schema useful for classification and intervention are as of the moment undetermined? Do younger women attract a higher prevalence of VAW because they have less control and power over their decisions and have fewer options? Does age disparity play a big role in cases of VAW especially for younger women and how? How can depression, the most significant variable studied concerning VAW, be a conclusive determinant when there is no clear link between the two? (Campbell et al, 2005) Why dont studies focus solely on either understanding VAW or understanding the scientific explanations behind VAW instead of having a double-objective?
To me the report is frustrating. It is maddening the way the article uses assumptions even in supportive literature. There are a lot of holes and inconsistencies all through it. It has been hurriedly put together, the authors of the report themselves admit to inadequacy of the literature on mental health effects of VAW (Jordan et al, 2010). There is few concrete points to take from the article, the main point being more research has to be done on the field of violence against women. What could be hampering research on VAW over the last thirty years could be having two primary opposing reasons for conducting the research; scientific understanding and ending the violence. I cannot understand why researches and studies cannot be more objective-oriented. This could explain why it has been disappointing. Most of the researches and studies have so far been theoretical and not supported by empirical models and research techniques. It is hard for somebody to read through a report which you know poses more questions than answers. It is mentally challenging processing information which at first appears to be scientifically sound until you discover there are assumptions behind some claims.
It is apparent that VAW has mental effects on victimized women. The main documented mental health effect of VAW on victimized women is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. All in all the research on the outcome of VAW is inconclusive because the literature covering the same is unreliable. Clearly, much has to be done to stop occurrences of VAW and scientific reforms have to be pushed if any headway is to be made in ending VAW.
Campbell JC, Sullivan CM, Davidson WS. 1995. Depression in women who use domestic violence shelters: A longitudinal analysis. Psychol. Women Q. 19:237255.
Jordan, C. E., Campbell, R., & Follingstad, D. (2010). Violence and women's mental health: the impact of physical, sexual, and psychological aggression. Annual review of clinical psychology, 6, 607-628.
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