Violence is termed as the use of force to inflict injury, cause damage and destruction of people or property. Violence is something that most people have had to witness and the outcome can be catastrophic. The paper explains the various types of violence witnessed on a day-to-day basis. There are many causes of violence which differ from people. For example, some people get violent when they happen to abuse drugs and in this case alcohol. Similar to other countries, the Australian government has introduced inquiries, created special courts among other measurements to ensure a stop in violence but have these measurements worked. The paper will look at the broadness of violence, and the steps the justice system and other organisations have taken to see a stop to its spread. The information is obtained from research papers and journals from various departments including criminology.
Spread of Violence
Violence is explained as the use of force to inflict injury, cause damage, abuse or destruction of people or property. It is usually intentional and may sometimes lead to psychological harm or death. People react in different ways, although violence offences that they have faced are alike. One individual may be significantly affected while another will experience only some short-term effects. In other incidences, the person seen as the direct victim by criminal justice systems may not be the only one affected since they have those close to them whom in a way are affected. There are many causes of violence which include exposure to violent media, home and neighbourhood violence, frustrations among others. The different types of violence include sexual violence, emotional violence, physical violence, and verbal abuse.
In Australia, a measure of common crimes such as assault and common household crimes like break-ins has been provided by the National Crime Victimization Survey that has been run every year since 2008-2009. The recent victimisation survey (2014-2015) shows that one in eight assaults, which accounts for 13%, and around one in four robberies (23%) took place on the streets. As much as one should worry about street assaults, it should be noted that since the survey, 30% of all physical assaults was recorded to be at homes and 21% of the physical assaults at workplaces (Boxall, Rosevear & Payne, 2015).
In general, a good number of violence cases reported in public places were in a way related to alcohol abuse. For the last ten years, there has been a national movement looking to improve practices and also identify new means to control violence related to alcohol (Stuart et al., 2017). Coming up with new ideas to combat alcohol-related violence has however proven difficult main reason being there arises other questions in the process such as should concentrations be based on areas with large population and whose responsibility it is to reduce street violence (Stuart et al., 2017). After the death of Kelly in 2012, the New South Wales Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing introduced a list of liquor license restrictions (Stuart et al.,2017). Such restrictions included reducing late night alcohol access, enhancing penalties for offenders by establishing minimum sentences and fines and facilitating compliance through the provision of public transport (Hanley et al.,2017).
One of the most common forms of violence in Australia is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) according to research and statistics. In the recent “Personal Safety Survey,” 17% had been sexually or physically abused by a current partner or one they had (Dalton, De Lint, & Palmer, 2017). This happened at least once in their life since age 15. The case was also witnessed in men where 5 % reported the same incidences as women. IPV prevention has been given a front row considering its harmful effect and preference. An example of the government’s efforts is the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. Despite this effort, identifying the best solution to reduce has been a challenge given the complex factors that influence the incidences such as personal, community, relationship and social factors.
There is a developing interest in the value of risk assessment tools to continuing research as an initial stage in identifying those prone to committing such acts of violence again and identifying opportunities that require intervention. Such devices include the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA) and the Risk Assessment Screening Tool (RAST). Only the culprit’s earlier offending history of IPV is considered while in others all offending history not related to IPV as well as history in violence is considered. The inclusion of the history of all violence cases in these tools is based on the fact that it may predict offending and violence outcomes in the future.
There has been a greater integration between criminal justice systems and agencies that avail social services and support when it comes to policy responses. Some of the policies include criminal law, provision of emergency housing and protection orders (Stubbs, 2017). Most states have also introduced programs for those caught in violent crimes, and some have even established specialised courts for such cases (Stubbs, 2017). However, mediation has been seen as an inappropriate way to deal with domestic violence as one party is stronger than the other (Stubbs, 2017). Introduction of mechanisms to review domestic violence has been done in several jurisdictions. The main aim is to identify how to provide better services and improve the practices put in place to reduce such violence(Stubbs,2017). To top it up, some communities have adopted innovative ways to respond to family violence which include cultural awareness programs, night patrols and community healing.
Child abuse may include physical abuse, sexual abuse, prostitution and pornography. Child abuse and domestic violence are in a way intertwined. Children exposed to domestic violence may generate problems later on from it (Stubbs, 2017). The most susceptible children to child abuse are those homeless, living in institutions or under homecare services. In Australia, the only available data on child abuse is that obtained through reported cases, although it is difficult to determine the proportion of reported cases since some children are placed under homecare due to other reasons other than child abuse. The part played by child care institutions and government agencies with regards to child abuse has officially been realised over the last ten years. This comes from organisations failing to protect children adequately.
Provisions differ when it comes to child protection legislation in states and territories (Stubbs, 2017). Prosecutions occur but not without problems related to child witnesses. This leads to low rates of conviction especially in cases involving sexual abuse (Stuart, 2017). Some jurisdictions have passed laws to limit the use of corporal punishment on children as they see it as a form of violence against children. However, the issue has brought controversy since then (Stubbs, 2017). Frameworks have been established to make women safe in their homes as this means that the children will also be safe (Stubbs, 2017). Measures have also been put in place to ensure support and intervention for the mothers and children in danger of violence before it occurs.
To deal with the rampant spread of violence, each country has its laws against various types of violence. The integration between the criminal justice system and federal agencies have provided the necessary support in case of violence. For instance, laws have been put in place to ensure there is control over the consumption of alcohol as its abuse causes violence. Tools have been established to determine people prone to Intimate Partner Violence to help prevent domestic violence. The spread of violence has proven difficult but one that needs to be addressed. Despite measures being taken, its prevention seems impossible because it is wide spreading and the fact that many of the rules apply when the damage is already done.
Boxall, H., Payne, J., & Rosevear, L. (2015). Prior offending among family violence perpetrators: A Tasmanian Sample. Woden: Australian Institute of Criminology
Boxall, H., Rosevear, L., & Payne, J. (2015). Identifying first-time family violence perpetrators: The usefulness and utility of categorisations based on police offence records. Woden: Australian Institute of Criminology.
Crime, Justice, and society. The Sheffield University Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Dalton, D., De Lint, W., & Palmer, D. (2017). Crime and justice: a guide to criminology (Fifth edition.). Pyrmont, New South Wales: Lawbook Co.
Downes, D., Rock, P. E., & McLaughlin, E. (2016). Understanding deviance: a guide to the sociology of crime and rule-breaking. Oxford University Press.