Issues Related to Violence and the Family Life Cycle
This paper presents special issues that are present when working with a violent family. Violence in the home affects family relationships, family cycles, and social interactions. When working with this population, the practitioner faces issues such as the social acceptance of violence and its intergenerational transmission, interrupted interpersonal relationships, and safety issues with the prevalence of referring to the legal mandate to report child abuse.
Interventions aimed at assisting families with this type of violence must begin by addressing social accountability, since it is the social tolerance of abuse that is handed down from one generation of families to another. McGoldrick, Nose, and Potenza (?) pointed out that while violence is a danger faced by everyone, the irony is that the real danger lies in the home. There is a greater likelihood of being physically assaulted, beaten, or killed in the home, than anyplace else, and this injury is inflicted by a loved one.
Practitioners must also be aware of the tendency for family violence to be passed from one generation to the next. Heyman and Slep (2002) noted that the cycle of violence is generational. Their study showed that frequency of family-of-origin violence was a predictor of adulthood child and partner abuse. Thus victimized children tend to grow up and victimize others.
Interpersonal violence and abuse between relatives is a cause of morbidity and mortality. Thus the practitioner dealing with the violent family must address the gravity of the dysfunction. When assisting the violent family, behaviors cannot be dismissed as human nature or in accordance with particular cultural parenting techniques, since the repercussions may be severe (Eyler & Cohen, 1999; McGoldrick, Nose, and Potenza ).
Considering that the extent of harm or potential for harm needs to be assessed, the practitione...