International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

It's Only a Hoodwink who Doesn’t Change the Mind: A Sociological Lens on Family Stress, Domestic Violence and Health
William Boateng

Abstract
Learning about how families cope with stress, no doubt, is critical first step towards the institutionalization of long term feasible strategies and social policies aimed at addressing the social repercussion posed by stress on family members. This study, therefore, aims at utilizing the classical ABCX family crisis model first used by Hill (1949) in identifying how families perceive, interpret and react to various sources of stress confronting them. Ghana was chosen as the study site as a result of the recent upsurge in domestic violence cases, which normally result from family stressors degenerating into crisis. A qualitative research design was adopted for the study involving thirty women as respondents. The study confirmed the fact that all families do experience some forms of stressors at one point or the other. But not all stressors relapse into crisis. It all depends upon the coping mechanisms available and utilized in dealing with the stressors and the interpretations made of it. Further, it is no news that women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence emanating from family stressors than men. This unfortunate fact has to be addressed given the adverse health implications of stress and domestic violence on women and children. Some of the recommendations made are as follows: There is the need for effective counselling prior to marriage. This should be stressed more seriously and people must be encouraged to patronize them. The government needs to be more proactive in dealing with domestic violence. A more severe punishment needs to be meted out to perpetrators of domestic violence to serve as deterrent to others. Women should also be empowered and encouraged to seek help when exposed to any form of domestic abuse with the hope that the agencies within the criminal justice system will not trivialize complaints made to them by women. This underscores the need for vigorous public education on the rights of women and why these rights must be fully respected.

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