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Is punishment a good solution to domestic violence?

When people are accused of domestic violence, the focus is often on punishing those individuals. This usually means time in jail and similar measures.

There are those who think that simply punishing those who are convicted is not the correct path to take. They believe that other tactics could be more successful in reducing incidents of violence between family members. These people are proponents of education and rehabilitation more than anything else.

One expert used the example of NFL star Adrian Peterson, who was accused of domestic violence after punishing his son. This isn't to excuse what occurred, but he pointed out that the best solution may not be punishment. It may be working to educate the football star about better ways to deal with his son, helping him repair that relationship and ultimately making his family stronger and healthier.

He also pointed out that harsh punishment tactics could be passed down. If a man was physically punished when he was a boy, would he be more likely to do the same thing to his son? Would a parent who was even abused as a child just think that was the proper way to punish a child and not even realize that it constituted domestic violence?

It's important to consider all factors in cases like this. Really understanding the situation and how it came about can help point to the best possible types of action to prevent it from occurring again in the future.

At the same time, it's critical to understand the realities of the legal system. All who are accused need to know their legal rights.

Source: Nurture Effect, "Punishment Is Not the Answer to Domestic Violence," Tony Biglan, accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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