Criminology论文模板 – Studying the Effects of Domestic Violence on Women’s Mental Health and Well-being: A Comparative Study of China and Canada

  1. Introduction

Domestic violence is a serious societal problem that affects children and adults. The basic definition of the term is any aggressive acts or behaviors directed by someone to the victim in a domestic circle. Domestic violence is any form of cruelty, hostility, aggression, brutality, or violent behavior committed by someone who shares a close relationship with the victim (Government of Canada, 2021). Typically, perpetrators of domestic violence include spouses, parents, relatives, and friends. Victims are usually aware of and interact with perpetrators, but the latter unleashes violence. Canada and China are some of the global nations experiencing domestic violence. 

Intimate partner violence (IPV) and other forms of domestic aggression are common crises in Canada and China. According to the Canadian Women Foundation (2023), in 2022, 184 Canadian women and girls died because of domestic violence. Furthermore, domestic violence contributes to the massive use of public funds to run cases against perpetrators and to sensitize the public about its existence. Additionally, some of this violence occurred in the workplace. On the other hand, China has scant information about domestic violence. Following the results of the current Statista poll (2022), domestic assault appears as the major problem for 24% of women and 22% of men. These reflect a small proportion of the entirety, as many victims decide not to talk owing to barriers comprising stigma, fear, and social customs. Su et al. (2022) highlight an important challenge in the study of domestic abuse in China. This inhibits research and intervention. At least 635 individuals, including viewers, perished because of 533 domestic violence homicide events in China between March 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017 (Su et al., 2022). The disturbing numbers underscore the pressing need for care and allude to a significantly graver issue than a reflection of official reports. Dismantling of obstacles, increasing public awareness, and providing victims a reason to speak about their problems are all essential for exposing the full scope of domestic abuse in China. Shaping a healthier society depends on acknowledging this disaster.

 Domestic violence has a massive effect on victims’ mental health and well-being. Women, the most prominent victims of this violence, always anticipate some sense of outbursts, even from non-abusers. Victims of these domestic aggressive behaviors report problems like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Besides, women experiencing this physical and psychological aggression from their partners and ex-lovers have been engaging in substance abuse and suicide attempts. This study will examine the relationship between violent behavior against women and their mental health and well-being in Canada and China.

  1. Importance and Purpose of Research

Regarding societal concerns, domestic abuse is one of the major crises afflicting women. This study investigates how this violence damages women’s mental well-being and draws comparisons between China and Canada with two distinct environments. Domestic abuse is widespread, nonetheless, it frequently remains unreported, eluding authorities and the public. The research investigates the experiences of women who survived domestic abuse in China and Canada to discover substantial factors that impact their mental health. Key variables include the availability of social and legal actions, the effects of cultural norms on coping techniques, and the ability to support funding. Also, the study aspires to offer insights and recommendations for procedures and regulations that address domestic violence in both nations by including the body of current literature.

The study will boost awareness of the adverse impacts of domestic abuse on women’s mental wellness and the necessary solutions. This problem emerges from violence perpetrated by intimate partners that vary depending on the type, frequency, and severity of the abuse and the victims’ coping strategies and dating status (Caldwell et al., 2012). The work continues by stressing the urgent requirement for preventive measures to avert and handle the severe effects of domestic violence on women’s health.

  1. Relevant Variables

This study will feature both the dependent and independent variables. Independent variables are elements whose change will affect the dependent variables.

Independent Variable

Independent variables of the study include the duration of facing this physically aggressive behavior, its severity, and the effect of cultural background on the problem. Assessing independent variables such as the time devoted to physical violence, the degree of the violence, and the effect of cultural context, will allow a systematic review of knowledge from an array of studies. This approach demonstrates the complex interactions between all the variables. This strategic decision allows combined experiences that illustrate the numerous effects, associations, and links between domestic violence and women’s mental health.

Dependent Variables

Conversely, the dependent variable has depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and overall well-being.

  1. Research Questions
  2. How does the duration of domestic violence exposure affect the prevalence of depression symptoms in women?
  3. Is there a correlation between the severity of domestic violence (categorized as mild, moderate, or severe) and the intensity of anxiety symptoms experienced by women?
  4. How do cultural backgrounds affect the association between domestic violence and the manifestation of PTSD symptoms in women?
  5. Does the duration of domestic violence exposure significantly impact women’s overall well-being and life satisfaction?

Therefore, all these questions will be answered through the literature review.

  • Literature Review

This section will evaluate previous articles and research on the influence of domestic violence on women’s mental health and well-being in Canada and China. The main areas covered include the historical overview of domestic violent behavior in Canada and China, the prevalence of the problem in China and Canada, the contribution of the societal problem on women’s mental health, and the role of cultural background in domestic violence. Additionally, the literature review section will address the theoretical framework of domestic brutality, the hypothesis based on the current literature, the methodologies employed by these studies, and gaps in the existing literature.

  • Historical Overview of Domestic Violence in Canada

Domestic brutality is one of the most talked-about terms when the subject of human rights arises. Initially, domestic violence focused on the atrocities against women (most victims) by their lovers, husbands, and ex-spouses (McGuirk, 2019. However, the term now engrosses any violence on adults and children. Women continue to be the biggest victims of violent behavior at home because of the patriarchal system and lack of physical structures that could increase their ability to defend themselves (Khan, 2019, p. 12).   

Domestic violence received a significant boost from the feminist movement, the American Revolution, and changes in laws surrounding marriages. According to McGuirk (2019), the first wave of feminist movements during the 19th century brought to attention the violence women faced in their daily operations. However, Tapia (2021) concluded that a significant war against domestic violence was evident in the 1990s as most countries began treating this violent behavior as criminal. The process includes the introduction of the rights of children. Society has been keen to address domestic violence by using it as a possible ground to nullify marriage unions in court. Nonetheless, physical assault has mainly been an action that courts have addressed concerning domestic violence. However, some other forms are difficult to identify and deal with.

Domestic violence in Canada and China encompasses diverse forms of abuse. According to the Government of Canada (2021), major domestic violence incidents involve physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, stalking, sexual violence, coercive control, and spiritual abuse. Nonetheless, the most reported crime in this category is intimate partner violence (IPV). Stalking, sexual cruelty, and financial maltreatment are other areas in Canada that have received attention because of their quantification. However, domestic violence, such as emotional abuse, coercive control, and spiritual abuse, are difficult for victims to recognize and even report because of difficulties in their quantification. The Criminal Code of Canada (Amended in June 2019) and other laws enacted by provinces address domestic violence.

Like many other nations, China battles with the pervasive problem of domestic violence, notably assault against romantic partners. Article 2 of the Domestic Violence Law of 2015 presents an extensive description of violent behavior targeted against victims, indicating the legislative commitment of the country (Qi et al., 2020). China’s shifting approach to domestic abuse appears to have been significantly affected by the rapid socio-economic changes of the 1980s. Rural populations continue to encounter challenges despite improvements, which indicates distinct cultural dynamics from people living in urban areas. Domestic abuse has global consequences that affect both China and Canada. Shared implications encompass mental health issues that affect overall health, such as depression, worry, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These emotional repercussions are prevalent and underscore the significance of a cross-cultural awareness of the profound impacts of domestic violence. China’s legal system tries to stop domestic violence, especially in rural areas. The two nations are urgently tackling the adverse effects of domestic abuse on mental health. The multifaceted and connected impacts of domestic abuse on mental health persist despite legislative improvements. Therefore, raising awareness around the world provides extensive support.

  • Prevalence and Demographics of Domestic Violence

The prevalence of domestic aggressive behaviors differs in Canada and China. The Government of Government of Canada (2021) reported that 107,810 people indicated experiencing domestic violence in 2019, and 79% were women aged 15 years and above. The report also showed that 44% of women reported experiencing some form of domestic violence that ranges from sexual, psychological, and physical (The Government of Government of Canada, 2021). Females between the ages of 15 and 24 years, indigenous women, women living with disabilities, LGBTQ+ members, and minority members reported higher cases of domestic violence in the country (The Government of Government of Canada, 2021). However, as per the report, a disproportionately high number of Indigenous women face domestic violence compared to the rest of the groups.

 Domestic violence is also prevalent in China, but with scant data. Chin (2021) noted that for every few seconds, a woman in China would face domestic aggressive behaviors (Chin, 2021). The other grim statistics are women encounter several maltreatment episodes before they can seek help, 157,000 women commit suicide per year, and 60% of these cases are related to domestic violence (Chin, 2021). Children face violence in the country, but there is a thin distinction between abuse and discipline. Boys and children with no siblings are likely to face additional violence in the country compared to girls and children with siblings. The scenario is because of the high expectations placed on these children.

  • Effects of Domestic Violence on Women’s Mental Health

The effect of IPV on women’s mental health is one of the well-documented study areas. Roberts et al. (1998) concluded that mental health issues among abuse victims in childhood and adulthood are higher than those with no abuse. In support, Romito et al. (2005) found out that women who are victims of domestic violence are likely to be six times depressed and four times more likely to utilize psychoactive pills. When examining battered women, medical providers use diverse approaches to connect the effect of the action on their well-being (García-Moreno et al., 2013). Campbell and Lewandowski (1997) concluded that depressive symptoms are one of the most significant explanations of risk factors the client is undergoing. Risks to mental health for a battered person also affect the well-being of their children.

Violence against a victim is the most significant contributor to depressive symptoms. Coker et al. (2002) investigated the type of domestic violence likely to contribute to massive depressive symptoms. The study showed that physical and psychological abuse has a gigantic effect compared to verbal abuse. The constant exposure to violence has made women self-report about poor health, emotional distress, and suicidal thoughts (Ellsberg et al., 2008; Campbell et al., 2009; McDonald & Richmond, 2008). The general conclusion is that physical violence affects the victim’s mental health and well-being (World Health Organization, 2005). However, the action could significantly trigger specific mental health problems compared to others. 

Domestic violence has significantly contributed to post-traumatic stress Traumatic Disorder (PTSD) in victims. Dillon et al. (2013) utilized a literature review to establish the connection between intimate partner violence (IPV) and PTSD. The study findings showed that victims of IPV exhibited PTSD and other mental and non-mental illnesses. In the case of a conservative society like Pakistan, physical abuse ranks high among contributors to anxiety and depression among women (Fikree & Bhatti, 1999). Studies show that traditional institutions such as Pakistan and China focus much on culture, which limits domestic violence reporting. The resultant impact is that cases of depression, PTSD, and anxiety are high in this society compared to a liberal culture, where women can voice their concerns.  

The long-term effect of domestic violence presents a significant problem for the victim. Tolman and Rosen (2001) investigated domestic violence by sampling welfare caseloads in urban Michigan County. The study findings showed that most victims had experienced physical partner violence, nearly two-thirds when staying together. Additionally, the study findings showed that these victims exhibited psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and drug/alcohol dependence. Most victims experience long-term abuse before they feel like sharing what they are undergoing. These individuals assume perpetrators will change one day and stop aggressive behavior. Therefore, these women will likely seek attention when mental health issues have accelerated.

On the other hand, Campbell and Soeken (1999) examined the commonness of domestic aggressive behavior among African American women by interviewing them about forced sex by their partners. Findings showed that victims (45.9%) have been experiencing this form of violence (Campbell & Soeken, 1999). Additionally, the study findings showed that victims experienced depression (Campbell & Soeken, 1999). The degree of exposure to IPV determines the level of depression, PTSD, and anxiety exhibited by victims (Lagdon et al., 2014; Matheson et al., 2015). In most instances, a victim over-exposed to violence would show these indicators compared to a person not exposed to them in their lifetime.  For example, one of the participants in the study described her experience: “I was forced into sexual acts by my partner, and it left me feeling helpless and depressed. I felt like I had no control over my own body, and it took a toll on my mental health.”

Addressing IPV is critical in creating awareness and possible solutions for one of the biggest problems facing women in diverse societies. Beeble et al. (2009) concluded that physical violence against a partner has a severe mental and well-being effect on the victim, and social support was the most vital element that would help address these issues. Rivas et al. (2016) systematically reviewed advocacy’s effect on victims’ mental well-being. The study findings showed that advocacy reduced depression and improved victims’ quality of life. A study by Beeble et al. stresses the necessity of peer support and the grave mental health results of domestic harassment. However, a study by Rivas et al. demonstrates the advantages of advocacy and validates how lowering depression could improve victims’ overall level of life.

  • The Role of Cultural Background in Domestic Violence

Culture has emerged as one of the most significant issues contributing to domestic violent behavior against women. According to Kasturirangan et al. (2004), custom practices and the background of minority groups in the US have been responsible for domestic violence against women. These minority groups are famous for respecting their cultural traditions that could undermine the presence and power of women in society (Sediri et al., 2020; Wong & Mellor, 2014; Bell & Mattis, 2000; Bent-Goodley, 2007). The mention of culture is because it accelerates societal norms, including domestic violence. In a culture where IPV appears as a non-issue, the risk of women experiencing abuse is much higher. Kasturirangan et al. (2004) indicate factors of violence against women touching on the significance of culture in domestic violence and suggest that minority backgrounds and cultural practices in the US. On the contrary, research performed by Sediri et al. (2020), Wong & Mellor (2014), Bell & Mattis (2000), and Bent-Goodley (2007) shows that traditions might maintain social standards, which might raise the probability that women will be assaulted in societies regarding IPV as not an issue.

Domestic violence is not culture specific. Fischbach and Herbert (1997) concluded that the vice is prevalent across all cultures. Lacey et al. (2013) noted that the presence of other social issues in diverse ethnic groups aggravates or decreases the risks of occurrences of domestic violence. For instance, financial instability and lack of education increase the dangers of domestic violence against African-American women (Stockman et al., 2015). Ho (2014) concluded that the image, self-esteem, and perception of the world arise from their environment and affect their idea about domestic violence. Since these individuals grew up in tough neighborhoods, they assume violence is routine (McCloskey et al., 1995). As such, it increases the risks of facing abuse.

While comprehensive statistical data on the exact influence of cultural background in Canada and China is limited, international studies provide insights. A study conducted by the World Health Organization in multiple countries found that the prevalence of domestic violence varied significantly across regions and cultures (Garcia-Moreno et al., 2006). For instance, in some cultures with more traditional gender norms, women may be less likely to report domestic violence, which could lead to underreporting.

In a cross-cultural context, a study by the United Nations in 2017 indicated that factors like cultural norms, beliefs, and societal expectations can contribute to a higher tolerance for domestic violence in certain communities (Serrano-Montilla et al., 2020). However, it is important to recognize that cultural background is a complex and multifaceted aspect that cannot be easily quantified.

  • Theoretical Frameworks Informing Domestic Violence Research

Domestic violence has been an area of study for a significant period to the point of theories emerging to explain the problem. However, domestic violence occurs because of diverse triggers and factors that a single approach cannot authoritatively pinpoint. However, some theories have been vital in explaining domestic violence against women. In this study, social learning theory would help understand domestic violence.

Social learning theory is the most significant theory that helps understand the origin of violence exhibited by perpetrators towards others. The approach indicates that perpetrators acquire violence through individual learning. As part of growth, children observe and imitate violence shown by adults (Levendosky & Graham-Bermann, 2001). In some instances, adults have been responsible for the violence children acquire when growing up. The social learning theory explains the physical aggression displayed by the male gender. Young boys and girls learn to react to scenarios with attack and are likely to continue exhibiting them in adulthood. Albert Bandura argued that social learning is not a passive process. The subject would exhibit behaviors such as attention to what is happening to the environment, retention, and reproduction. Motivation is also necessary for perpetrators to benefit from social learning practices. The physical and psychological aggression shown by perpetrators is a long learning process (Mwiti, 2020, p. 5).

This theory would help understand how a family member could turn violent toward others they should protect. Furthermore, the approach will help indicate how children of victims will grow up thinking violence is normal, and that they must endure it.

  • Hypothesis Based on the Current Literature
  • Hypothesis 1: Women exposed to prolonged and severe domestic violence are likelier to exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD than those exposed to milder forms.
  • Hypothesis 2: Cultural background significantly moderates the connection between domestic aggressive behaviors and mental health outcomes.
  • Hypothesis 3: The longer the duration of exposure to domestic violence, the more severe the anxiety symptoms in women
    • Methodologies Used in Previous Research

The research of the literature showed an array of techniques utilized by earlier studies on domestic abuse and its impact on the mental health of survivors. A few researchers adopted a quantitative strategy and employed surveys for gathering data. Despite this method delivering reliable and universally applicable results, it is costly and time-consuming. A widely used method is literature review creation, which differentiates itself by easily gathering exhaustive data regarding the study subject. It allows researchers to apply the resource-intensive needs of quantitative surveys and helps them to combine existing knowledge to offer a deeper view of the subject matter. Blending these methods reveals how varied domestic violence studies are and gives an in-depth examination of its impact on victims’ mental wellness and overall happiness.

Conversely, the risks of biased conclusions are massive. A meta-analysis is an improved form of literature review synthesis. The approach will provide a more precise estimate of the connection between the societal problem and the well-being of women.

  • Gaps in the Current Literature

The core shortfall of this literature review is the failure to focus on the impact of domestic aggressive actions on women’s mental health and well-being in Canada and China. Additionally, the study fails to examine if mental health incidences arise from other factors besides domestic violence. Addressing these gaps would help understand the connection between gender violence and women’s mental health in Canada and China. The current study will involve an in-depth evaluation of the relationship between examined variables.

  • Method: Qualitative Analysis——Meta-Analysis

Meta-analysis is a statistical approach to assess previous scientific research to conclude a specific topic systematically. The outcomes of the Meta-analysis method include a more precise estimate connection than an individual article covering the same issue. Meta-analysis and literature review methods appear as one item but have glaring differences. First, these approaches differ in methods used to identify, evaluate, and synthesize pieces of evidence. Additionally, the literature review synthesis summarizes previous studies without going into in-depth analysis. Meta-analysis concentrates on providing precise estimates, interventions, and exposure of each existing literature.

Several elements explain the selection of Meta-analysis as the preferred qualitative method for this study. First, the study demands in-depth and reliable information about the connection between domestic violence and women’s mental health. This method guarantees incorporating critical review elements that help attain the intended goal. Furthermore, Meta-analysis utilizes existing literature; thus, it is convenient and cheap compared to other qualitative approaches. Since this study will examine Canada and China, the logistics and arrangement of a process like interviewing would take a lot of work. Accordingly, Meta-analysis is the best approach.

  • Purpose of Meta-Analysis in This Study
  • Synthesize Findings: The primary purpose of this study will be to combine previous literature findings to establish the connection between domestic violence and women’s mental health in Canada and China.
  • Establish Linearity of Variables: The other purpose of the Meta-analysis approach is to establish the linearity of IPV and mental wellness in women in Canada and China.
  • Cultural Issues and Mental Health: The approach will also seek to establish each variation in cultural elements and their effect on mental health.
    • Data Collection for Meta-Analysis  

Data collection would be instrumental in bringing out the best out of Meta-analysis. The study identifies core data sources, including published academic articles, reports, and studies. In the case of reports, the study will utilize government-published reports and those by international bodies such as Amnesty International, the UN, and other significant rights groups. The paragraph below will indicate the inclusion criteria for these sources. 

Data sources used in the study must adhere to all set policies to boost standardization. First, these articles and reports should focus on domestic violent actions and their influence on women’s mental health in Canada and China. The following requirement is the publication timeframe. The study intends to use sources published in the last decade (starting from 2010). This period was selected because of changes experienced in the prevalence of domestic violence in both countries because of the enacting of new policies. The study will also focus on the language of publication of each source. This study can utilize items produced in English, French, and Chinese. However, the research will focus on articles written in English because of the unreliability of translating applications.

The study will also incorporate sources that prove thoroughness, exactitude, preciseness, and meticulousness. The study examines a sensitive topic that demands these qualities to prevent backlash and negative criticism. On the other hand, the study will utilize n=100 sources to collect data. This sample size is sufficient to determine domestic violence and its impact on women’s mental health in Canada and China.

The procedure to extract data will incorporate the standardized coding sheet. The template will feature significant headings such as sample sizes, study characteristics, exact effect sizes, and other important information related to the study.

  • Analytical Methods

Content and descriptive analysis help combine the results of the selected studies. Content analysis involves the determination of themes and the connection between domestic violence and mental health issues. The application of the method is because of its ability to condense a broad description of a phenomenon and generate a meaning. The core steps of content analysis are:

  1. Determination of the themes to investigate.
  2. Identification of the units and segments to analyze
  3.  Establishing coding rules
  4.  Text classification starts with open, axial, and theoretical codes in that order.
  5. Concluding the connection between domestic physical behavior and mental wellness

Descriptive analysis will utilize Excel software to establish elements such as measures of central tendency, range, standard deviation, and variances. The approach will help establish connections between sources used in this study.

The study would conduct a heterogeneity test to establish differences underlining the results of the studies. The core element that defines the use of Meta-analysis is consistency. However, since each source features some dissimilarity, it is critical to identify their unification factor that helps answer the study topic. This study will examine the null hypothesis by summing the squared deviations of each source’s estimate from the overall meta-analytic approximation. The study will obtain P-values by weighing χ2 distribution against k-1 degrees of freedom. The Excel software would be helpful in the process.

The study will also employ subgroup analysis to determine similarities in sources. The process will involve breaking down study samples based on characteristics such as cultural background, the severity of domestic violence, anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse outcomes. Sub-groups will be the easiest way to classify the similarities of sources. Nonetheless, biases and human error are risks when determining similarities in the characteristics of each theme or variable. The heterogeneity test is the most suitable similarity evaluation method, but it will demand some statistical background to facilitate the running and interpretation of data.

  • Potential Limitation of Meta-Analysis

The study will experience several limitations because of employing Meta-analysis as the study approach. The first risk is that there are possibilities of publication bias, where studies judged to have negative or non-significant findings might not be used to establish the connection between domestic aggressive behavior and mental wellness issues among women in Canada and China. While there are clear guidelines about features a study must have to qualify as a source of this data, human assumptions would be central in the entire process. The risk of ignoring good sources is high because of the lack of “keywords” associated with the study.

The other potential limitation of the study method is the over-generalization due to combining dissimilar studies. The research looks forward to collecting (n=100) previous literature to determine the link between physical aggression at home and mental health wellness. There are chances that these studies feature different methodologies, samples, or cultural contexts. Despite similarities in the techniques used, the method of collecting data, sample characteristics, and data analysis could differ. Accordingly, the reality that these sources are similar by 100 percent is minimal. To solve the problem, the study must overgeneralize some aspects to allow similarity.

The study will also experience issues comparing and synthesizing qualitative data from different sources. Qualitative data is subjective, and environments and participants differ significantly. In this study, there is a need to compare the perspectives of Canadian and Chinese women about domestic violence, and there are chances that the intended purpose would differ significantly. Using different settings and participants with dissimilar religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds will affect the entire study.

  • Expected Contributions of Meta-Analysis to the Field
  • Based on existing research, it will allow an in-depth evaluation of the link between IPV and women’s mental health. The approach will enable precise investigation of the relationship of variables under study. 
  • Establishing the degree and variations in findings based on the cultural contexts of Canada and China. The approach is keen on methodology and other unique features of the source that would assist with establishing relationships.
  • Suggest solutions for future research, policymaking, and interventions of domestic violence on women based on synthesized findings. This research intends to establish the connection between physically aggressive behavior at home and mental health issues affecting women. The report’s results will help show if these variables have a relationship and actions that will minimize their occurrences.
    • Ethical Consideration in Conducting Meta-Analysis
  • Ethics is attained through maximum respect for the original context and intent of the research and refraining from editing essential features. The study could leave out areas it considers controversial because they are outdated. However, ethical consideration demands identifying the entire quality of an article to collect new data for this study.
  • Acknowledging that the use of meta-analysis could increase risks of biases and some limitations of the overall study.
  • Ensure there is a proper citation of all original information from previous studies. The study will look forward to eliminating the risks of plagiarism accompanying Meta-analysis. 


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