It can be of various forms such as sexual abuse, threats of violence, physical violence or intimidation. In Australia, domestic violence occurs in all cultural groups though it is mostly felt in regional and rural Australia. In 2005 for example 36 percent of women were reported to have experienced physical assault, 21 women had experienced sexual assault from ex-partners. The percentage of women experiencing physical assault from current partners was reported to be 38 percent (LaFree and Katheryn, 1993. This act denies equality, security, self-worth and dignity to both women and girls.
Though societies proscribe violations against women, the truth is that these violations are mostly authorised by cultural practices and norms or in some cases misinterpreting religious tenets. In addition, when these violations occur at home, as is the case, the act is condoned by tactic silence and the passivity from law enforcers. This study looks at the domestic violence occurring in Australia in reference to two theories which include social learning theory and feminist and critical race theory their strengths and weaknesses and how they are applied in our day to day life.
Social learning theory enables people to learn new behaviours through punishments or observation learning of social factors of a society. If communities observe positive and desired behaviours, then other people will be able to imitate them and adopt the good behaviours. This theory states that social learning occurs through four stages of imitation. These include; close contacts, understanding concept, role model and imitating superiors. The parts can be summarised as observing the acts, imitating them and using reinforcements to instil those behaviours. Julia Rooter, a socialist suggested that behaviour effect has an impact on people’s motivation to engage in specific behaviours. This shows that behaviour is influenced by environmental factors and not only psychological factors.