Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science of Communication

First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

John Kroll

Third Advisor

Edie Barnard


Domestic violence is a crime, and the first step toward addressing the problem is through communication. Making society aware that there is a problem starts the process. Once communication of the problem is known then education is the next step. Educating society and all individuals affected by domestic violence whether as a victim or as a community helper is crucial toward stopping the crime.

Research of this social problem comprises the first three chapters of the graduate paper. Chapter one addresses the thoughts and reasons behind the belief that domestic violence is criminal through the research gathered from the social scientists, legal scientists, medical scientists as well as from the victims and supporters of the victims. Information discussed gives insight to a social problem that has affected family life in this country. Historical attitudes supporting the abusive actions are addressed and compared to the changes in attitudes and thinking that has occurred in the United States within the last thirty years as behavioral scientists collect and analyze data, results and outcomes of lives affected by domestic violence. The thesis shows that domestic violence affects society and that victims affected by this problem should rely on community help to escape or change the situation.

Information presented in this thesis is drawn from books, news articles, online sources and personal testimonies delivered by victims and professionals working to stop domestic violence. Chapter Two reviews these sources. Additional information outlining online addresses of shelter groups, legal procedures necessary to protect victims at the national level, and locally in Missouri are provided in the Appendix portion of this paper.

Chapter three reviews poetry and prose that addresses the issue of domestic violence. Two pieces are examined in detail describing the abuse and naming the abuse as criminal or wrong through the creative voices of poets and writers seeking to tell their stories before society accepted the voice of the social protesters who now lobby for changes and abolishment.

Chapter four is the creative expression of the writer of this thesis using the literary forms of poetry and prose. The poems and short story written parallel the fictional examples in that the pieces offer a creative voice of expression to describe a social problem that continues to victimize a sector of society despite the efforts that have been made by victims and advocates for victims of domestic abuse. Social awareness of domestic violence is affectively disclosed not only through the clinical writings of the social scientists studying the problem, but also through the media and literary arenas that provide information to the public.

Chapter five is a discussion of all information presented in the thesis including the resource information provided in the Appendix. The information is discussed based on the ability to offer assistance to victims of domestic violence. The resource information given allows readers to access information quickly online. The informational video provided gives readers answers to some of the prevalent questions asked by the public not affected personally or professionally by domestic violence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License