Publication Date

5-2012

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Paula Green

Abstract

This capstone investigates the root causes associated with domestic violence and compares such causes with those associated with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to determine if the violence associated with both phenomena shares anything in common. Research regarding domestic violence was conducted at Washington County Department of Community Corrections (Oregon). Qualitative research included gathering the total number of domestic violence cases supervised by the county and calculating what percentages involved male and female perpetrators. Qualitative research included observations of and conversations with individuals under supervision for DV offenses and review of public archives. Research of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict included extensive reading of books and articles in order to obtain a diverse and comprehensive view of the conflict. Virtually all sources are autobiographical in nature or firsthand accounts of the conflict and include an array of perspectives (i.e. Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Israeli, Jewish, American, female, academic, political, journalistic).

Despite distinct differences, the research indicates that violence associated with domestic abuse shares an element in common with violence associated with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: Some individuals or groups believe that based on their identities (i.e. Israeli, Jew, Palestinian, male) they are justified or entitled to use violence against ‘other’ identities (i.e. Palestinian, Israeli, Jew, female) under certain circumstances. This understanding provides a focal point where professional practitioners can offer challenges and alternatives to beliefs of entitlement and violence incorporated in identity when attempting to transform conflicts from violence, distrust and misunderstanding into peaceful, supportive relationships.

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