Many different forms of violence exist with each having adverse effects on its victims. Almost everyone has been exposed to violence whether it has been through the media, walking down the street, or experiencing it personally. The type of violence that so many are exposed to through society is not that of the private sphere, but the public sphere of violence. Society teaches our children that walking alone at night is not safe and not to talk to strangers. Society also tells women not to go out alone and not to dress too revealing or she may get raped. These are messages that speak of the public dangers that we should be aware of in order to protect ourselves. We learn that home is where you are safe and that family will protect you. This is not always the case. Violence occurs in the family as well. It is a type of violence we have labeled as wife abuse, which is a form a violence that Canadian society has only recently begun to examine. Perhaps a possible explanation for this is that wife abuse may be linked to families and divorce. After all, preserving the nuclear family is something that Canadian society has strived so hard to do.
Many explanations from all areas have emerged about why wife abuse occurs and the costs it has on the family, all of which have contributed to further knowledge of wife abuse. Some explanations have come to conclude that violence is natural or that violence is the husband's right in order to maintain control over his wife. These types of explanations are detrimental and need to be disregarded. A sociological perspective does not hold faith in these types of examinations. Instead, sociology believes that many factors, such as social learning, attitudes, etc., are what contributed to the causes of wife abuse. This paper will examine and discuss several causes and effects of wife abuse from a sociological perspective. The causes to be examined will be social learning, culture, attitudes, values, economic and political realties and patriarchy.