Course Syllabus
CJ 514: Family Violence
Instructor: Dr. R.N. Singh, Ph.D.
Virtual Office Hours:
Office Phone: 903-886-5324
Office Fax:
University Email Address: raghu.singh@tamuc.edu
Materials – Textbooks, Readings, Supplementary Readings
Textbook(s) Required
Hattery, A. & Smith, E. (2012). The Social Dynamics of Family Violence. Boulder, CO: Westview
Press. Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-8133-4463-8. You can contact the Texas Book Store on our
campus in Commerce; tel. 903-886-5215. Or you can buy it through online sources.
You can contact the Texas Book Store on our campus in Commerce; tel. 903-886-5215. Or you
can buy it through online sources.
Other materials and assigned readings will be posted for each of course’s five units/weeks.
Other materials/readings as assigned will be posted in DocSharing in eCollege.
Course Description
The Criminal Justice Graduate Course (CJ 514) is aimed at providing a thorough and critical
examination of family violence from sociological and criminological perspectives. Topics
include, the historical background to family violence, methods of studying this serious issue,
elderly abuse, child abuse and its outcomes, economic and cultural factors involved in intimate
partner violence, religion and family abuse, violence in same-sex couple families, prevention of
family abuse, and criminal justice response to family violence. Although the course focusses on
the American family, illustrations from other cultures are provided.
Please note that prerequisites for this course include 501, 568, 530, and 531. Students who are
registered for this class and who do not meet the prerequisites should contact Dr. Melinda
Schlager, the Director and Advisor of the MS in Applied Criminology program.
Student Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
1. Identify meanings, forms, and history (including inaccuracies in awareness of people as
well as popular media) of family violence.
2. Critique various theoretical approaches as well as research methods for interpreting and
assessing empirical facts and issues relevant to family violence.
3. Identify types as well as consequences of elderly abuse and child abuse across life span.
4. Report degrees, forms, and social impacts of violence in intimate relationships.
5. Describe law enforcement and legal avenues for preventing violence against children,
elderly people, and ones in any type of intimate relations.
Instructional/Methods/Activities Assessments
This course will provide a variety of activities and assessments to assist you in achieving the
outcomes/objectives for the course. You will work toward achieving these outcomes through
discussions/comments, papers, assignments, and tests. Below is an explanation of each course
requirement including due date, assignment instructions, and other requirements.
Each week/unit starts on Monday and ends on Saturday and your grade for activities in it will
be posted online on each Sunday by 8 PM.
Introduction: (1 Introduction post—not graded)
Students are asked to introduce themselves to each other. This introduction may include any
information that you would like to share with others in the course, but must minimally include
a statement that you have read and agree to abide by the syllabus and follow the rules of
academic integrity and netiquette. You will not be allowed to continue in the course without
providing this statement. This post is due by 11:59PM CST on Tuesday of Week #1 of the
Discussion Posts: (SLOs 1-5)
Upon completion of the assigned readings, you are expected to engage in an ongoing
discussion/debate with your classmates. Your contributions to the discussion forums will be
graded for quality and a detailed analysis linking the material to a critical appraisal of theory,
policy, and practice. In all cases, students must cite and provide a full bibliography/works cited
at the end of their post for all citations mentioned in the post (follow guidelines for utilizing
APA citation format).
These posts should be the equivalent of 1 page in length or a minimum of 250 words and
should include one outside source (i.e., a source outside the regular readings assigned for the
week/course). The specific discussion assignment is located in each weekly unit at the
Homepage at eCollege. Posts are due by 11:59PM CST on Fridays in each week of the course.
The Discussions are directly related to the assigned readings as well as your own
conceptualizations and opinions.
Assessment Method: Discussion posts (100 points in all) will be graded using the Discussion
Post Grading Rubric.
Comment Posts:
Comment posts are responses you make to the discussion posts that your classmates post each
week. You are required to make a minimum of five (5) comments each week. Feel free to
quote your textbook and/or outside sources in your comments.
Comment posts should be meaningful. Merely agreeing or disagreeing with a classmate will not
be looked upon favorably and will result in a loss of points. A meaningful post is one that
moves the discussion forward in some substantive way through providing one’s perspective,
additional information through research, or reframing the discussion in some new way. You are
expected to engage in an ongoing discussion/debate with your classmates. Your comments will
be graded for quality, and relevance. Your comments will also be graded based on your ability
to engage in critical thinking.
NO LATE COMMENTS ARE ACCEPTED. All comment posts are due by 11:59PM CST on Fridays
for each week in the course.
Assessment Method: Comments posts (10 points for each of 5 comment posts = 50 points for
each week multiplied by 5 weeks= 250 points) Postings will be graded using the Comments
Grading Rubric.
Course Pre/Post-test (not graded)
Pre and post-tests allow the professor to assess your baseline (foundation) knowledge of a
particular subject at the time that you enter a course and the degree of increase in knowledge
at the end of the course. This pre/post-test is comprised of a list of questions that will assess
course outcomes. You will be asked to complete the pre-test by Friday of Week #1 and the
post-test by Friday of Week #5. These tests will not be graded (they are used for assessment
purposes only).
Popular Media Reflection Paper in Week 1 (SLO 1)
1. Locate one article on any aspect of family violence that has been published in a
popular magazine or newspaper (e.g., Time, Newsweek, M.S., Redbook, Popular
Psychology, Psychology Today, Dallas Morning News, New York Times, etc.).
2. Discuss your chosen article by writing a 3 to 4 page critical review based on the
following questions:
What are implicit or explicit meanings, forms, and explanations of family
violence in the popular media? How do these compare in general with
scientific literature (such as your text book)?
 According to your article, how common is family violence?
 What was done to the offender? For the victim?
 What treatment or prevention program is recommended in the article?
 How do you estimate the value of this article, particularly from a criminal
justice perspective?
This assignment is due by 11:59 PM CST on Saturday of Week #1 of the course.
Assessment Method: Grading will be based on completeness of presentation as per the
assignment instructions.
Short Essay Assignment (SLO 2)
What are some of the meanings and limitations of causal explanations (in terms of theories,
research methods, and assumptions) of problems associated to EITHER child abuse OR the
spousal abuse OR elderly abuse involved?
The essay should be 3 to 4 pages in length (does not include references), maximum 12-point
font, 1-inch margins, include your name, and utilize proper APA citation format. This
assignment is due by 11:59 PM CST on Saturday of Week #2 of the course.
Assessment Method: Students will be assessed using the Essay Assignment Grading Rubric.
Scholarly Article Review (SLO 3, 4)
Locate a peer-reviewed article, of your choice, on any one subject of: (1) child neglect and
abuse, (2) wife abuse, marital violence, or marital rape, (3) any form of hidden violence, (4)
husband abuse, or (5) elderly abuse. Read, review, and summarize this article. Address the
following questions:
1. Is it a research article based on theoretical argument, literature review, or empirical
2. What is the specific aim of the article?
3. Does it say anything new and/or important?
4. What problems with the article can you identify?
This paper should be at least 3 to 4 pages in length (does not include references), 12-point font,
1-inch margins, include your name, and utilize proper APA citation format. This assignment is
due by 11:59 PM CST on Saturday of Week #3 of the course.
Assessment Method: Student will be assessed using the Scholarly Article Review Grading
Position Paper (SLO 1-5)
Students are required to prepare a position paper on any one topic (addressed in either
textbook) during Weeks 1 through 4 of the course. The purpose of a position paper is to
generate support on an issue. It describes a position on an issue and the rationale for that
The position paper is based on facts that provide a solid foundation for your argument. In the
position paper you should:
Use evidence to support your position, such as statistical evidence, or dates/ events.
Validate your position with authoritative references or primary sources.
Examine the strengths and weaknesses of your position.
Evaluate possible solutions and suggest courses of action.
Choose an issue where there is a clear division of opinion and which is arguable with facts
and inductive reasoning. You may choose an issue on which you have already formed an
opinion. However, in writing about this issue you must examine your opinion of the issue
critically. Prior to writing your position paper, define and limit your issue carefully. These
issues are complex with multiple solutions. Narrow the topic of your position paper to
something that is manageable. Research your issue thoroughly, consulting experts and
obtaining primary documents.
Consider feasibility, cost-effectiveness and political/social climate when evaluating possible
solutions and courses of action. You must utilize a minimum of relevant material and two to
three outside sources to inform your paper. These outside sources must be peer-reviewed
publications or governmental reports. This paper should be a minimum of 3 to 4 pages in
length (does not include references) maximum 12-point font, 1-inchmargins, include your
name, and utilize proper APA citation format. Refer to the position paper guidelines in the
assignment module. This assignment is due by 11:59 PM CST on Saturday of Week #4 of the
Assessment Method: Grading will be based on completeness of presentation as per the
assignment instructions.
Final Examination (SLO 1-5)
I will develop four short essay questions in a closed book final exam timed for maximum one
hour, specifically based on the following list of topics:
1. Rationalization/justification of violence against family members by the aggressive
2. Major causes/correlates of sexual abuse of children, elderly people, and intimate
3. Conflict theory, functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and feminist movement
interpreting/explaining family violence.
4. Ways and justifications given by some to using religion in family violence episodes.
5. Prevention of child abuse, elderly abuse, and abuse in intimate relations.
6. Criminal justice system’s response to dealing with family abuse offenders in effective
The final exam will be timed for one hour, closed book to be given online on Thursday of Week
#5 by 11:59 PM CST.
Assessment Method: Students will be assessed using the exam grading rubric.
Assignments for this course will be scored using a points system. Below is an explanation of
how each assignment type will be scored.
Assignment Type
# of Assignments
Point Value
Total Points
Not graded
Course Pre-test
Not graded
Discussion Posts
Comment Posts
Popular Media
Reflection Paper
Position Paper
Short Essay
Scholarly Article
Final Examination
Course Post-test
Not graded
Total Point:
Grades earned on each assignment will be added together and will be divided by the total
number of points possible in the course. Below is the overall point scale/grading schema for
the course.
Total points possible for the term = 1250.
1125—1250= A
1000-1124 = B
875-999= C
750-874= D
749 and below = F
Grades will be available in the Grade book so that students can track their progress in the
course on an ongoing basis.
You will need regular access to a computer with a broadband Internet connection. The
minimum computer requirements for the Epic Web Client are:
Any current Flash-compliant browser (eg. Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 3.0)
512 MB of RAM, 1 GB or more preferred
Broadband connection required – courses are heavily video intensive
Video display capable of high-color 16-bit display – 1024 x 768 or higher
A sound card and speakers or headphones
Current anti-virus software must be installed and kept up to date
Some classes may have specific class requirements for additional software. These
requirements will be listed on the course offerings page. Most home computers
purchased within the last 3-4 years meet or surpass these requirements.
You will need some additional free software for enhanced web browsing. Ensure that you
download the free versions of the following software:
o Adobe Reader
o Adobe Flash Player
At a minimum, you must have Microsoft Office 2003, XP, 2007 or OpenOffice. Microsoft
Office is the standard office productivity software utilized by faculty, students, and staff.
Microsoft Word is the standard word processing software, Microsoft Excel is the standard
spreadsheet software, and Microsoft PowerPoint is the standard presentation software.
Copying and pasting, along with attaching/uploading documents for assignment
submission, will also be required. If you do not have Microsoft Office, you can check with
the bookstore to see if they have any student copies.
eCollege Access and Log in Information
This course will be facilitated using eCollege, the Learning Management System used by Texas
A&M University-Commerce. To log in to the course, go to:
You will need your CWID and password to long in to the course. If you do not know your CWID
or have forgotten your password, contact Technology Services at 903.468.6000 or
helpdesk@tamuc.edu. Once you log in to eCollege, click on My Courses and select CJ 501 –
Seminar in Policing and Law Enforcement.
It is strongly recommended that you perform a “Browser Test” prior to the start of your course.
To launch a browser test, login to ECollege, click on the ‘myCourses’ tab, and then select the
“Browser Test” link under Support Services.
Course Navigation
All aspects of this course, including presentations, assignments, readings, and exams will be
completed / turned in through eCollege. Your grades will also be available in eCollege.
After logging in to the course, students will notice that the weekly/unit content area is located
on the left navigation bar. These weekly/unit content areas are identified as Week 1, Week 2,
etc. (this corresponds to the course schedule located in the syllabus.)
Student should access course materials by clicking on the proper weekly/unit content area.
Students should read the weekly overview that contains information about what is to be
covered in class, along with a series of weekly tasks (these tasks correspond to the links
available in each weekly unit and to what appears in the syllabus).
Students should then click on the weekly content items links and take the time to read/view
any material/presentations/assignments that are posted. The lecture/presentation is an
attempt to integrate information from the course readings and includes information from the
text/readings as well as other information that are considered important to your understanding
of the subject.
Interaction with Instructor Statement
My primary form of communication with the class will be through Email. Any changes to the
syllabus or other important information critical to the class will be disseminated to students in
this way via your official University Email address available to me through MyLeo and in
Announcements. It will be your responsibility to check your University e-mail as I plan to send
you important messages regularly.
Students who e-mail me outside of regular office hours can expect a reply within 24 hours.
Students who Email me during holidays or over the weekend should expect a reply by the end
of the next regularly scheduled business day.
Virtual Office
Welcome to my office. This space is set aside for students to ask course related questions. Place
any questions or concerns about the course here and they will answered within 24 hours on
weekdays. (It is possible that I will answer all threads during my office hours as posted on the
Please feel free to answer one another's questions. I will check answers (as well as questions)
for correctness, but do not hesitate to respond to a posting if you feel you can answer the
question thoroughly and directly.
eCollege Student Technical Support
Texas A&M University-Commerce provides students technical support in the use of eCollege.
The student help desk may be reached by the following means 24 hours a day, seven days a
 Chat Support: Click on 'Live Support' on the tool bar within your course to chat with an
eCollege Representative.
 Phone: 1-866-656-5511 (Toll Free) to speak with eCollege Technical Support
 Email: helpdesk@online.tamuc.org to initiate a support request with eCollege Technical
 Support Representative.
Help: Click on the 'Help' button on the toolbar for information regarding working with eCollege
(i.e. how to submit to dropbox, and how to post to discussions, etc.)
For assistance with the library: To access the Library databases and Library tutorials you must
open a separate browser session. Minimize your eCollege session and open another browser
window going to the Library's web site directly: http://www.tamuc.edu/library not from within
myLeo Support
Your myLeo email address is required to send and receive all student correspondence. Please
email helpdesk@tamuc.edu or call us at 903-468-6000 with any questions about setting up
your myLeo email account. You may also access information at https://leo.tamuc.edu.
Policy for Reporting Problems with eCollege
Should students encounter eCollege-based problems while submitting
assignments/discussions/comments/exams, the following procedure MUST be followed?
1. Students must report the problem to the help desk. You may reach the helpdesk at
helpdesk@online.tamuc.org or 1-866-656-5511
2. Students MUST file their problem with the helpdesk and obtain a helpdesk ticket
3. Once a helpdesk ticket number is in your possession, students should Email me to advise
me of the problem and to provide me with the helpdesk ticket number
4. At that time, I will call the helpdesk to confirm your problem and follow up with you
PLEASE NOTE: Your personal computer/access problems are not a legitimate excuse for filing a
ticket with the help desk. You are strongly encouraged to check for compatibility of your
browser BEFORE the course begins and to take the eCollege tutorial offered for students who
may require some extra assistance in navigating the eCollege platform. ONLY eCollege-based
problems are legitimate.
Internet Access
An Internet connection is necessary to participate in discussions and assignments, access
readings, transfer course work, and receive feedback from your professor. View the
requirements as outlined in Technology Requirements above for more information.
Learner Support
Go to the following link One Stop Shop- created to serve you by attempting to provide as many
resources as possible in one location.
Go to the following link Academic Success Center- focused on providing academic resources to help you
achieve academic success.
Course Specific Procedures
Academic Honesty
Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary
penalties, including (but not limited to) receiving a failing grade on the assignment, the
possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the University. Since dishonesty harms
the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty
will be strictly enforced. In ALL instances, incidents of academic dishonesty will be reported to
the Department Head. Please be aware that academic dishonesty includes (but is not limited to)
cheating, plagiarism, and collusion.
Cheating is defined as:
 Copying another's test of assignment
 Communication with another during an exam or assignment (i.e. written, oral or
Giving or seeking aid from another when not permitted by the instructor
Possessing or using unauthorized materials during the test
Buying, using, stealing, transporting, or soliciting a test, draft of a test, or answer key
Plagiarism is defined as:
 Using someone else's work in your assignment without appropriate acknowledgement
 Making slight variations in the language and then failing to give credit to the source
Collusion is defined as:
• Collaborating with another, without authorization, when preparing an assignment
If you have any questions regarding academic dishonesty, ask. Otherwise, I will assume
that you have full knowledge of the academic dishonesty policy and agree to the
conditions as set forth in this syllabus.
Students should also reference the following link for more detailed information.
Criminal Justice web site
Attendance Policy
While this is an online course, students are expected to ‘attend class’ and actively participate.
Student participation/activity will be monitored by the professor. Students should plan to
dedicate approximately 15-20 hours/week of time to this course, of which approximately 1
hour/week should be spent in the discussion board (reading posts and comments and
conversing with others).
APA Citation Format Policy
It is very important that you learn how to cite properly. In some ways, citations are more
important than the actual text of your paper/assignment. Therefore, you should take this task
seriously and devote some time to understanding how to cite properly. If you take the time to
understand this process up front, it will save you a significant amount of time in the long run
(not to mention significant deductions in points).
In the social and behavioral sciences (including Criminal Justice), we use APA (American
Psychological Association) format. As a rule of thumb, one cites whenever they are
paraphrasing other people’s words or when they quote other’s words directly. You may learn
to cite from a variety of different sources including the APA Tutorial and the sources listed
 www.apastyle.org
 http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/02/
 www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/apa
It is the student’s responsibility to understand how to cite properly. If you have questions, feel
free to ask.
Late Work
In principle, I do not accept late work and do not believe in allowing students to turn in work
after the due date. My position is that everyone knows the rules of engagement at the
beginning of the term and that it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they plan
accordingly to submit their assignments in a timely manner. However, I also do understand
that sometimes there are circumstances outside one’s control that may impact timely
submission of assignments. To that end, I have developed a policy on late work. Please note
that this policy applies ONLY to your reflection paper assignments and not to discussion or
comment submissions.
Late assignments will be accepted after the due date and time up to 1 day (24 hours) late.
Twenty (20) points will be deducted from all late assignments. Assignments turned in more
than one day late will not be accepted/graded.
Drop Course Policy
Students should take responsibility for dropping themselves from the course according to
University policy should this become necessary.
University Specific Procedures
ADA Statement – Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides
comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this
legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that
provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring
an accommodation, please contact:
Office of Student Disability Resources and Services
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Gee Library 132
Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835
Fax (903) 468-8148
Student Disability Resources & Services
Student Conduct
All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenets of common decency and
acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment. (See Code of Student
Conduct from Student Guide Handbook).Students should also consult the Rules of Netiquette
for more information regarding how to interact with students in an online forum:
Every effort will be made to adhere to the course schedule as noted below. However,
unforeseen circumstances may require changes to the schedule. In that case, changes will be
announced via University e-mail and in Announcements. I reserve the right to change the
schedule if necessary and depending on the progress of the class. I highly recommend that you
follow the schedule outlined below VERY CAREFULLY so that you are sure to complete readings
as assigned and turn your assignments in on time.
Please note that all discussions/comments/reflection papers are due by 11:59PM CST in
eCollege on the day they are due as outlined in the syllabus. This course runs on a MondaySaturday schedule. Your grades for each week will be posted in the Gradebook by Sunday
Week #1: 10/7 to 10/12
Read the syllabus carefully.
Post a Week #1 Introduction where you introduce yourself, accept the
conditions of the syllabus, agree to the Rules of Netiquette, and answer the
question I pose. Please note that this post is required for ALL students and
will be graded. The link to the Rules of Netiquette may be found under
Course and University Procedures/Policies under Student Conduct or here:
http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html. Due by Midnight.
Start Textbook Readings During this Week:
Chapter 1 – Dynamics of Family Violence: Setting the Stage
Chapter 2 – Historical Perspective on Family Violence
Start Work on Assignment on Popular Media on Family Violence Review
All Discussions and Comments Postings are Due for this Week by Midnight
Course Pre-test Due (not graded)
Popular Media Reflection Paper Due (10/12/2013) by Midnight
WEEK #2: 10/14 to 10/19
Start Textbook Readings:
Chapter 3 – Theories for Studying Family Violence
Chapter 4 – Methods for Studying Family Violence
Chapter 10: Religion and Family Violence
Start Work on Assignment: Short Essay
All Discussions and Comments Postings are Due for this Week by
Short Essay Assignment Due (10/19/2013) by Midnight
WEEK #3: 10/21 to 10/26
Start Textbook Readings:
Chapter 5 – Abuse Across the Life Course: Elder Abuse
Chapters 6 & 7 – Abuse Across the Life Course: Child Abuse
Start Work on Assignment: Scholarly article review
All Discussions and Comments Postings are Due for this Week by
Scholarly Article Review Assignment Due by Midnight (10/26/2013)
WEEK #4: 10/28 to 11/2
Start Textbook Readings:
Chapters 8 & 9 – Spousal Abuse
Chapter 11 – Violence in Same-Sex Relations
Start Work on Assignment: Position Paper
All Discussions and Comments Postings are Due for this Week by
Course Post-test Due (not graded)
Position Paper Assignment Due (11/2/2013) by Midnight
WEEK #5: 11/4 to 11/9
Start Textbook Readings:
Chapter 12 – Prevention and Avoidance of Family Violence
Chapter 13 – The Response to Family Violence: Criminal Justice System
Chapter 14—Where Do We Go from Here
Take Final Exam on topics provided earlier in the syllabus.
The final exam will be timed for one hour. It is closed book to be given
online on Thursday (11/7/2013) of Week #5 by 11:59 PM CST.
All Discussions and Comments Postings are Due for this Week by
Course Post-test Due (not graded)
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