There are many social theories that directly identify or attempt to identify the social causes of learned behaviors, including violence.
When it comes to violence within the family circle, one of the most accepted theories was proposed back in 1962, and it is known even today as "The Battered Child Syndrome".
This theoretical construct argues that the incidence of violence within families is a consequence of violence that has been a repetitive behavior from generation to generation. The idea is that, theoretically speaking, if a person has been abused as a child he or she is more likely to nest within the violent tendencies and survival mechanisms with which they grow, and may lash out in the future against other family members, thus continuing the cycle.
This, of course is a theoretical construct, and the syndrome is not necessarily the norm. However, it has been adjudicated to social learning theories of learning (proposed by both Albert Bandura, B.F. Skinner, and Lev Vygotsty) that people often learn behaviors from their peers and family members, and are bound to repeat them, especially under situations that prompt one to revert back to basic survival skills and coping mechanisms.
men who beat up their wifes because it doesn't only effect the wife but also all of the children who see it and live it. and not only physically the wife would be hurt but also mentally and motionally. een the kids will grow up having negative ideas about marriage and so on.. and they would hate their parents and the world and thus become criminals or drug addicts :D