Little is known about how intimate partner violence (IPV) affects women's long-term mental health. Using 17 years of data from adolescent mothers, this study (a) empirically identified three subgroups based on patterns of IPV exposure during 4 years of their adolescence; (b) found that subgroup membership was a predictor of psychosocial outcomes in the subsequent 13 years, and (c) showed that the long-term effects of IPV exposure persisted even while controlling for the role of early poverty. By their 30s, women had recovered from IPV such that there were no significant differences between groups at the final time point.
This longitudinal investigation analyzes the manner in which rape myths are conveyed through textual material published in Playboy. Results indicate that Playboy (a) portrays rape as a gender-neutral issue, ignoring patriarchal roots of sexual violence against women, and (b) promulgates ambiguous discourse, which is equally likely to endorse and refute rape myths. Interestingly, readers' contributions are most often the source of refutations of rape myths. Overall, findings suggest that little progress has been made over time in deconstructing rape myths promulgated to men, as this particular men's publication has consistently painted a gray picture in which refutations have remained unsuccessful in disempowering rape myths.
This article describes the findings of research into judicial decision making in Ontario courts in cases of intimate violence against women. Judges are condemning the violence, issuing relatively harsh sentences, and arguing that the intimate context of the violence is an aggravating factor. The analysis also reveals that judges often rely on stereotypes and traditional notions of marriage, family, and femininity. As records of decisions, the documents suggest a high level of understanding that wife abuse is a crime. As judicial discourse, they reveal how the justice system regulates intimate relationships and how traditional ideologies persist despite the harsh sentences.
In the mid-1970s, Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), the first national feminist organization to protest mediated sexual violence against women, pressured the music industry to cease using images of violence against women in its advertising. This article presents a case study of WAVAW's national boycott of Warner Communications, Inc. and documents the activists' successful consumer campaign. The study reveals that media violence was central to feminist organizing efforts, and that WAVAW and related organizations helped establish a climate of concern about violence that motivated scientific research on the relationship between exposure to media violence and subsequent aggression.
This article seeks to understand differences in the evolution of policies to combat domestic violence against women in the Netherlands and Spain. Although policy change is often viewed as incremental change toward more progressive policies, the two countries studied here reflect opposing dynamics. The Netherlands moved from being a pioneering country to one that gradually marginalized the policy issue, whereas Spain, in contrast, recently developed innovative and far-reaching policies after a long period of low to moderate state responses. The case study points to the central role of frame negotiation, left-wing governments, and strong feminist mobilization.
This article presents a comparison of 1989 and 1993 studies of the sexual harassment of undergraduate women at a northeastern public university in the US. Samples included 53% of senior, nontransferred women (N = 264) on the campus. Results suggest that sexual harassment incidents have decreased over the last 4 years. However, it remains a continuing problem, with approximately 1 in every 5 women likely to experience an incident of sexual harassment by her senior year. Although approximately one-third of students continue to cite faculty members as perpetrators and several personnel in other areas of the university, most women continue to report other students as perpetrators. The results indicate that measures taken by university personnel to combat sexual harassment may be responsible for the decrease in reported incidents, yet more work still needs to be done.
The findings of a study conducted on violence against women by the staff at the SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence in Belgrade, Serbia, is reported in this paper. For each call reporting an incident of violence, a data form was completed with the details of the call. Findings revealed that almost all callers were victims of violence from family members or intimate partners (94%). Many reported incidents of physical, verbal, and emotional violence (70.0%), while only few reported sexual and economic violence. Furthermore, the frequency and duration of violence were very high. Callers were often forced to live with perpetrators because of the lack of available housing, which was worsened due to privatization, economic sanctions against Serbia, and the influx of refugees. Men involved in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia had increased their violent tendency against women at home, especially those cases of sons beating their mothers. Lastly, most refugees were housed in private homes, resulting in increased violence against women refugees and women hosts.
An examination of the abuse and criminal careers of 342 men arraigned in the Quincy, Massachusetts, District Court for a crime of domestic violence between 1995 and 1996 through 2004 reveals decade-long criminal and abuse careers largely undeterred by arrest, prosecution, probation supervision, incarceration, and batterer treatment. Although only a minority reabused (32%) or were arrested for any crime (43%) within a year of the study court arraignment, over the next decade, the majority (60%) reabused, and almost three fourths were rearrested for a domestic abuse or non-domestic abuse crime. The research suggests that short-term cessation of domestic violence achieved after a variety of interventions may not indicate longer-term behavior change.
This study analyzed the portrayal of dating violence in teen magazines published in the United States. Such an investigation is important because previous research indicates that dating violence is a serious problem facing adolescents, teen magazines overemphasize the importance of romantic relationships, and teens who read this genre frequently or for education/advice are especially susceptible to its messages. Results indicated that although teen magazines do frame dating violence as a cultural problem, they are much more likely to utilize an individual frame that emphasizes the victim. Results were discussed as they apply to the responsibilities of professionals working with adolescents.
Sexual violence (SV) is a significant public health problem. Using data from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), this article provides state-specific 12-month SV prevalence data for women residing in 23 states and two territories. Overall, more than 500,000 women in the participating states experienced completed or attempted nonconsensual sex in the 12-month period prior to the survey. The collection of state-level data using consistent, uniform, and behaviorally specific SV definitions enables states to evaluate the magnitude of the problem within their state and informs the development and evaluation of state-level SV programs, policies, and prevention efforts.
The author provides an overview of the history of congressional involvement with the Violence Against Women Act's (VAWA) provisions to protect immigrant victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. He also outlines the reasoning behind, and purpose of, the most recent enhancements in legal protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and foreign fiancés and spouses that were included in the recently reauthorized VAWA 2005, also describing the bipartisan work that resulted in this newest piece of legislation.
Low-income, ethnic, and/or displaced mothers are frequently victimized; we explored the burden of intimate partner violence (IPV) among such women. Teams administered IPV and maternal distress questionnaires to quantify victimization after the birth of a child. Of 250 mothers reporting abuse, 133 (53%) reported their husband hitting; 111 (44%) kicking, dragging, or beating; 61 (24%) choking or burning; and 33 (13%) injuring them with a knife or gun (12 case-patients per 100 person-years). Women who experienced more forms of victimization reported more distress (p = .01). Mothers in this low-income community experienced severe victimization and distress.
North Carolina women were surveyed to examine whether women's disability status was associated with their risk of being assaulted within the past year. Women's violence experiences were classified into three groups: no violence, physical assault only (without sexual assault), and sexual assault (with or without physical assault). Multivariable analysis revealed that women with disabilities were not significantly more likely than women without disabilities to have experienced physical assault alone within the past year (odds ratio [OR] = 1.18, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 0.62 to 2.27); however, women with disabilities had more than 4 times the odds of experiencing sexual assault in the past year compared to women without disabilities (OR = 4.89, 95% CI = 2.21 to 10.83).
In my work with survivor support agencies and batterer intervention programs, I have established one prison-based and two community-based programs for women of diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds who have used force against their partners. These experiences have informed my belief that “women’s violence,” as Straus refers to it, must be interpreted in the broader context of the relationship. When evaluating this violence in context, women’s use of force against intimate male partners may be more accurately characterized as resistive and self-defensive, as opposed to the “mutual combat” Straus suggests. In my experience, from women’s first call for an intake assessment in community-based programs, they often take complete responsibility for what has happened and, in many cases, also take responsibility for Language: en
An experience sampling method (ESM) rarely has been applied in studies of intimate partner violence (IPV) despite the benefits to be gained. Because ESM approaches and women who experience IPV present unique challenges for data collection, an empirical question exists: Is it safe and feasible to apply ESM to community women who currently are experiencing IPV? A 90-day, design-driven feasibility study examined daily telephone data collection, daily paper diaries, and monthly retrospective semistructured interview methods among a community sample of 123 women currently experiencing IPV to study within-person relationships between IPV and substance use. Findings suggest that ESM is a promising method for collecting data among this population and can elucidate daily dynamics of victimization as well as associated behaviors and experiences. Lessons learned from the application of ESM to this population are also discussed.
This study was designed to assess associations between national rates of girl child marriage and national rates of HIV and maternal and child health (MCH) concerns, using national indicator data from 2009 United Nations reports. Current analyses were limited to the N = 97 nations (of 188 nations) for which girl child marriage data were available. Regression analyses adjusted for development and world region demonstrate that nations with higher rates of girl child marriage are significantly more likely to contend with higher rates of maternal and infant mortality and nonutilization of maternal health services, but not HIV.
This article discusses the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and its impact on battered mothers and their children seeking safety in the United States. We discuss relevant articles of the convention, the extent to which adult domestic violence is present in cases of international parental abduction, and cases in which battered mothers have contested the forced return of their children to an abusive partner. We conclude with recommended steps needed in research, training, and legislation that may increase the likelihood of safe outcomes for battered mothers and their children.
Adopting a structural violence approach, we analyzed 2004 Canadian General Social Survey data to examine Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal inequalities in postseparation intimate partner violence (IPV) against women. Aboriginal women had 4.12 times higher odds of postseparation IPV than non-Aboriginal women (p < .001). Coercive control and age explained most of this inequality. The final model included Aboriginal status, age, a seven-item coercive control index, and stalking, which reduced the odds ratio for Aboriginal status to 1.92 (p = .085) and explained 70.5% of the Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal inequality in postseparation IPV. Research and action are needed that challenge structural violence, especially colonialism and its negative consequences.
Concern for the recognition, support, and rights of victims within the criminal justice system has grown in recent years, leading to legislative and procedural changes in the administration of justice that have improved the experiences of victims. What is not clear is whether all victims have benefited from changes in the system regardless of race and social class. This study investigates the experiences Aboriginal people who are victims of sexual violence have with the Canadian criminal justice system. The authors seek to explore perspectives about their encounters with the judicial system from the point of first contact with the police through involvement with the court and community service providers, utilizing grounded theory qualitative methodology. They conclude that race is a key determinant in the manner in which a victim will be perceived by the people in the justice system and the manner in which the victim will approach the judicial process.
Feminist theory predicts both a positive and negative relationship between gender equality and rape rates. Although liberal and radical feminist theory predicts that gender equality should ameliorate rape victimization, radical feminist theorists have argued that gender equality may increase rape in the form of male backlash. Alternatively, Marxist criminologists focus on women's absolute socioeconomic status rather than gender equality as a predictor of rape rates, whereas socialist feminists combine both radical and Marxist perspectives. This study uses factor analysis to overcome multicollinearity limitations of past studies while exploring the relationship between women's absolute and relative socioeconomic status on rape rates in major U.S. cities using 2000 census data. The findings indicate support for both the Marxist and radical feminist explanations of rape but no support for the ameliorative hypothesis. These findings support a more inclusive socialist feminist theory that takes both Marxist and radical feminist hypotheses into account.
This article explores the experiences and perceptions of Lebanese women and men with economic abuse. Data were drawn from focus group discussions and face-to-face interviews with men, women and social workers. The findings reveal that Lebanese women experience many forms of economic abuse, including the withholding of earnings, restricted involvement in the labor force, and limited purchasing decisions. Inheritance laws and practices still favor men over women. Women tolerate economic abuse to avoid more serious forms of abuse and ensure family stability. Practical implications of the findings are presented.
It has been demonstrated that intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization is costly to employers, but little is known about the economic consequences associated with employing perpetrators. This study investigated propensity for partner abuse as a predictor of missed work time and on-the-job decreases in productivity among a small sample of male employees at a state agency (N=61). Results suggest that greater propensity for abusiveness is positively associated with missing work and experiencing worse productivity on the job, controlling for level of education, income, marital status, age, and part-time versus full-time employment status. Additional research could clarify whether IPV perpetration is a predictor of decreased productivity among larger samples and a wider variety of workplace settings. Employers and IPV advocates should consider responding to potential IPV perpetrators through the workplace in addition to developing victim-oriented policies and prevention initiatives.
This article contributes to the literature on wife abuse by using the patriarchal bargaining framework, which highlights the issue of agency as women strive to achieve their goals within the constraints of family and culture. Study participants were recent South Asian immigrants to the United States. Narrative analysis revealed that patriarchal constraints in natal families, culture, and expectations of benefits gained through marriage influenced many of the women to migrate for marriage. When husbands enforced extreme patriarchy with abuse, women's personal efforts to contain abuse were largely ineffective. However, advocacy agency interventions did help some women break out of extreme patriarchy.
This article discusses the results of a survey of North Carolina domestic violence programs that found that substance abuse problems are common among program clients, yet only half of the programs had policies concerning substance-abusing clients, and one fourth had memoranda of agreement with substance abuse treatment providers. Most programs with shelters asked clients about substance use; however, one third of the shelters would not admit women if they were noticeably under the influence of substances while seeking shelter residence, instead referring them to substance abuse programs. Approximately one tenth of the domestic violence programs did not have any staff or volunteers with training in substance abuse issues. Implications are discussed.
Research shows that co-occurring partner violence and substance abuse are problems for many women. However, less is known about women's varied experiences with partner violence and substance abuse. This exploratory, qualitative study investigates these two issues among a sample of 15 women in substance abuse treatment who experienced partner violence. Overall, findings show participants' experience of violence-substance connections varied in important ways; complicating factors exacerbate both problems; and domestic violence services and substance abuse treatments should account for these variations and complications. We discuss directions for providers, researchers, and policymakers concerned with partner violence or substance abuse.
Randomized control designs have been used in the public health and psychological literatures to examine the relationship between victim outreach following intimate partner abuse (IPA) and various outcomes. These studies have largely relied on samples drawn from health providers and shelters to examine outcomes outside the criminal legal system. Based on the positive findings from this body of research, we expected that a victim-focused, community-coordinated outreach intervention would improve criminal legal system outcomes. The current study used a randomized, longitudinal design to recruit 236 ethnically diverse women with police-reported IPA to compare treatment-as-usual with an innovative community-coordinated, victim-focused outreach program. Findings indicated that the outreach program was effective in increasing women's engagement with prosecution tasks as well as likelihood of taking part in prosecution of their abusers. Results were particularly robust among women marginalized by ethnicity and class, and those still living with their abusers after the target incident.
This article discusses the attempts made by the author's to avoid or minimize the methodological shortcoming of previous North American surveys on woman abuse during this national Canadian survey. The author presents the four strategies used by the researchers and offers two suggestions for future survey work. First, the researchers used a broad definition of abuse that views any intentional physical, sexual, or psychological assault on a female dating partner. Second, multiple measures of abuse, such as the Conflict Tactic Scale (CTS), were used to minimize underreporting and enhance the reliability and validity of social variables. Third, the researchers included in the CTS the context, meaning and motive of dating violence in the postsecondary school courtship. Lastly, the survey tested the hypotheses derived from several theoretical perspectives. The author offers two suggestions that address the diversity of racial and ethnic participation and psychological abuse.
With the participation of 46 prostituted women in Korea, this study investigates the relationship between prostitution experiences, a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disorders of extreme stress not otherwise specified (DESNOS). Prostituted women showed higher levels of PTSD and DESNOS symptoms compared to a control group. Women who had experienced both CSA by a significant other and prostitution showed the highest levels of traumatic stress. However, posttraumatic reexperiencing and avoidance and identity, relational, and affect regulation problems were significant for prostitution experiences even when the effects of CSA were controlled.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with mothers who were abused by intimate partners, we argue that mothering can be a source of empowerment that helps battered women both care for their children and survive and assert themselves. Women in the study sample described a violation of some aspect of their mothering as the reason they left their partners. However, narrative analysis exposed contradictions in participants' stories, revealing multiple factors that shaped their decisions to leave. Although motherhood was significant for the women who participated in the study, it was not their only motivation for ending their relationships with abusive partners.
Child contact with a nonresident father who has perpetrated domestic abuse has gained policy and research attention. Both feminist social policy and family law research identify the role child contact centers can play in facilitating contact in these circumstances. Drawing from a literature review carried out by the authors, this article examines the priorities that underpin feminist social policy and family law disciplines and how these manifest in research on contact centers and domestic abuse.
This investigation examined the relationship of abuse-specific coping strategies and perceived responses to abuse disclosure to symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress among 131 women seeking a protection order against an intimate partner. Disengagement, denial, and self-blame coping strategies, as well as blaming of the participant by others, were associated with greater depressive and posttraumatic symptoms. None of the strategies of coping or responses to abuse disclosure were negatively related to depressive or posttraumatic stress symptoms. Findings suggest that mental health providers may find it useful to address these negative styles of coping while public education campaigns should target victim blaming.
This article aims to conceptualize spiritual abuse as an additional dimension to physical, psychological, sexual, and economic abuse. Growing out of an interpretivist participatory action research study in a therapeutic Haredi (Jewish ultraorthodox) group of eight abused women, spiritual abuse has been defined as any attempt to impair the woman's spiritual life, spiritual self, or spiritual well-being, with three levels of intensity: (a) belittling her spiritual worth, beliefs, or deeds; (b) preventing her from performing spiritual acts; and (c) causing her to transgress spiritual obligations or prohibitions. The concept and its typology are illustrated by means of examples from the women's abusive experiences and may be of theoretical and therapeutic worldwide relevance.
This study aimed to further understanding of intimate partner stalking victimization in post-abuse women, with particular attention to the definition of stalking (with or without fear and threat) most predictive of posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms. In community midlife women with histories of divorce (N = 192), a history of stalking victimization accompanied by fear and threat was positively correlated with PTS symptom severity, after accounting for other partner abuse. The presence, compared with absence, of fear-and-threat stalking history doubled the odds of symptomatic levels of hyperarousal. Greater physical assault and injury chronicity differentiated fear-and-threat stalked women from other stalked women. Stalking contributed to a fuller understanding of PTS symptoms in women, showing particular relevance for hyperarousal.
The aim of this article is to show the way in which concepts of abuse, danger, and security have informed recent U.K. legal and policy developments relating to the protection of women in transnational marriages from violence within families and communities. It also demonstrates the way in which the same concepts inform debates on violence against women in families in India to provide a greater understanding of the interaction between "polity" and "community" in transnational marriages.
Using data from in-depth interviews with women who have exited violent relationships, attorneys, and practitioners/policy specialists, this research note explores the continuation of control as women encounter "paper abuse." The barrage of men's frivolous lawsuits, false reports of child abuse, and other system-related manipulations exerts power, forces contact, and financially burdens their ex-partners. Although these acts are not new, the significance of this continuing abuse has not been fully explored by researchers. Yet attorneys and practitioners recognize the need for better documentation to strengthen protections for women still forced to contend with their former batterers.
Physical injuries among battered women represent risks for both acute and long-term physical health functioning. The current study assessed the nature and extent of minor and severe injuries among a help-seeking sample of battered women. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to assess the unique roles of physical violence, sexual coercion, psychological abuse, and stalking to the prediction of minor and severe injuries in battered women. Not unexpectedly, length of relationship abuse and severity of physical aggression were the most robust predictors of minor and severe physical injuries. Consistent with other research findings, psychological abuse and stalking, as a block, contributed uniquely to the prediction of severe injuries. Results are discussed in terms of implications for future research and intervention with battered women.
Some sexually abused women in mental health settings are reporting prolonged incest and yet little is known about the circumstances that enable fathers to sexually abuse their daughters over a period of decades. This article draws from the life history of Grace, a woman who survived prolonged incest, in order to document and analyze the interplay of familial, social, and political factors that entrap girls and women within prolonged incestuous abuse.
In alleged sexual abuse cases, the mother's efforts to provide a protective environment, including detecting signs of abuse and providing support subsequent to abuse, are critical to the child's well-being. This qualitative study, using two focus groups with 10 participants, examines changes in the mother/child relationship after disclosures of sexual abuse of preschoolers. Mother/child relationships were affected by suspicions and discovery of child sexual abuse in the following categories: interference of investigators, behavior problems in the child, parental exhaustion from increased demands, and parenting insecurity. Suggestions for further research and intervention implications are discussed.
Learning more about intimate partner violence (IPV), perpetrators could aid the development of more effective treatments. The prevalence of adulthood animal abuse (AAA) perpetration and its association with IPV perpetration, antisociality, and alcohol use in 307 men arrested for domestic violence were examined. Forty-one percent (n = 125) of the men committed at least one act of animal abuse since the age of 18, in contrast to the 1.5% prevalence rate reported by men in the general population. Controlling for antisociality and alcohol use, AAA showed a trend toward a significant association with physical and severe psychological IPV perpetration.
The present study investigated the prevalence of both current and lifetime physical partner abuse among Vietnamese males who reside in Vietnam. Participants (N = 315) were randomly selected to participate in the study. Participants completed the Vietnamese version of the Conflict Tactics Scale-2. A total of 47% (n = 148) of the sampled participants were identified as current physical abusers and 68% (n = 214) as past abusers. Four of the most common abusive tactics abusers exhibited toward their partner were (a) throwing something at their wife (80%), (b) pushing or shoving their partner (78%), (c) beating up their partner (54%), and (d) twisting their partner's arm or hair (60%).
This article examines the issues and concerns faced by Indian women in transnational marriages or what are popularly known as NRI marriages in India. It discusses how the Indian laws, the courts, and women try to deal with the difficulties and problems relating to issues of abuse, abandonment, and violence. It also highlights the inadequacies in laws and policies relating to such marriages in India. This article is complimentary to the article by Ann Stewart that concentrates on the "receiving" end of transnational marriages in the United Kingdom, and focuses on the ways in which the socio-legal context of the receiving State (in this case, the United Kingdom) presents difficulties for South Asian women. This article, conversely, takes a "sending" perspective, that is, the response of the home state, India, to the difficulties faced by Indian women involved in transnational marriages.
Battered women are exposed to multiple forms of intimate partner abuse. This article explores the independent contributions of physical violence, sexual coercion, psychological abuse, and stalking on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among a sample of 413 severely battered, help-seeking women. The authors test the unique effects of psychological abuse and stalking on mental health outcomes, after controlling for physical violence, injuries, and sexual coercion. Mean scores for the sample fall into the moderate to severe range for PTSD and within the moderate category for depression scores. Hierarchical regressions test the unique effects of stalking and psychological abuse, after controlling for physical violence, injuries, and sexual coercion. Psychological abuse and stalking contribute uniquely to the prediction of PTSD and depression symptoms, even after controlling for the effects of physical violence, injuries, and sexual coercion. Results highlight the importance of examining multiple dimensions of intimate partner abuse.