A Typology of Domestic Violence

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-06-30
  • Publisher: Northeastern Univ Pr

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Domestic violence, a serious and far-reaching social problem, has generated two key debates among researchers. The first debate is about gender and domestic violence. Some scholars argue that domestic violence is primarily male-perpetrated, others that women are as violent as men in intimate relationships. Johnson's response to this debate--and the central theme of this book--is that there is more than one type of intimate partner violence. Some studies address the type of violence that is perpetrated primarily by men, while others are getting at the kind of violence that women areinvolved in as well. Because there has been no theoretical framework delineating types of domestic violence, researchers have easily misread one another's studies. The second major debate involves how many women are abused each year by their partners. Estimates range from two to six million. Johnson's response once again comes from this book's central theme. If there is more than one type of intimate partner violence, then the numbers depend on what type you're talking about. Johnson argues that domestic violence is not a unitary phenomenon. Instead, he delineates three major, dramatically different, forms of partner violence: intimate terrorism, violent resistance, and situational couple violence. He roots the conceptual distinctions among the forms of violence in an analysis of the role of power and control in relationship violence and shows that the failure to make these basic distinctions among types of partner violence has produced a research literature that is plagued by both overgeneralizations and ostensibly contradictory findings. This volume begins the work of theorizing forms of domestic violence, a crucial first step to a better understanding of these phenomena among scholars, social scientists, policy makers, and service providers.

Author Biography

MICHAEL P. JOHNSON is Associate Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Women's Studies, and African and African American Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Control and Violence in Intimate Relationshipsp. 5
Intimate Terrorism and Other Types of Partner Violencep. 7
Intimate Terrorismp. 7
Violent Resistancep. 10
Situational Couple Violencep. 11
Mutual Violent Controlp. 12
Doing Research on Intimate Terrorism and Other Types of Partner Violencep. 12
Asking the Right Questions: The Nature of Coercive Controlp. 13
Not Asking the Right Questions: The Battered Husband Fiascop. 17
When the Right Questions Aren't Asked, Where Do We Find the Types?p. 23
Intimate Terrorism: Controlling Your Partnerp. 25
The Basic Characteristics of (Heterosexual Men's) Intimate Terrorismp. 26
Nonviolent Control Tacticsp. 26
The Nature and Pattern of the Violencep. 29
Who Are the Intimate Terrorists?p. 30
Two Types of Intimate Terrorists: Psychological Commonalities and Differencesp. 31
Risk Markers for Intimate Terrorismp. 33
The Effects of Intimate Terrorismp. 37
Economic Effectsp. 38
Physical Healthp. 39
Psychological Healthp. 41
Effects on the Relationship with the Abuserp. 43
Incipient Intimate Terrorism/Nonviolent Coercive Controlp. 46
Fighting Back: Violent Resistancep. 48
Women Coping with Intimate Terrorismp. 48
Violent Resistancep. 51
Leavingp. 53
Desperate Actsp. 55
The Good Newsp. 59
Conflicts That Turn Violent: Situational Couple Violencep. 60
Variability in the Violence Itselfp. 61
The Causes of Chronic Situational Couple Violencep. 62
Sources of Couple Conflictp. 63
Couple Communication Patterns That Affect Escalation to Violencep. 65
Individual Background and Personality Factors That Affect Escalation to Violencep. 67
The Effects of Situational Couple Violencep. 69
Physical Healthp. 69
Psychological Healthp. 69
The Relationship with the Abuserp. 70
The Essential Variability of Situational Couple Violencep. 70
Implications for Intervention, Prevention, and Researchp. 72
Implications for Interventionp. 72
Shelters and Other Battered Women's Servicesp. 73
Law Enforcementp. 75
Batterer Programsp. 78
Family Court and Child Protective Servicesp. 81
Coordinated Community Responsep. 83
Implications for Preventionp. 83
Implications for Researchp. 84
Identifying Intimate Terrorism and Other Types of Partner Violencep. 87
Measuring Coercive Controlp. 87
Identifying High Coercive Controlp. 90
What Is the Role of Violence in the Typology?p. 91
The Data in this Bookp. 91
Samples and Measures Used in the Analyses for This Bookp. 92
Johnson et al.: Six Other Papersp. 94
Stalking and Separation-Precipitated Violencep. 102
Intimate Terrorism and the Risks of Leavingp. 102
Separation-Precipitated Violence That May Be Situational Couple Violencep. 103
Gender and Intimate Partner Violencep. 105
Gender and Intimate Terrorismp. 105
What About Situational Couple Violence?p. 107
A Note on Same-Sex Relationshipsp. 109
Notesp. 111
Referencesp. 141
Indexp. 155
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