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- Go to article: Bystander Prevention of Sexual and Dating Violence: An Experimental Evaluation of Online and In-Person Bystander Intervention Programs
Bystander Prevention of Sexual and Dating Violence: An Experimental Evaluation of Online and In-Person Bystander Intervention Programs
Rates of sexual violence (SV) and dating violence (DV) are high on college campuses; federal law mandates colleges provide SV/DV prevention programming to incoming students. Programs showing the strongest empirical support are bystander programs; however, their small group format makes it impractical to use them with large student bodies. In a pilot feasibility study, we compared in-person and e-intervention SV/DV bystander intervention programs and randomly assigned 562 students to one of the programs. Students completed measures of knowledge and attitudes at 3 points over 6 months. Both groups changed significantly in the expected direction on all measures, with no differences between groups in change over time. Results suggest that e-interventions may be a viable alternative to in-person SV/DV programs for meeting federal mandates.
- Go to article: The Reported Availability of U.S. Domestic Violence Services to Victims Who Vary by Age, Sexual Orientation, and Gender
The Reported Availability of U.S. Domestic Violence Services to Victims Who Vary by Age, Sexual Orientation, and Gender
Grassroots movements during the 1970s established several types of emergency services for battered women seeking to find refuge from or leave an abusive relationship. As time went by, the range of services offered by these agencies grew to include counseling, legal services, outreach, and other services, and battered women can now access over 2,000 domestic violence (DV) agencies throughout the United States for assistance. At the same time, these services have come under increasing scrutiny for their inability or unwillingness to provide their existing services to some populations of intimate partner violence (IPV) victims. In this article, we focus on DV agencies’ ability to provide their services to various populations that have documented evidence of being underserved due to their age, gender, and/or sexual orientation. We present information on the percentage of agencies that report being able to provide victim-related services to each of these groups. We also consider various regional, state, and agency characteristics that may predict the availability of services to these underserved groups. Overall, agencies report that adolescents and men are the least likely groups to which they are able to provide their victim services. Results are discussed utilizing a human rights perspective that stresses that all IPV victims, regardless of age, sexual orientation, or gender, should have access to services provided by DV agencies.
- Go to article: Predicting Potentially Life-Threatening Partner Violence by Women Toward Men: A Preliminary Analysis
Predicting Potentially Life-Threatening Partner Violence by Women Toward Men: A Preliminary Analysis
Researchers have documented predictors of life-threatening violence by men toward women. Little research has assessed predictors of life-threatening violence toward men by women. We investigated such predictors in a sample of 302 men who sustained partner violence (PV) and sought help. Based on prior research on women as victims, we examined the following as potential predictors: demographics of the participant, his female partner, and their relationship; relationship power imbalances; her use of various forms of PV; her alcohol/drug use; his use of various forms of PV; his mental health and substance abuse; and his help seeking and social support. Logistic regressions indicated that there were 2 consistent predictors: the female partner’s frequency of physical PV and the number of sources from which the participant sought help.
- Go to article: More Than a Literature Review: The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Articles and Online Database
- Go to article: The Reported Availability of U.S. Domestic Violence Services to Victims Who Vary by Immigration Status, Primary Language, and Disability
The Reported Availability of U.S. Domestic Violence Services to Victims Who Vary by Immigration Status, Primary Language, and Disability
This article is the second of a two-part series that investigates the reported availability of domestic violence (DV) services for individuals in traditionally underserved populations. This specific article focuses on immigrants, individuals with limited English language skills, and individuals with disabilities. The sample consisted of 213 DV agency directors from across the nation who responded about the availability of services in their agencies in several different domains: housing, legal, counseling/mental health, education, transportation, and outreach services. The results indicate a fairly high level of services across the board, especially with regard to serving immigrants, individuals with limited English language skills, and individuals with disabilities. Services for individuals with hearing impairments and undocumented immigrants were less available. Recommendations for practice and future research are discussed.
- Go to article: Gender Differences in Psychological, Physical, and Sexual Aggression Among College Students Using the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales
Gender Differences in Psychological, Physical, and Sexual Aggression Among College Students Using the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales
In response to criticisms of the Conflict Tactics Scales, Straus revised the original scale to include sexual aggression and injury. The purpose of the present study was to use this new scale to replicate and expand existing knowledge of psychological, physical, and sexual aggression in dating relationships. Four-hundred-eighty-one college students completed the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales. As expected, females reported perpetrating more psychological aggression than males; there were no gender differences in reported physical aggression; and psychological and physical aggression tended to co-occur. Contrary to previous research, there were no gender differences in injuries. As expected, males reported perpetrating more sexual coercion than females; however, females also reported perpetrating sexual aggression, and there were no gender differences in reported victimization. For males, sexual coercion perpetration (not victimization) was related to the perpetration and victimization of physical and psychological aggression. For females, both sexual coercion perpetration and victimization were related to the perpetration and victimization of psychological aggression and victimization from physical aggression, but not to physical aggression perpetration.
- Go to article: Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intimate Partner Aggression: A Preliminary Study
Social learning theory posits that, because aggression against intimates runs in families, children learn how to behave aggressively through watching their parents and being reinforced for their own aggression. This theory considers only environmental influences on familial resemblance; however, familial resemblance could also be due to genetic factors. The current study uses a twin design (134 monozygotic, 41 dizygotic) to examine the extent to which genetic and environmental factors contribute to individual differences in intimate aggression. Model-fitting analyses consistently showed that shared genes explained the familial resemblance in psychological and physical intimate partner aggression; the remaining variance was explained by unique environments. Multivariate model-fitting analyses showed that most of the genetic influences responsible for the receipt of aggression were also responsible for its use, suggesting that there is a genetic predisposition to get involved in aggressive relationships. These results challenge the prevailing theory to explain familial resemblance in intimate aggression.
- Go to article: Children Whose Fathers Seek Help for Partner Violence Victimization: Descriptive Characteristics and Their Behavioral Health as Compared to a Population-Based Sample
Children Whose Fathers Seek Help for Partner Violence Victimization: Descriptive Characteristics and Their Behavioral Health as Compared to a Population-Based Sample
Children whose parents seek help for partner violence (PV) victimization are at an increased risk for internalizing and externalizing behavioral health problems. The literature has examined this phenomenon primarily among children of battered women. This study examines the sociodemographic characteristics and behavioral health of children whose fathers have sought help for PV victimization and compares them to children of men from the general population. Children whose fathers sought help for PV victimization were less likely to live with their fathers. Bivariate analyses showed that children of male victims had elevated scores in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-related areas of behavioral health; many of these findings remain in multivariate analyses, especially among older children. The implications of the results are discussed for researchers and social service practitioners.
College students are at particular risk for sexual assault victimization, yet research tends to focus on women as victims and men as perpetrators. The purpose of this study was to investigate gender differences in the prevalence, context, and predictors of sexual assault victimization among college students. Results showed that women were significantly more likely to have been sexually assaulted in a 2-month time period, but the context of victimization varied little by gender. Victimization was predicted by sexual orientation, time spent socializing and partying, and severe dating violence victimization for men and by year in school, time spent on the Internet, drinking and using drugs, and being a stalking and dating violence victim for women. Results are discussed in the context of routine activities theory and implications for prevention and future research.
Researchers in the field of intimate partner violence (IPV) are paying increasing levels of attention to the notion that members of aggressive and violent relationships cannot always be dichotomized as innocent victims versus blameworthy perpetrators; nonetheless, no research has documented characteristics of IPV victims that may predict their use of abusive and aggressive behaviors in response to their partners’ IPV. This study fills this gap and is unique because it uses a sample of 302 men who sustained intimate terrorism from their female partners and sought help. Results showed that victims who used physical IPV, in comparison with victims who did not, were younger and were more likely to abuse alcohol. In addition, in comparison with victims who used minor physical IPV, victims who used severe physical IPV were more likely to use—and use more frequently—other forms of IPV, and they were more likely to be substance abusers. Results are discussed in terms of possible theoretical implications, directions for future research, and practice implications.
Over 30 years of research has established that both men and women are capable of sustaining intimate partner violence (IPV) by their opposite-sex partners, yet little research has examined men’s experiences in such relationships. Some experts in the field have forwarded assumptions about men who sustain IPV — for example, that the abuse they experience is trivial or humorous and of no consequence and that, if their abuse was severe enough, they have the financial and psychological resources to easily leave the relationship — but these assumptions have little data to support them. The present study is an in-depth, descriptive examination of 302 men who sustained severe IPV from their women partners within the previous year and sought help. We present information on their demographics, overall mental health, and the types and frequency of various forms of physical and psychological IPV they sustained. We also provide both quantitative and qualitative information about their last physical argument and their reasons for staying in the relationship. It is concluded that, contrary to many assumptions about these men, the IPV they sustain is quite severe and both mentally and physically damaging; their most frequent response to their partner’s IPV is to get away from her; and they are often blocked in their efforts to leave, sometimes physically, but more often because of strong psychological and emotional ties to their partners and especially their children. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for policy and practice.
This study sought to address underserved victims of sexual violence by examining reports of sexual violence, substance use, and help-seeking events among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) and heterosexual college students. There were 2,790 students (2,482 heterosexual students and 308 LGBQ students) across 4 years who completed an online, anonymous survey measuring self-reports of sexual violence, substance use, and help-seeking. Chi-square analyses and Fisher’s exact tests were conducted to determine differences in reports of sexual violence between LGBQ and heterosexual participants. Events reported by LGBQ students were significantly more likely to involve threatened sexual intercourse and sexual contact while intoxicated as compared to events reported by heterosexual students. Similar low rates of help-seeking following a sexual violence event were found among LGBQ and heterosexual victims, with most victims citing that the event was not serious enough to warrant help. LGBQ victims were significantly more likely to report that they did not seek help because they thought they would be blamed. Both LGBQ and heterosexual college students would benefit from education on issues of sexual violence, particularly the relationship between substance use and consent.
- Go to article: An Empirical Test of Johnson's Typology of Intimate Partner Violence in Two Samples of Men
Johnson's typology of intimate partner violence (IPV) postulates four types: intimate terrorism (IT), situational couple violence (SCV), violent resistance (VR), and mutual violent control (MVC). Johnson asserts that IT (i.e., severe violence is part of the perpetrator's use of coercive control and power) is primarily perpetrated by men and can be solely explained by patriarchal theory and MVC is rare. These assertions are based on results from samples that included data only on women and victimization. This study tests Johnson's typology using a population-based sample of men and a sample of male IPV victims. Results showed that women were the primary perpetrators of IT, while men primarily used VR. SCV was more common in the population-based sample than in the male victims sample. MVC was just as common as IT in the population-based sample, while IT was more common than MVC in the male victims sample. We compare our results with Johnson's and discuss issues of sampling biases and the need for more complex underlying theories.
- Go to article: Differential Gender Responses to an Empathy Component of a Sexual Assault Prevention Program
Although sexual assault (SA) prevention programs on college campuses are increasingly prevalent, no studies explore the influence of program components on outcomes. Empathy exercises are frequently included in such programs, with the intent of changing participant emotions and attitudes in order to change subsequent behavior. This study evaluated whether the inclusion of an empathy exercise within a SA prevention program impacted participants' emotions and attitudes, and subsequent helping behaviors in SA bystander situations. Three-hundred and seventy students (63% women) participated in an evaluation of a mandatory bystander intervention program; half the students received the program containing an empathy exercise and half received the program that did not. For women only, participation in the program with the empathy exercise led to more negative emotions and fewer attitudes condoning SA, the latter of which influenced greater prosocial bystander behaviors 6 months later.
- Go to article: Extent and Implications of the Presentation of False Facts by Domestic Violence Agencies in the United States
Extent and Implications of the Presentation of False Facts by Domestic Violence Agencies in the United States
The problem of domestic violence (DV) agencies presenting statistics that are distortions or have no basis in research has been pointed out by several DV researchers in the past several years. However, the extent of this problem is unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how frequently 15 identified false facts were presented on DV agencies’ websites in their fact sheets. All member agencies of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV; N = 2,180) were investigated to see if they have websites and fact sheets on their websites. The fact sheets were then examined to see whether they presented any of the 15 false facts. The most frequently mentioned false fact was, “According to the FBI, a woman is beaten every (fill in the blank) seconds in the United States,” presented by 34.9% of the agencies with fact sheets. Results are discussed in terms of their limitations and their implications for the field of DV, paying particular attention to how the proliferation of these false facts may undermine the credibility of the DV field and also harm the very people the agencies are trying to help.
Findings regarding women's perpetration of physical partner violence (PV) and bidirectional PV are a major source of controversy in the family violence literature. Questions remain as to how frequently women use PV, in comparison to men, when they are the sole perpetrators of PV and when involved in bidirectionally violent relationships. We also do not know much about women's perpetration and the bidirectionality of nonphysical forms of PV. To answer these questions, we used dyadic concordance types to categorize couples into bidirectionally violent, male-only violent, and female-only violent, and then analyzed the frequency with which the men and women used violence. We conducted these analyses for physical PV, verbal sexual PV, severe psychological PV, and controlling behaviors, among a population-based sample of 1,601 men, ages 18–59, who reported ever having a romantic relationship with a woman. Results indicated that for physical PV, severe psychological PV, and controlling behaviors, bidirectional PV was the most common, followed by female-only perpetration. Within bidirectionally aggressive relationships, women committed significantly more physical PV and controlling behaviors; there were no sex differences in frequency of PV perpetration for these three forms of PV for male-only versus female-only PV. The exception to this pattern was verbal sexual aggression, with men committing significantly more of these acts and male-only perpetration just as common as bidirectional aggression. Bidirectionally aggressive relationships were also the most aggressive. These findings lend support to a family systems perspective when seeking to understand PV and for assessing both victimization and perpetration when investigating PV.
- Go to article: Men Who Sustain Female-to-Male Partner Violence: Factors Associated With Where They Seek Help and How They Rate Those Resources
Men Who Sustain Female-to-Male Partner Violence: Factors Associated With Where They Seek Help and How They Rate Those Resources
Research since the 1970s has documented that men, in addition to women, sustain intimate partner violence (IPV), although much of that research has been overlooked. A growing body of research is examining the experiences of men who sustain female-to-male IPV, but there is still much to be learned. This exploratory study assesses the experiences of 302 men who have sustained IPV from their female partners and sought help from 1 of 6 resources: domestic violence agencies, hotlines, Internet, mental health professionals, medical providers, or the police. We examine what demographic characteristics and life experiences are associated with where men seek help and how they rate those experiences. We make recommendations for agencies, service providers, and first responders about how to tailor services for this specific population and their families.