This case study describes the use of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for a woman who met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to past domestic violence. Outcome measures were used to assess the client’s symptoms at intake, after the third and sixth active EMDR sessions, and at 1- and 3-month follow-ups. In addition to the use of outcome measures, at 3-month follow-up the client was evaluated by a therapist who was blind to the type of treatment the client had received. Results indicated that after nine active sessions of EMDR, the client no longer met criteria for PTSD and no longer endorsed symptoms of depression or intrusive thoughts. Thus, EMDR was successful in treating PTSD symptoms associated with past domestic violence, and effects were maintained at 3-month follow-up.
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Spousal abuse and other forms of domestic violence can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Little is known about how to best treat this form of PTSD. The current case series, based on data collected as part of a larger clinical trial, was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of exposure therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), or relaxation therapy. Three woman with battered-spouse-related PTSD were assigned to one of these treatments. The patient receiving exposure responded well to treatment and no longer met the criteria for PTSD at post-treatment or at 3-month follow-up. The battered women in the other two conditions continued to meet the criteria for PTSD at post-treatment and at follow-up. The patterns of treatment response were similar to those experienced by individuals with other forms of PTSD (N = 42) examined in the larger trial. The results of these case studies encourage further studies of exposure therapy for battered-spouse-related PTSD.
Prevalence of domestic violence (DV) in lesbian and heterosexual relationships appears to be similar. Despite this, few studies have examined factors associated with DV in lesbian relationships, and even fewer have examined characteristics of lesbian batterers. Demographic and psychosocial characteristics and personality traits were examined in 100 lesbians in current relationships (33 Batterers and 67 Nonbatterers). Results indicated that Batterers were more likely to report childhood physical and sexual abuse and higher rates of alcohol problems. Results from the MCMI-III indicated that, after controlling for Debasement and Desirability indices, Batterers were more likely to report aggressive, antisocial, borderline, and paranoid personality traits, and higher alcohol-dependent, drug-dependent, and delusional clinical symptoms compared to Nonbatterers. These results provide support for social learning and psychopathology theoretical models of DV and clinical observations of lesbian batterers, and expand our current DV paradigms to include information about same-sex DV.
- Go to article: Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in Primary Care: Lessons From Chronic Illness Management
Though many studies have documented the high prevalence, morbidity, mortality and costs attributable to intimate partner violence (IPV), it is still unclear how our health care system should address this major public health problem. Many have advocated for routine screening, yet there is still insufficient evidence that routine IPV screening can lead to improved outcomes. Though recognition of IPV is very important, a screening paradigm may not be the optimal way to approach IPV within the health care system. For many patients, exposure to violence is a chronic condition, characterized by long-term abusive relationships, histories of childhood and community violence, multiple associated chronic symptoms, and extra barriers to addressing their other chronic illnesses. Thus, there may be important lessons to be learned from work being done in the area of chronic care. We explore how Wagner’s Chronic Care model may guide efforts to improve health care for IPV survivors and may serve as a framework for future research studies.
- Go to article: Vicarious Traumatization, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Burnout in Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Agency Staff
Vicarious Traumatization, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Burnout in Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Agency Staff
This study investigated three occupational hazards of therapy with trauma victims: vicarious trauma and secondary traumatic stress (or “compassion fatigue”), which describe therapists’ adverse reactions to clients’ traumatic material, and burnout, a stress response experienced in many emotionally demanding “people work” jobs. Among 101 trauma counselors, client exposure workload and being paid as a staff member (vs. volunteer) were related to burnout sub-scales, but not as expected to overall burnout or vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, or general distress. More educated counselors and those seeing more clients reported less vicarious trauma. Younger counselors and those with more trauma counseling experience reported more emotional exhaustion. Findings have implications for training, treatment, and agency support systems.
The association between alcohol use and substantiated incidents of nonmutual and mutual domestic violence between U.S. Army enlisted soldiers and their spouses was examined for the period 1998–2004. Maltreatment was always more severe in nonmutual incidents. Female victims experienced more severe maltreatment than males. Male offenders and victims were more likely to be drinking than females. For victims of both sexes, severity was greater when offenders were drinking. Older males were more likely to be offenders in nonmutual incidents. White males were more likely than Black or Hispanic males to be offenders in nonmutual incidents. There is a need for both domestic violence and alcohol treatment programs to focus on the increased risk of abuse when alcohol is involved.
Previous research has suggested that the occurrence of dating violence is influenced by various motivations, including self-defense. While some data have suggested that females are more likely to use physical aggression in self-defense, assessment measures of self-defense have been limited in several notable ways, hindering efforts at fully understanding the myriad of reasons contributing to self-defensive aggression. The current study sought to examine motivations for physical aggression among male and female college students using a contextual self-report measure of self-defensive aggression designed specifically for the current study. Results showed that numerous motivations for physical aggression were endorsed by both males and females and, contrary to expectations, females were not more likely to use aggression in self-defense. Implications of these findings for future research and dating violence prevention programming are discussed.
The current literature on wife rape is minimal compared to the published research in areas such as wife battering or date rape, and most of the existent work on attitudes toward wife rape is dated and/or focuses on limited samples (i.e., college populations). Using data from a nationally representative telephone survey, this study examined national attitudes toward wife rape using the following measures: perceptions of the occurrence of wife rape, perceptions of the frequency of wife rape, and perceptions of three rape scenarios. Respondent sex, education, age, race, and female victim status were predictors. Findings reveal that older, non-white respondents were less likely to believe wife rape occurs. Males and the more educated were less likely to believe it occurs frequently. Older and less educated respondents were less likely to believe forced sex scenarios between a husband and wife constitute wife rape. Among women, non-victims of forced sex were significantly less likely than current victims to believe that wife rape occurs.
The investigation explored whether subtypes of relapse to violence exist for different levels of intimate partner violence and drinking behavior among men who relapse to both alcohol and violence after alcoholism treatment. Male clients entering an alcoholism treatment program who reported at least one incident of intimate partner violence and their female partners (N = 294) were recruited for participation. Data were analyzed using a latent class analysis of mixture model. Findings revealed that two classes of violence best described the sample of men that relapsed to violence. Class 1 contained males who had perpetrated more days of violence, relapsed to violence faster, more frequently relapsed to alcohol, and had a higher percentage of males identified as meeting diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder compared to those in class 2.
- Go to article: Measuring the Lifetime Experience of Domestic Violence: Application of the Life History Calendar Method
Measuring the Lifetime Experience of Domestic Violence: Application of the Life History Calendar Method
In the absence of a “gold standard,” research on domestic violence relies primarily on self-report, the quality of which is known to decline as the length of the recall period increases. Eliciting valid and reliable self-report data is crucial to the development of prevention and intervention policies and services. Nevertheless, existing measures typically do not incorporate devices to facilitate respondents’ recall of the lifetime experience of domestic violence. This article describes the application of the Life History Calendar (LHC) method (Freedman, Thornton, Camburn, Alwin, & Young-DeMarco, 1988) to increase a respondent’s recall of domestic violence victimization over the lifecourse. The LHC method elicits memorable information of a personal nature (e.g., children’s birth dates) and uses this information to facilitate the recall of less memorable events. A recent field test of this LHC measure indicates its utility in assessing domestic violence victimization, which takes place in a complex sequence of episodes and often involves multiple perpetrators over the lifecourse.