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Female Tactics and Strategies of Intimate Partner Violence: A Study of Incident Reports

NCJ Number
Sociological Spectrum Volume: 27 Issue: 4 Dated: July-August 2007 Pages: 337-364
Russell E. Ward Jr.; John P. Muldoon
Date Published
July 2007
28 pages
Through an examination of incident reports of women referred to a batterer intervention program, this study sought to determine what tactics of violence and abusiveness women employed against their male partners and what strategies shaped their violence and abuse.
Most of the women in this study had no criminal history of violence, and they rarely used tactics of violence and abuse to manipulate their partners into staying in the relationship, putting up with affairs, or accepting their drinking or drug usage. However, the analysis revealed that the most common tactic of psychological violence was intimidation. The motive to enforce was observed in the majority of the incident reports, while attempts to resist, retaliate, and punish occurred in about one-third of the reports. In addition, female violence was found to typically occur in the contexts of anger and fear. Researchers argue that many women arrested for domestic violence resemble their male counterparts who perpetrate violence because it gets them what they want. Other researchers have asserted that women differ from men, because they primarily resist partner abuse or retaliate for the abuse. This study examined the incident reports of women who were court referred to a batterer intervention program to answer two questions: (1) what tactics of violence and abusiveness did the women use against their male partners, and (2) what strategies shaped their violence and abuse? There is an interest to understand both the means and the ends of female perpetrated partner violence. Tables, references