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Prevalence in New Zealand of Violence Against Women by Their Current Male Partners

NCJ Number
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology Volume: 31 Issue: 3 Dated: December 1998 Pages: 267-286
A Morris
Date Published
20 pages
This article provides information on the prevalence of violence against women by their current partners from a nationwide survey conducted in New Zealand in 1996; it also discusses the ways in which different survey methodologies construct their findings and make comparisons between them problematic.
The survey focused solely on women's experience of violence at the hands of their partners. The Women's Safety Survey asked a sample of 500 New Zealand women (selected from a pool of almost 2,000) about their experience of any form of violence (psychological, physical, or sexual) used against them by their partners. This study focuses on the prevalence of men's physical and sexual violence against their current partners and contrasts these findings with selected examples of recent research elsewhere and in New Zealand. The findings show that New Zealand women, particularly Maori women, experience a comparatively high rate of violence at the hands of their male partners. Estimates of the level of violence experienced by women at the hands of their current partners are higher in New Zealand than in either Canada or Australia. One in 10 non-Maori women reported that they had experienced at least one act of physical or sexual abuse from their current partner within the previous 12 months. The figure for Maori women was one in four. Violence by partners is a complex area to research, however, and different surveys have used various methodologies in their attempts to measure its prevalence. The study concludes with a discussion of some of the methodological difficulties in conducting this type of research and suggests that in interpreting and comparing research findings, methodological differences must be taken into account. 3 tables, 30 notes, and 21 references


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