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Typology of Domestic Violence: Intimate, Terrorism, Violent Resistance, and Situational Couple Violence

NCJ Number
Michael P. Johnson
Date Published
172 pages
This book delineates three major and dramatically different forms of domestic violence: intimate terrorism, violent resistance, and situational couple violence, with a goal towards creating a theoretical framework to differentiate the types of partner violence, offering a better understanding of domestic violence among academicians, researchers, policymakers, and service professionals.
The central theme to this book is that there is more than one type of intimate partner violence. The distinctions made among types of violence are as much about control as they are about violence. The approach taken here is to distinguish among types of violence on the basis of the control context in which they are embedded. “Intimate terrorism” is violence embedded in a general pattern of coercive control. It is the violence that is encountered most often in shelter populations, in emergency rooms, and in law enforcement. In heterosexual relationships, it is perpetrated almost entirely by men. “Situational couple violence” is not about general control, but is a type of violence that comes from the escalation of specific conflicts. However, neither of these two types of violence looks much like the “violent resistance” that is seen among women trying to cope with intimate terrorism. The goal of this book is to consider what is known and what is unknown about these different types of intimate partner violence. It is a reassessment of 30 years of domestic violence research. It shows that the failure to distinguish among these types of partner violence has produced research literature plagued by overgeneralizations and ostensibly contradictory findings. The typological approach utilized in this book is relatively new, first proposed in 1995 and only recently becoming the focus of research designed to test its implications. Organized into five chapters, the book presents and outlines this new typology in domestic violence: intimate terrorism, violent resistance, and situational couple violence. Appendixes A-C, notes, references, and index