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Violence Against Women Research Post VAWA: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going?

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 10 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2004 Pages: 1417-1430
Angela M. Moore Parmley
Date Published
December 2004
14 pages
This article addresses some questions regarding violence against women, poses some new questions, and suggests the next steps for research in this field.
"Violence against women" is defined as "aggressive behaviors that adversely and disproportionately affect women, including intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking." After discussing the importance of developing uniform definitions of the various types of violence against women, this article identifies the data sources being used to determine the incidence and prevalence of violence against women. Data sources mentioned are the Uniform Crime Reports, which encompasses the Supplementary Homicide Reports; the National Crime Victimization Survey; the National Violence Against Women Survey; and the National College Women Sexual Violence Survey. There is no annual survey on violence against women that does not occur within a crime context, and there are no Federal plans to mount such a data-collection effort. Research on the causes of violence against women have narrowly implicated patriarchy as the major cause; this fails to address why some men commit violence against women and others do not, as well as why women initiate violence. Although programs to prevent various types of violence against women have been developed, few rigorous evaluations have been conducted to determine their short-term and long-term effects. Further, there is no evidence to date of the effects of criminal justice interventions to counter violence against women, nor of the impact of the Federal Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA). Although the VAWA has the potential to reduce violence against women and point to strategies that may prove effective in controlling other forms of violence, this potential cannot be realized without a new research infrastructure based in collaboration to develop and test theoretically driven interventions and policies. This will require a significantly greater investment in evaluative research and data collection. 8 notes and 23 references