After He Hits Her...Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence

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Mattingly, Marybeth Jordan
Bianchi, Suzanne M
Dugan, Laura
In this dissertation, I examine the associations between intimate partner violence and changes in a woman's household composition, employment, and risk of subsequent assault, using the National Crime Victimization Survey. I also consider the ways in which the aftermath of assault may be influenced by injuries resulting from the violence and by the victim's reaction to the assault (self-defense and help-seeking behaviors). Recognizing competing predictions, exposure reduction versus retaliation, I assess whether women who attempt to reduce their exposure to violence are more or less likely than other victims of partner violence to be revictimized. Victims' experiences and characteristics are compared to non-victims and other types of crime victims. I provide a detailed descriptive analysis of all intimate partner victims and consider the factors associated with self-defense, injury, and help seeking for all crime victims. I pay particular attention to racial and class (education and income) differences, given that women of different races and economic situations often face very different choices and are treated differently by service providers. Intimate partner violence is most heavily concentrated among women age 16-49, women more likely partnered with men than those younger or older. Analyses focus on this age group. Findings reveal that minority women are less likely to report an assault by an intimate than are White women. Lower household income is associated with higher risk of assault. Further results suggest that victims of intimate partner violence are more likely to move out of their homes than are other women (both victims of other types of crime and non-victims). Victims of intimate partner violence look remarkably similar to non-victimized women in terms of transitions into and out of the labor force. Despite being more likely than other victims to sustain an injury and to contact the police following an assault, results suggest that help seeking and self-defense are only sometimes associated with the primary outcome variables. Finally, analyses suggest that seeking medical help for injuries and acting in self-defense are associated with an increased risk of repeat assault, while exiting the labor force corresponds to lower risk of repeat assault.