Self-Protective Behaviors and Injury in Domestic Violence Situations: Does it Hurt to Fight Back?
Wyckoff, Rachael Anne
Simpson, Sally S
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Routine activities theory has different implications regarding situational crime prevention when applied to domestic violence. Indeed, it is often impossible for the victim to make herself a less suitable target or increase capable guardians. Therefore, women sometimes engage in their own form of situational crime prevention; self-protective behaviors. However, relatively little is known empirically about self-protective behaviors, their prevalence, context, and link to victim injury. Using both quantitative and qualitative data from the Women's Experience of Violence (WEV) funded NCOVR project, I explored the phenomenon of self-protective behaviors in domestic violence situations to examine whether the use of self-protective behaviors impacts the probability and severity of subsequent injury. I found that forceful physical behaviors increase injury whereas both forceful and nonforceful verbal behaviors actually served as a protective factor against subsequent injury.