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Portrayal of Women as Intimate Partner Domestic Violence Perpetrators

Marianne Hester

Violence Against Women; September 2012, vol. 18, no. 9, 1067-1082.

 

Abstract

The article explores some of the ways heterosexual women are portrayed as perpetrators of intimate partner domestic violence (IPV) in police domestic violence records in England and is the first study in the United Kingdom to examine the issue of gender and domestic violence perpetrators in any detail and over time. The article is based on a study of 128 IPV cases tracked longitudinally over 6 years, including 32 cases where women were the sole perpetrators and a further 32 cases where women were "dual" perpetrators alongside men. Women were 3 times more likely than men to be arrested when they were construed as the perpetrator. However, Pence and Dasgupta's category of "pathological violence" appeared more useful as an analytical category in the construction of women as "perpetrators" and men as "victims" than the notion of "battering."

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