Chapter 10: Domestic Violence & Sexual Offenders
Domestic Violence: Any violence occurring between family members
•In 1980’s woman’s liberation movement and growth of feminism gave women courage to
speak out against such violence.
•Jane (Stafford) Hurshman-Corkum case in Nova Scvotia brough plight of abused woman to
Intimate partner violence, a.k.a spousal abuse: any violence occurring between intimate partners
who are living together or separated. Includes:
•Physical (hitting, punching, stabbing, burning)
•Sexual (funny but no examples were given here, too taboo to even exemplify?)
•Financial (restricting access to personal funds, forcing complete financial responsibility)
•Emotional abuse (verbal attacks, degradation, threats to hurt family members or pets)
The conflict Tactic Scale (CTS): most commonly used to measure domestic assault.
•Measures how person resolves conflict.
•Found that male and female report same frequency and severity of violent behavior.
Husband battering does exist:
Is domestic violence invariably male-initiated?
oNo, same amount of male to female violence, only women engage in more minor
Do males suffer any serious consequences of female initiated violence?
oYes, in spousal violence men were more likely to suffer more serious injuries.
Is there a gender bias in police responses to domestic violence?
oYes, studies suggest that when females injured, male charged 91% of the time, when
male injured, female only charged 60% of the time.
Do the courts treat men and women charged with domestic violence the same way?
oNo, women more likely to have charges against them dropped, less likely found guilty.
Why? Male victims not willing to testify.
Archer (2002): meta-analysis using CTS: found females more likely to engage in minor physical
aggression (slapping, kicking), whereas men more likely to engage in more major (beating up,
1.Way introduced is too vague.
2.Does not include full range of potential violent acts, ex: sexual aggression not included
3.Likely get different results is kicking, biting and punching were not combined into one.
4.Does not take into account different consequences of the same act for men and women. Ex:
treating a punch by a woman and a man as equivalent ignores difference in injury.
5.Does not assess motive for violence, so offensive and defensive violence treated same way.
6.Items may be interpreted differently depending on gender of respondent.
In response to these criticisms Straus et al (1996) revised the CTS to CTS2.
DeKeseredy et al. (1993): reported 35% females, and 17% males had been physically abused at least
once in dating relationship.
Statistics Canada (2004): found both men and women experience violence, although
Women report more severe violence (choked, sexually assaulted, threatened with gun)
Women report more 36% than men 17% when abused.
Theories of Intimate Violence:
Patriarchy: broad set of cultural beliefs and values that support the male dominance over women.
Theory that patriarchal society contributes to domestic violence of women by men, this
theory first described in 1970’s
Problem with this theory: does not predict which people in society will engage in spousal
Smith (1990): suggests distinction between
1.Social patriarchy: male domination at a social level
2.Familial patriarchy: male domination within the family
Yllo (1990): states that with male dominant norms has much higher rates of spousal assault than
those with more egalitarian norms.
Social Learning Theory (SLT): developed by Bandura (1973) to explain aggression
3 main components to social learning theory
1.Origins of aggression: in order for person to acquire a behavior, has to have functional value
to them. Rewarded behavior increases likelihood of behaviour and vice a versa.
2.Instigators of aggression: these are the events in the environment that act as a stimulus for
a.Dutton (1995): describes 2 types of instigators in domestic assault:
i.Aversive instigator: produce emotional arousal, how person labels that
arousal reflects in how they respond. Studies found that male batterers tend
to label different emotional states as anger.
ii.Incentive instigator: perceived rewards in engaging in aggression.
3.Regulators of aggression: SLT assumes that behavior is regulated by its consequences. So 2
types of regulators exist:
a.External punishment: person arrested for engaging in violence
b.Self-punishment: person feeling remorse for committing violent act
If consequences outweigh rewards, and alternatives provided to cope with instigators =
Observational Learning: learning through watching others behaviours, he proposed as one of
the ways we learn. He Describes 3 major sources for observational learning:
1.Family of origin: studies found male batterers more likely to have witnessed parental
violence than non violent men.
2.Subculture person lives in
Why do battered women stay?
oMasochistic desire to be beaten
oViolence cannot be as bad as she claims
oWoman partially to blame for victimization
According to the Violence Against Women Survey on why she returned:
Sake of the children 31%
Give relationship another chance 24%
Promised change from partner 17%
Lack of money/ shelter 9%
Studies of why they stay, point to
Environmental: require support form criminal justice system
Socialization: they are socialized to be primary caregivers, and place high value on promises
of abuser to change. Also don’t want their children to suffer from not having both mom and
Psychological barriers: some victims report feeling safer there than threat of leaving.
Woman’s best Friend: Pet Abuse and spousal violence, Researchers started investigating link
between animal maltreatment and violence against women
Concluded that efforts to prevent and end such violence must not only recognize the
interconnections, but grant legitimacy to all victims, human and animal.
Typologies of Male Batterers:
1.Family –only batterer:
a.engages in least amount of violence
b.typically neither violent outside or have criminal behaviours
c.does not show signs of psychopathology, if personality disorder would be passive-
d.Does not poses negative attitudes supportive of violence
2.Dysphoric/ borderline batterer:
a.Engages in moderate to severe violence
b.Exhibits some extra-marital violence/ criminal behavior
c.Depressed, borderline personality, problems with jelousy
d.Moderate impulsivity issues, and alcohol/drug use
a.Engages in moderate to severe violence
b.Most violence outside the home/ criminal behavior
c.Antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders
d.Likely drug and alcohol abuse
e.High levels of impulse-control problems
f. Many violent-supportive beliefs
Shelters in Texas propose 3 typologies:
1.Type I batterer: sociopathic accounting for 5%-8% of batterers, engage in most severe abuse
against both women and children, most likely has criminal record
2.Type II batterer: antisocial account for 30%-40%, similar to type I but less likely to have
3.Type III: typical batterer most common. Less severe violence, more likely to be apologetic
after abuse, least likely to have criminal record.
Cavanaugh (2005): suggests batterer subtypes be classified along 4 descriptive dimentions:
1.Severity of violence
2.Frequency of violence
Through these dimensions he proposed 3 major subtypes:
1.Low risk batterers: low severity and frequency, little to no psychopathology, usually no
2.Medium risk batterers: moderate frequency/severity, moderate/high psychopathology
3.High risk batterers: most frequent/severe violence, high level of psychopathology, usually
Criminal Justice Response:
Domestic violence: any violence occurring between family members. In 1980"s woman"s liberation movement and growth of feminism gave women courage to speak out against such violence. Jane (stafford) hurshman-corkum case in nova scvotia brough plight of abused woman to the forefront. Intimate partner violence, a. k. a spousal abuse: any violence occurring between intimate partners who are living together or separated. Includes: physical (hitting, punching, stabbing, burning, sexual (funny but no examples were given here, too taboo to even exemplify?) Financial (restricting access to personal funds, forcing complete financial responsibility: emotional abuse (verbal attacks, degradation, threats to hurt family members or pets) The conflict tactic scale (cts): most commonly used to measure domestic assault: measures how person resolves conflict, found that male and female report same frequency and severity of violent behavior. Is domestic violence invariably male-initiated: no, same amount of male to female violence, only women engage in more minor violence.