Article

Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence

Larry W. Bennett and Oliver J. Williams

in Encyclopedia of Social Work

Published by NASW Press and Oxford University Press


Published online June 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780199975839 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.996

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  • Couple and Family Social Work
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Behaviour and the Social Environment
  • Mental and Behavioural Health
  • Social Work Practice Settings

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Perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) use coercive actions toward intimate or formerly intimate partners, including emotional abuse, stalking, threats, physical violence, or rape. The lifetime prevalence of IPV is 35% for women and 28% for men, with at an estimated economic cost of over ten billion dollars. IPV occurs in all demographic sectors of society, but higher frequencies of IPV perpetration are found among people who are younger and who have lower income and less education. Similar proportions of men and women use IPV, but when the effects of partner abuse are considered, women bear the greatest physical and behavioral health burden. Single-explanation causes for IPV such as substance abuse, patriarchy, and personality disorders are sometimes preferred by practitioners, advocates, and policymakers, but an understanding of IPV perpetration is enhanced when we look through the multiple lenses of culture and society, relationship, and psychological characteristics of the perpetrators.

Keywords: intimate partner violence; intimate terrorism; batterers; domestic violence; spouse abuse; coercive relationship; traumatic bonding; dating violence; partner abuse intervention programs

Article.  10413 words. 

Subjects: Couple and Family Social Work ; Criminal Justice ; Human Behaviour and the Social Environment ; Mental and Behavioural Health ; Social Work Practice Settings

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