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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127400 Find in a Library
Title: Wife Battering (From Case Studies in Family Violence, P 273-292, 1991, Robert T. Ammerman and Michel Hersen, eds. -- See NCJ-127384)
Author(s): E W Gondolf; E R Fisher
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Wife battering is viewed as a distinct behavioral syndrome that may be compounded by psychological disorders and substance abuse.
Abstract: A case study illustrates medical, legal, and social issues involved in wife battering. One key medical issue is that the very nature of wife battering includes assault that often injures. Many battered women do not initially consider their battering to be a crime and consequently have little contact with the legal system. The most common concern in assessing battered women is the presence of alcohol abuse, since a disproportionate percentage of wife battering cases involve alcohol abuse. The psychopathology of battered women does not conform to any particular pattern. Preliminary clinical observations and personality testing, however, typify battered women as fearful, overwhelmed, and depressed. The psychopathology of batterers is less diverse than that of battered women. Many batterers have personality disorders and also appear to be clinically depressed or paranoid. Two specialized treatment options have been developed to deal with wife battering, women's shelters and batterer programs. Wife battering must be recognized as a chronic syndrome of control and violence, and decisive interruption of the violence and victim safety need to be insured through legal and shelter options. Group counseling is needed to establish the responsibility for battering, its consequences, and alternatives to it. Battered women need resources and emotional support to assure their mobility, while batterers need to be made accountable to a reference group that offers them an alternative role model and nonviolent values. 76 references
Main Term(s): Battered wives
Index Term(s): Abusing spouses; Domestic assault prevention; Female victims; Victims of violent crime
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