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NCJ Number: 222228 Find in a Library
Title: American Indian and European American Women's Perceptions of Domestic Violence
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:23  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:25-35
Author(s): Melissa Tehee; Cynthia Willis Esqueda
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined American Indian and European American women's definitions and perceived causes for domestic violence.
Abstract: American Indian women's perceptions of domestic violence differed from that of European American women, in terms of definition, historical occurrence, causation, current rates, and the effectiveness of the legal system. American Indian women tended to emphasize physical abuse as domestic violence, whereas European American women tended to define verbal and emotional acts along with physical abuse as domestic violence. American Indian women's definition infers a higher threshold of violence needing to occur before acknowledging domestic abuse, and this was substantiated by perceptions of what reported actions needed to occur before police were contacted. The American Indian women reinforced oral and written accounts of the lack of domestic violence in historical and traditional Indian family life. While American Indian women believed domestic violence was rare, European American women believed it was hidden and not discussed. While historical incidents were lacking, American Indian women have psychologically adapted to a violent world by developing more lenient reactive violence attitudes, as well as accepting a certain intensity of domestic abuse or anticipated domestic abuse for themselves and others. Differences in American Indian and European American women's conceptualizations of violence may be created by the prevalence rates of violence in their daily lives. Although actual rates of violence differ between American Indian and European American communities, perceptions of domestic abuse prevalence in the community may undermine psychological health. Future research should address whether perceived community prevalence rates influence definitions and attitudes toward self and violence regardless of ethnic group. Twenty American Indian women and 20 European American women from a local community in a medium sized urban area participated in the study. Tables, references
Main Term(s): American Indians; Caucasian/White Americans; Ethnic groups; Victim attitudes
Index Term(s): Domestic violence causes; Victim attitudes; Victims of violent crime; Violence Against Women Act
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