, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 229-251

Wife-battering — An Australian perspective

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Abstract

This article examines the leading definitions of wife-battering and questions the emphasis on physical rather than nonphysical abuse. All dimensions of these definitions are analyzed, namely the form of abuse, severity, frequency, intention, and meaning. The final definition formulated is derived from these dimensions and from the accounts and experiences of battered women themselves. The incidence and etiology of wife-battering is then examined from an Australian perspective. Theories which concentrate either specifically on the profiles of the victim and perpetrator or on the family unit or external factors are discussed. Finally, women do remain in violent relationships and their reasons for doing so are considered.