Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 239–248 | Cite as

Marital status and woman abuse theory

  • Martin D. Schwartz


An area that has received insufficient attention in woman abuse studies is marital status. Although many feel that ending the marriage will end the violence, this may not be the case. An examination of National Crime Survey victimization data shows that most victims are, at the time of the interview, divorced or separated. There are reasons to believe that this is partially accounted for by the fact that many or even most women leave abusive relationships. If this is the case, then the traditional question of why women remain in battering marriages is improperly put. If most women do take appropriate steps, then we need much more information on both how women are victimized by ex-spouses and how women take active steps to improve their own lives.

Key words

woman abuse victimization survey marital status divorce separation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin D. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyOhio UniversityAthens

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