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Abusive Men’s Indirect Control of Their Partner During the Process of Separation

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Abstract

The current study evaluates the impact of prior controlling behavior and physical abuse on indirect abuse during the process of separation. The sample includes women in the New York City family court system from 2002 to 2005 who had at least one child with the male she was obtaining an order of protection against. Stepwise logistic regression was used to determine the impact of prior physical abuse and controlling behavior on if the abusive partner told lies to the children, kept the children longer or contacted the woman’s family or friends over the follow-up period. Women experienced a decline in the occurrence of physical abuse but did not experience the same decline in controlling behaviors over the follow-up period. Level of education and employment status of the couple may be more appropriate predictors of later indirect abuse over the process of separation than prior physical abuse and controlling behavior.

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Correspondence to Brittany E. Hayes.

Appendix A

Appendix A

Protocol for Follow-up Interview

“Interviewers followed a standard protocol depending on whether a man, woman, or child answered the phone. Unless an interviewer was speaking directly to a participant, she never revealed the name of the study or the nature of the research. Upon reaching a participant, interviewers gave a brief introduction, explaining who they were and why they were calling, and then asked the following three questions: (1) “Is this a good time to talk for a few minutes?” (2) “Are you able to talk privately at this time?” and (3) “Is this a safe time for you to talk, a time when you will not be overheard or interrupted?” If the participant answered “No” to any of these questions, the interviewer told the participant that she would call her back another time and asked the participant what time would be best. After a participant completed the follow-up interview, she was reminded that she would be receiving a money order by mail.

If a participant was unable to be reached by phone, researchers tried her alternate contact. If this proved unsuccessful, researchers sent the participant a letter asking her to call a toll-free research number to complete her participation in the study. If the letter was returned, researchers sent a letter to the alternate contact if that person’s phone was out of service”

Source: O’Sullivan, C., King, L. A., Russell, K. L., & Horowitz, E. (2009). Supervised and unsupervised parental access in domestic violence cases in New York City, New York, 2002–2005 [computer file].

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Hayes, B.E. Abusive Men’s Indirect Control of Their Partner During the Process of Separation. J Fam Viol 27, 333–344 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-012-9428-2

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