Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 215–225 | Cite as

IPV Stigma and its Social Management: The Roles of Relationship-Type, Abuse-Type, and Victims’ Sex

  • Jessica J. Eckstein
Original Article


Victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) often encounter negative societal reactions to their abuse. A quantitative self-report study examined the existence of these potential identity-threats to former IPV victims (N = 345, n = 106 males, n = 239 females). Biological sex, abuse type (i.e., psychological, physical) and severity, and IPV relationship type (i.e., situational couple violence, intimate terrorism) were each modeled as predictors of IPV stigma and its social management strategies. Results indicated differences in how IPV stigma was experienced and communicatively managed by diverse victims. Findings, interpreted through an applied lens for IPV practitioners and victims, also add nuance to existing theories of IPV, interpersonal communication, and social stigma.


Stigma Identity management Situational couple violence Intimate terrorism 



The author thanks dissertation committee members Drs. Leanne Knobloch (advisor), Jennifer Hardesty, John Caughlin, and Dale Brashers for their feedback early on in the process. A previous version of this paper was presented at the 2010 Central States Communication Association conference, Cincinnati, OH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication DepartmentWestern Connecticut State UniversityDanburyUSA

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