Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 69–80 | Cite as

A Comparison of Men and Women Arrested for Domestic Violence: Who Presents the Greater Threat?

  • Kris Henning
  • Lynette Feder
Article

Abstract

Recent increases in the number of women arrested for domestic violence raise important questions about implementation of proarrest policies, equivalency of intimate partner aggression across genders, and management of female domestic violence offenders. This study compares demographic characteristics, criminal history variables, and the past domestic violence history of men (n = 5,578) and women (n = 1,126) arrested for domestic assault against a heterosexual intimate partner. Using victim reported information and data collected by local criminal justice agencies, we found that female arrestees were significantly less likely than males to have histories that warrant concern regarding the potential for future violence. Implications of these findings are discussed.

domestic violence marital violence female offenders gender differences mandatory arrest risk assessment 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Archer, J. (2000). Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Psychol. Bull. 126(5): 651-680.Google Scholar
  2. Arias, I., and Beach, S. (1987). Validity of self-reports of marital violence. J. Fam. Violence 2(2): 139-149.Google Scholar
  3. Bachman, R. (1994). Violence Against Women NCJ-145325, US Department of Justice, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  4. Bennett, L., Dutton, M., and Goodman, L. (2000). Risk assessment among batterers arrested for domestic assault: The salience of psychological abuse. Violence Against Women 6(11): 1190-1203.Google Scholar
  5. Brush, L. (1990). Violent acts and injurious outcomes in married couples: Methodological issues in the National Survey of Families and Households. Gender Soc. 4: 56-67.Google Scholar
  6. Campbell, J. C. (1995). Prediction of homicide of and by battered women. In Campbell, J. C. (ed.), Assessing Dangerousness: Violence By Sexual Offenders, Batterers, and Child Abusers, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 96-113.Google Scholar
  7. Cascardi, M., and Vivian, D. (1995). Context for specific episodes of marital violence: Gender and severity of violence differences. J. Fam. Violence 10(3): 265-293.Google Scholar
  8. Currie, D. (1998). Violent men or violent women? Whose definition counts. In Bergen, R. K. (ed.), Issues in Intimate Violence, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 97-111.Google Scholar
  9. De Becker, G. (1997). The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence, Little Brown, Boston.Google Scholar
  10. Department of Justice (1998). Stalking and Domestic Violence: The Third Annual Report to Congress Under the Violence Against Women Act (NCJ 172204). Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  11. Ditton, P. (1999). Mental Health and Treatment of Inmates and Probationers (NCJ 174463), US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  12. Dobash, R., Dobash, R. E., Cavanagh, K., and Lewis, R. (1998). Separate and intersecting realities: A comparison of men's and women's accounts of violence against women. Violence Against Women 4(4): 382-414.Google Scholar
  13. Edelson, J., and Brygger, M. (1986). Gender differences in reporting of battering incidences. Fam. Relat. 35: 377-382.Google Scholar
  14. Elliot, B., and Shepard, M. (1995, July). Domestic Violence: Assessing Dangerousness, Paper presented at the 4th International Family Violence research Conference, Durham, NH.Google Scholar
  15. Gelles, R. (1979). The myth of battered husbands and new facts about family violence. Ms., 66(October), 71-75.Google Scholar
  16. Gelles, R. (1985). Family violence. Annu. Rev. Sociol. 11: 347-367.Google Scholar
  17. Gendreau, P., Little, T., and Goggin, C. (1996). A meta-analysis of the predictors of adult offender recidivism: What works. Criminology 34(4): 575-607.Google Scholar
  18. Goodman, L., Dutton, M., and Bennett, L. (2000). Predicting repeat abuse among arrested batterers. J. Interpers. Violence 15: 63-74.Google Scholar
  19. Greenfeld, L., Rand, M., Craven, D., Klaus, P., Perkins, C., Ringel, C., Warchol, G., Matson, C., and Fox, J. A. (1998). Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends and Girlfriends (NCJ 167237), US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  20. Hanson, K., and Wallace-Capretta, S. (2000). Predicting Recidivism Among Male Batterers. Unpublished report for the Department of the Solicitor General Canada, Available at http://www.sgc.gc.caGoogle Scholar
  21. Healey, K., Smith, C., and O'Sullivan, C. (1998). Batterer Intervention: Program Approaches and Criminal Justice Strategies, US Department of Justice, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  22. Holtzworth-Munroe, A., and Stuart, G. (1994). Typologies of male batterers: Three subtypes and the differences among them. Psychol. Bull. 116(3): 476-497.Google Scholar
  23. Johnson, M. (1995). Patriarchal terrorism and common couple violence: Two forms of violence against women. J. Marriage Fam. 57: 283-294.Google Scholar
  24. Jouriles, E., and O'Leary, K. D. (1985). Inter-spousal reliability of reports of marital violence. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 53(3): 419-421.Google Scholar
  25. Kropp, P. R., Hart, S. D.,Webster, C. W., and Eaves, D. (1995). Manual for the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide, 2nd ed., B.C. Institute on Family Violence, Vancouver, Canada.Google Scholar
  26. Kurz, D. (1989). Social science perspectives on wife abuse: Current debates and future directions. Gender Soc. 3(4): 489-505.Google Scholar
  27. Kurz, D. (1991). Corporal punishment and adult use of violence: A critique of “Discipline and Deviance.” Soc. Probl. 38(2): 155-161.Google Scholar
  28. Kurz, D. (1998). Old problems and new directions in the study of violence against women. In Kennedy Bergen, R. (ed.), Issues in Intimate Violence, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 197-208.Google Scholar
  29. Martin, M. (1997). Double your trouble: Dual arrest in family violence, J. Fam. Violence 12(2): 139-157.Google Scholar
  30. McLeod, M. (1984). Women against men: An examination of domestic violence based on an analysis of official and national victimization data. Justice Q. 1: 171-193.Google Scholar
  31. Morse, B. (1995). Beyond the Conflict Tactics Scale: Assessing gender differences in partner violence. Violence Vict. 10: 251-272.Google Scholar
  32. O'Dell, A. (2000, September). Personal Communication, Additional information available at http://www.stopdv.comGoogle Scholar
  33. Pleck, E., Pleck, J., Grossman, M., and Bart, P. (1977–78). The Battered Data Syndrome: A comment on Steinmetz' article. Victimology 2(3–4): 680-684.Google Scholar
  34. Quinsey, V. L., Harris, G. T., Rice, M. E., and Cormier, C. (1998). Violent Offenders: Appraising and Managing Risk, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  35. Rennison, C. M., and Welchans, S. (2000). Intimate Partner Violence. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  36. Rumptz, M., Sullivan, C., Davidson, W., and Basta, J. (1991). An ecological approach to tracking battered women over time. Violence Vict. 16(3): 237-244.Google Scholar
  37. Saunders, D. (1988). Wife abuse, husband abuse or mutual combat? A feminist perspective on the empirical findings. In Yllo, K. and Bograd, M. (eds.), Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse, Sage, Newbury Park, CA, pp. 90-113.Google Scholar
  38. Saunders, D. (1995). The tendency to arrest victims of domestic violence. J. Interpers. Violence 10(2): 147-158.Google Scholar
  39. Sherman, L., and Cohn, E. (1989). The impact of research on legal policy: The Minneapolis domestic violence experiment. Law Soc Rev. 23(1): 117-144.Google Scholar
  40. Smith, M. (1994). Enhancing the quality of survey data on violence against women: A feminist approach. Gender Soc. 8: 109-127.Google Scholar
  41. Steinmetz, S. (1977). Wifebeating, husbandbeating—A comparison of the use of physical violence between spouses to resolve marital fights. In Roy, M. (ed.), Battered Women: A Psychosociological Study of Domestic Violence, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp. 63-72.Google Scholar
  42. Straus, M. (1977–78). Wife beating: How common and why? Victimol Int. J. 2: 443-458.Google Scholar
  43. Straus, M. (1990). The Conflict Tactics Scales and its critics: An evaluation and new data on validity and reliability. In Straus, M. A. and Gelles, R. J. (eds.), Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families, Transaction, New Brunswick, NJ, pp. 49-73.Google Scholar
  44. Straus, M. (1993). Physical assaults by wives: A major social problem. In Gelles, R. and Loseke, D. (eds.), Current Controversies on Family Violence, Sage, Newbury Park, CA, pp. 67-87.Google Scholar
  45. Sullivan, C., Rumptz, M., Campbell, R., Eby, K., and Davidson, W. (1996). Retaining participants in longitudinal community research: A comprehensive protocol. J. Appl. Behav. Sci. 32(3): 262-276.Google Scholar
  46. Tjaden, P., and Thoennes, N. (2000). Prevalence and consequences of male-to-female and female-to-male intimate partner violence as measured by the National Violence Against Women Survey. Violence Against Women 6(2): pp. 142-161.Google Scholar
  47. Tolman, R. (1999). The validation of the Psychological Maltreatment of Women Inventory. Violence Vict. 14(1): 25-37.Google Scholar
  48. Vanfossen, B. (1979). Intersexual violence in Monroe County, New York. Victimology 4: 299-304.Google Scholar
  49. Weisz, A., Tolman, R., and Saunders, D. (2000). Assessing risk of severe domestic violence. J. Interpers. Violence 15: 75-90.Google Scholar
  50. Yllo, K. (1988). Political and methodological debates in wife abuse research. In Yllo, K. and Bograd, M. (eds.), Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse, Sage, Newbury Park, CA, pp. 28-50.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kris Henning
    • 1
  • Lynette Feder
    • 1
  1. 1.Portland State UniversityPortland

Personalised recommendations