Psychological and Legal Dimensions of Family Violence

  • Donald G. Dutton
  • Barbara M. S. McGregor


Because family violence is a class of aggressive act that occurs in private and in the context of long-term, intimate relationships, it is often difficult to establish evidence for prosecution. This is especially true when the power dynamics between the victim and perpetrator, and/or their ongoing cohabitation, make the victim unwilling or unable to testify freely. In this chapter, we review research on the incidence, prevalence, and severity of family violence, examine historical attempts to control it through legislation, consider current studies of criminal justice intervention, and examine the psychologist’s role in court.


Criminal Justice Domestic Violence Child Abuse Criminal Justice System Family Violence 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald G. Dutton
  • Barbara M. S. McGregor

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