Re-Examining Battering: Are All Acts of Violence Against Intimate Partners the Same?

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"Over time, the term 'battering' has come to be used more or less synonymously with physical violence by an individual against an intimate partner, which has obscured the complexity of its original meaning - a pattern of coercive control, intimidation, and oppression that women experience at the hands of male lovers and spouses. Similarly, while 'domestic violence' originally helped to reveal that women who lived with abusive men were vulnerable to the violence because it occurred in the home, every act of violence by one partner against another is now legally considered to be an act of 'domestic violence.' Confusion occurs when we begin to equate 'battering' to all acts of 'domestic violence.' Grasping important differences in partner violence is crucial for researchers, practitioners and advocates for developing effective interventions for victims and perpetrators. This article differentiates among five categories of domestic violence by analyzing the dynamics, nuance and components of intimate partner violence, with the idea that this critical comprehension is vital in creating intervention and prevention models that befit the behavior."

Categories described include:

  • Battering
  • Resistive/Reactive Violence
  • Situational Violence
  • Pathological Violence
  • Anti-social Violence