Perceptions of domestic violence: the effects of domestic violence myths, victim's relationship with her abuser, and the decision to return to her abuser

 

Author(s) Yamawaki, Niwako, Monica Ochoa-Shipp, Craig Pulsipher, Andrew Harlos and Scott Swindler
Title Perceptions of domestic violence: the effects of domestic violence myths, victim's relationship with her abuser, and the decision to return to her abuser
Source Journal of Interpersonal Violence,November 2012, Vol. 27, No. 10  pp 3195-3122
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary This study explores the attitudes of others to a domestic violence incident and its victim and perpetrator and how those views are influenced by the victim's decision to return to her abuser, the type of relationship and the influence of domestic violence myths on the observer. Participants in the study were undergraduate university students who viewed domestic violence scenarios and completed a questionnaire. It was found that the domestic violence myths held by the observer, the relationship status of the victim and abuser and the observer's sex all showed effects for observer attitudes toward the victim and incidents. For example, the participants who viewed the scenario showing the victim returning to the abuser blamed the victim more than did the participants who had no information about the victim returning. Participants blamed a victim in a dating relationship more than in a married relationship. Previous research has shown that family and friends were the largest source of support for abused women but this study has shown that others may criticise them by minimising the seriousness of assault or blame the victim for not leaving the abusive relationship. Implications from the findings are discussed, including a recommendation for psycho-educational workshops that could ameliorate domestic violence myths while also educating people on the barriers that prevent a woman from successfully leaving a relationship.
Keywords Domestic abuse; domestic violence myths; blame; support
Topic

Domestic violence