Violence against Women: Impacts on Women's Health Derived from a U.S. Nationwide Study

Violence against Women: Impacts on Women's Health Derived from a U.S. Nationwide Study

Violence against Women: Impacts on Women's Health Derived from a U.S. Nationwide Study

Violence against Women: Impacts on Women's Health Derived from a U.S. Nationwide Study

Synopsis

Using data from the National Violence Against Women Study (NVAWS) and general strain theory (GST) as a theoretical basis, Stewart explores the impact of the victim-offender relationship on psychological and physical health and wellbeing for the crimes of rape, stalking, and physical assault. She asks two questions: first, what is the prevalence of violence against women by victim-offender relationship? and, second, what is the effect of the victim-offender relationship on health outcomes? Findings indicate that a variety of perpetrators are responsible for violence against women. Additionally, while victimization is related to negative health outcomes, the victim-offender relationship does not significantly contribute to increased odds of experiencing negative health outcomes.

Excerpt

A growing number of national-level studies have revealed the prevalence of sexual assault and other forms of violence against women. These works estimated the scope and identified sources of victimization against women in the United States. In general, these studies have examined adult women, and included specific subgroups such as college students and post- menopausal elderly. These works have examined a variety of topics, including the extent to which women have experienced various forms of violence, across different settings/locations (i.e., nursing home, college campus, in the home) and victim-offender relationships (i.e., dating or intimate partner, college classmate, caregiver). Studies have also been conducted which have focused on predictors of violence against women, such as alcohol/drug use (see Mohler-Kuo, Dowdall, Koss, & Wechsler, 2004).

Within the criminological literature, less attention has been devoted to investigating the impact that experiencing violence has on women’s mental and physical wellbeing (see Tables 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 for exceptions grouped by crime type). This lack of attention is most likely a result of not having data available to examine the relationship between violence against women and health outcomes. Further, relatively little systematic attention has been given to whether the impact of such victimization is conditioned by the character of the relationship of the victim to the perpetrator, except in the case of rape (see Table 4.17).

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