Academic journal article The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

Perceived Risk and Safety-Related Behaviors after Leaving a Violent Relationship

Academic journal article The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

Perceived Risk and Safety-Related Behaviors after Leaving a Violent Relationship

Article excerpt


Manuscript received: 16/05/2013

Revision received: 08/09/2013

Accepted: 12/09/2013

Key words:

Intimate partner violence

Risk perception

Safety-related behaviors

Separation; batterers

Risk assessment


Given that victim' risk perception could improve risk assessment in cases of intimate partner violence research is paying attention to it. However, it is not clear whether perceived risk relates to safety-related behaviors. This study is aimed to analyze how perceived risk by women who have left a violent partner relates to their safety-related behaviors and post-separation violence. Participants were 249 women (from protection services and the community) who had concluded a violent relationship. A structural equation model describes the relationships between three groups of factors: (1) women's risk perception; (2) three types of conditions that increase the opportunity for victim/abuser contact: (a) women's actions that make them easier to track, (b) women's reasons for not protecting themselves, and (c) batterers' strategies to gain access to their former intimate partners; and (3) post-separation violence. Results indicate that psychological violence is positively related to perceived risk and helplessness. Moreover, while women's risk perception predicts less contact and self-deception, male strategies predict greater contact and routines. In turn, contact predicts intimacy, whose absence fully accounts for 93.3% of the prediction of no re-abuse, six months later. The results' implications for intervention are discussed.

© 2014 Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. All rights reserved.

Palabras clave:

Violencia de pareja

Percepción de riesgo

Conductas relacionadas con la seguridad

Separación; maltratadores

Valoración de riesgo

Percepción de las conductas relacionadas con el riesgo y la seguridad tras terminar con una relación violenta


Dado que la percepción de riesgo de las víctimas podría mejorar la valoración de riesgo en casos de violencia de género, la investigación le está presentado atención. No obstante, no está clara la relación entre riesgo percibido y conductas que afectan a la seguridad. Este estudio se propuso analizar dicha relación en mujeres que habían roto una relación violenta. Participaron 249 mujeres (servicios sociales y comunidad). Un modelo de ecuaciones estructurales describe las relaciones entre tres grupos de factores: (1) percepción de riesgo; (2) tres tipos de condiciones que incrementan la oportunidad de contacto víctima/agresor: (a) acciones que facilitan la localización de las mujeres, (b) razones de las mujeres para no protegerse, y (c) estrategias de los maltratadores para establecer contacto con sus ex parejas; y (3) violencia tras la separación. Los resultados indican que la violencia psicológica se relaciona positivamente con el riesgo percibido y la indefensión. Mientras la percepción de riesgo predice menos contacto y autoengaño, las estrategias de los agresores predicen mayor contacto y rutinas. A su vez, el contacto predice la intimidad, cuya ausencia da cuenta del 93.3% de los casos sin reabuso (seis meses después). Se discuten las implicaciones de los resultados para la intervención.

© 2014 Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. Todos los derechos reservados.

Researchers interested in intimate partner violence (IPV) have focused on predicting reabuse and identifying the most severe cases of violence (Campbel, Alhusen, Draughon, Kub, & Walton-Moss, 2011; Cattaneo & Goodman, 2005; Garcia, Soria, & Hurwitz, 2007; Hilton & Harris, 2009). To this end, several waves of risk assessment tools have been developed (see for a review Bowen, 2011; Nicholls, Pritchard, Reeves, & Hilterman, 2013). Most are based on structured professional judgments. This is the case of the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA, Kropp, Hart, Webster, & Eaves, 1995), the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA, Hilton et al. …

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