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Behav Sci Law. 1999;17(3):285-304.

Aggressive acts and assaults in intimate relationships: towards an understanding of the literature.

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  • 1Academic Forensic Psychiatry Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, PB 92 019, Auckland, New Zealand.


Far more people in relationships are subjected to violent acts than those who receive injuries. The degree of damage sustained may not reflect the perpetrator's intent to deliberately harm a partner. Data documenting aggressive acts determines the population at risk and their prevention and early treatment requirements; whereas data focusing on harm and injury helps determine emergency medical and refuge services. Data from national crime surveys, police records, or clinical populations should not be generalized to the population at large. Even if men perpetrate the majority of serious partner attacks, addressing the issue of female violence will significantly reduce the overall level of domestic violence. Judicial, medical, and social services should take note that while male violence may be more problematic, violence is a relationship issue, not a male issue.

Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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