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J Interpers Violence. 2012 Nov;27(16):3195-212. doi: 10.1177/0886260512441253. Epub 2012 May 24.

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

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Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA.


Researchers in this study examined the attitudes toward domestic violence, the victim, and her perpetrator. A total of 194 participants were randomly assigned to one of 4 hypothetical scenarios to evaluate how observers' perceptions were influenced by their own sex and myths about domestic violence, by the victim's decision to return to the abusive relationship, and by the relationship status of the victim (dating or married to the perpetrator). Results demonstrated significant main effects of participant's sex, domestic violence myths, and of the victim's relationship status and decision to return. That is, participants blamed the victim who reportedly returned to her abuser more than the victim about whom there is no such information. Further, participants with greater domestic violence myths tended to blame the victim more than those with less myths, and male participants blamed the victim and minimized the incident more than female participants. Implications, limitations of the study, and future research are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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