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J Interpers Violence. 2009 Jun;24(6):940-58. doi: 10.1177/0886260508319365. Epub 2008 Jun 23.

The resource utilization of women who use violence in intimate relationships.

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Department of Psychology and Women's Studies Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


Studies have found high rates of help seeking among domestic violence victims. However, little research has investigated the help-seeking patterns of women who use violence (many of whom are also abused). Understanding the resources utilized by women who are violent toward their partners may aid in designing interventions that will reduce the women's violence, as well as reduce the victimization they may be experiencing. This study examines the resource utilization of 108 women who used violence against a male partner (94% of whom also experienced victimization). Findings revealed that (a) almost all of the women utilized community resources in an attempt to manage the violence in their relationships; (b) victimization was related to resource utilization via self-defense motives, avoidance coping, and posttraumatic stress symptoms; and (c) greater resource utilization was related to lower levels of women's violence against their partners. Findings suggest that community resources may help prevent women's violence.

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