Chapter 12 – Trouble in Family Reading 38 – Domestic Violence: The Intersection of Gender and Control Johnson 3 Types of Domestic Partner Violence 1 – Intimate Terrorism Is an attempt to take general control over one’s partner Heavily gendered pattern with men as the primary perpetrators 2 – Violence Resistance Is the use of violence in response to such an attempt Gendered in that it is women that typically resist with violence 3 – Situational Couple Violence Does not involve an attempt to take general control on the part of either partner Rough gender symmetry in situational couple violence Intimate Terrorism Violence is one control tactic in an array of tactics that are deployed in an attempt to take general control over one’s partner Violence is embedded in a larger pattern of power and control that permeates the relationship Talked about as a “web” of abuse – diagram 38.1 on p. 530 – web of control – read description of this web on pages 530-531 Violent Resistance At some point, most women do fight back physically o Sometimes an instant reaction o Sometimes defending herself o Sometimes thinking he might stop attacking her if she hits back o Sometimes it is a form of retaliation or “payback” o Sometimes premeditated in hopes of escape Escape from Violence Some research finds that within two and a half years 2/3rd of women facing intimate terrorism are no longer in violent relationships Escape takes time because she has no resources – he has cut her off from them o They must gather resources and hide them away over time until they have enough to escape o Women often times leave multiple times, only to return, but each time garnering information and resources that will eventually allow them to leave for good. Application of Gender Theory to Intimate Terrorism Johnson starts with individual sex differences and works up to the gender structure of the economy, the family, and the criminal justice system in order to answer the question – Why is intimate terrorism (and violent resistance to it) so clearly a matter of men abusing women in heterosexual relationships? o Average sex differences in size and strength – makes threats of violence credible when coming from a bigger stature o Exercise of violence is more likely to be part of boy’s and men’s experiences than girl’s and women’s – sports, fantasy play, etc. o Misogyny and gender traditionalism – research shows that individual men’s attitudes toward women affect the likelihood that they will be involved in intimate terrorism. o Cultures of masculinity and femininity – a woman’s slap means something very different than a man’s slap Women’s violence is taken less seriously, is less likely to produce fear, and is therefore less likely either to be intended as a control tactic or to be successful as one. o Patriarchal heterosexual model that validates men’s power – these norms can entrap women in abusive relationships (individual’s attitudes and/or the attitudes of their social networks) o Norms (institutionalized) - The gendering of the broader social context within which the relationship is embedded affects the resources the partners can draw upon to shape the relationship and to cope with or escape from the violence Wage gap for women and men – creates economic dependency Assignment of caregiving responsibilities to women – often creating expectations that she stay in relationships for the children (other institutions – church – may interact with her based on this norm) Criminal justice system – changing but still involves a culture of masculinity that is not always sensitive or responsive to women experiencing intimate terrorism Situational Couple Violence Is the most common type of partner violence o Surveys indicate that 1 out of 8 married couples in the US experiences some form of situational couple violence each year Does not involve an attempt on the part of one partner to gain general control over the other Appears to be more gender-symmetric (Johnson argues this symmetry is mythical) o Johnson argues can use incidence as an indicator of symmetry o Also argues that sensible measure of the nature of the violence, such as the specific acts engaged in, the injuries produced, the frequency of the violence, or the production of fear in one’s partner, would show you that intimate partner violence (and situational partner violence for that matter) are not gender symmetric The violence is situationally-provoked The violence may be minor and singular, with one encounter at some point in the relationship escalating to the level that someone pushes or slaps the other, is immediately remorseful, apologizes and never does it again Or the violence could be a chronic problem, with one or both partners frequently resorting to violence, minor or sever, even homicidal Policy and Intervention p. 536 – “Thus, our understanding of the differences among these types of intimate partner violence suggests that the best strategy in individual cases is to assume intimate terrorism and to work closely with victim only (not the couple) until it is absolutely clear that the violence is situational couple violence.” How can we as a society work to reduce the incidence of intimate partner violence? o Send the message that violence against intimate partners will not be tolerated Arrest and prosecution would send the message to the general public o Educational programs about relationship violence – could become a regular part of school curriculum Teaching children about equity and respect in our personal relationships o Work to increase support for programs in hospitals, shelters, and the courts that screen for domestic violence and help its victims either to stop the violence or to escape from it safely.