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Spouse Abuse - Incidence and Relationship to Selected Demographic Variables

NCJ Number
Victimology Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Dated: (1979) Pages: 131-140
L Nisonoff; I Bitman
Date Published
10 pages
A telephone survey was conducted in suffolk County, N.Y. to determine the incidence of spouse abuse in the county and its relationship to selected demographic variables.
Subjects were residents of the county, a suburban, middle to upper-class community on Long Island. Subjects were selected by random telephone numbers. A total of 434 people were contacted, and 297 completed at least half the survey, which consisted of 42 standarized questions. Analysis of the data showed that spouse abuse is a major problem in Suffolk County since 50 percent of the respondents knew at least one person who had engaged in spousal violence. One of four men and one of six women reported having used violence on their spouses. Wives reported hitting their husbands almost as frequently as husbands reported hitting wives, and a higher proportion of men reported having been hit by their wives than vice versa. In over 25 percent of violent incidents, alcohol was felt to have promoted spouse abuse. Divorced and separated persons were much more likely to report having been hit and somewhat more likely to have hit their spouse. Moreover, respondents in their twenties and thirties tended to report more frequent involvement in spouse abuse. Future research should use these findings as a starting point in an analysis of spouse abuse. Statistical data and 13 references are supplied.


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