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 Featured Title
A Typology of Domestic Violence
Intimate Terrorism, Violent Resistance, and Situational Couple Violence

$74.95 Hardcover
Release Date: 6/30/2008
ISBN: 978-1-55553-693-0    

$25.95 Paperback
Release Date: 6/30/2008
ISBN: 978-1-55553-694-7    

0 Pages


About the Book

Reassesses thirty years of domestic violence research and demonstrates three forms of partner violence, distinctive in their origins, effects, and treatments

Domestic violence, a serious and far-reaching social problem, has generated two key debates among researchers. The first debate is about gender and domestic violence. Some scholars argue that domestic violence is primarily male-perpetrated, others that women are as violent as men in intimate relationships. Johnson’s response to this debate—and the central theme of this book—is that there is more than one type of intimate partner violence. Some studies address the type of violence that is perpetrated primarily by men, while others are getting at the kind of violence that women areinvolved in as well. Because there has been no theoretical framework delineating types of domestic violence, researchers have easily misread one another’s studies.

The second major debate involves how many women are abused each year by their partners. Estimates range from two to six million. Johnson’s response once again comes from this book’s central theme. If there is more than one type of intimate partner violence, then the numbers depend on what type you’re talking about.

Johnson argues that domestic violence is not a unitary phenomenon. Instead, he delineates three major, dramatically different, forms of partner violence: intimate terrorism, violent resistance, and situational couple violence. He roots the conceptual distinctions among the forms of violence in an analysis of the role of power and control in relationship violence and shows that the failure to make these basic distinctions among types of partner violence has produced a research literature that is plagued by both overgeneralizations and ostensibly contradictory findings. This volume begins the work of theorizing forms of domestic violence, a crucial first step to a better understanding of these phenomena among scholars, social scientists, policy makers, and service providers.

About the Author(s)

Michael P. Johnson is Associate Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and African and African American Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Control and Violence in Intimate Relationships
Intimate Terrorism and Other Types of Partner Violence
Intimate Terrorism
Violent Resistance
Situational Couple Violence
Mutual Violent Control
Doing Research on Intimate Terrorism and Other Types of Partner Violence
Asking the Right Questions: The Nature of Coercive Control
Not Asking the Right Questions: The Battered Husband Fiasco
When the Right Questions Aren't Asked, Where Do We Find the Types?

Chapter 2: Intimate Terrorism: Controlling Your Partner
The Basic Characteristics of (Heterosexual Men's) Intimate Terrorism
Nonviolent Control Tactics
The Nature and Pattern of the Violence
Who Are the Intimate Terrorists?
Two Types of Intimate Terrorists: Psychological Commonalities and Differences
Risk Markers for Intimate Terrorism
The Effects of Intimate Terrorism
Economic Effects
Physical Health
Psychological Health
Effects on the Relationship with the Abuser
Incipient Intimate Terrorism/Nonviolent Coercive Control

Chapter 3: Fighting Back: Violent Resistance
Women Coping with Intimate Terrorism
Violent Resistance
Desperate Acts
The Good News

Chapter 4: Conflicts That Turn Violent: Situational Couple Violence
Variability in the Violence Itself
The Causes of Chronic Situational Couple Violence
Sources of Couple Conflict
Couple Communication Patterns That Affect Escalation to Violence
Individual Background and Personality Factors That Affect Escalation to Violence
The Effects of Situational Couple Violence
Physical Health
Psychological Health
The Relationship with the Abuser
The Essential Variability of Situational Couple Violence

Chapter 5: Implications for Intervention, Prevention, and Research
Implications for Intervention
Shelters and Other Battered Women's Services
Law Enforcement
Batterer Programs
Family Court and Child Protective Services
Coordinated Community Response
Implications for Prevention
Implications for Research

Appendix A: Identifying Intimate Terrorism and Other Types of Partner Violence
Measuring Coercive Control
Identifying High Coercive Control
What Is the Role of Violence in the Typology?
The Data in this Book
Samples and Measures Used in the Analyses for This Book
Johnson et al.: Six Other Papers

Appendix B: Stalking and Separation-Precipitated Violence
Intimate Terrorism and the Risks of Leaving
Separation-Precipitated Violence That May Be Situational Couple Violence

Appendix C: Gender and Intimate Partner Violence
Gender and Intimate Terrorism
What About Situational Couple Violence?
A Note on Same-Sex Relationships



"Michael Johnson has written an astonishing volume on domestic violence. The theory is remarkably compelling, the research thorough, the application to advocacy directive. This book is the first to offer researchers and a broad array of practitioners a means to resolve a long-standing dispute that has baffled the field since its inception on the nature of domestic violence and its relation to gender. The book is essential reading and will undoubtedly set the research and policy agenda for the next decade." - Robert M. Milardo, Editor, Journal of Family Theory and Review, and Professor of Family Relations, University of Maine

"Michael Johnson has added complexity to our understanding of intimate partner violence in a clear and compelling voice. His typology challenges most of the truisms we have accepted and shines a path for more valid research and effective social policy. Everyone who cares about ending intimate partner violence should read this book." - Kathleen J. Ferraro, Northern Arizona University

Sample Chapter

A sample chapter of this title is not available at this time. For further information, please email

Related Topics

Women's Studies

Other Ways To Order

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