Victim Precipitated Domestic Assault -- Does This Provide an Explanation for Female Arrests?

Lynette Feder, Portland State University
Kris Henning, Portland State University

The present study obtained information on 317 heterosexual couples jointly arrested for domestic violence (i.e., dual arrest). The study examined whether males in the sample looked significantly different than female partners in terms of their past criminal histories, prior domestic violence, and behavior during the instant offense. The analysis was framed by Wolfgang's idea of victim precipitation. Specifically we looked at whether male domestic violence victims looked more like male offenders or female victims in terms of their history of violence and criminality. With the increase in the numbers of dual arrests occurring nationally, this analysis seeks to shed light on women arrested for domestic violence so as to provide additional information on whether they are victims of domestic violence who are merely defending themselves or truly are the aggressors.

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Updated 05/20/2006