Query from a reader: Domestic Violence Research

I’m looking for a piece of research that (I’m sure) I’ve read in a feminist philosophy text. However, I can’t find it anymore and wanted to ask your readers for help.

I recall reading about social scientists (in the US, I think) who were trying to measure the occurrence of domestic violence. When the researchers asked women if they were suffering from domestic violence, they found that the rates of domestic violence reported were extremely low (to non-existent). This prompted the scientists to alter their approach. They subsequently asked much more refined and detailed questions, and got very different results. The detailed questions included: (e.g.) whether one’s husband is (in some sense) controlling, and whether he sometimes twists the woman’s arm so that she sustains bruises and injuries. Those who reported not suffering from domestic violence went on to report being subject to these kinds of behaviours. Does someone know where this study is discussed, or its reference?

5 thoughts on “Query from a reader: Domestic Violence Research

  1. I would recommend a close look at Linda Mill’s Insult to Injury published a few years ago by Princeton UP. While I don’t know this particular study, this issue is explored there. I also explore similar issues in a chapter on domestic violence in my new book on Punishment.

  2. Possibly ref’d in the book/study Intimate Partner Violence, by Angela Hattery (pub’d 2008).

  3. I’ve found something that might be it:

    Mirlees-Black C. Domestic violence: findings from a new British crime survey self completion questionnaire. Home Office research study 191. London: Home Office, 1999.

    Chapter 7 is on ‘victims’ perceptions of their experiences’, and on p.47 it states that only one third of those who described themselves as having been physically assaulted by a partner also described themselves as having been a victim of domestic violence.

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