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Concept: Intimidation

51

The role of empathy and perspective-taking in preventing aggressive behaviors has been highlighted in several theoretical models. In this study, we used immersive virtual reality to induce a full body ownership illusion that allows offenders to be in the body of a victim of domestic abuse. A group of male domestic violence offenders and a control group without a history of violence experienced a virtual scene of abuse in first-person perspective. During the virtual encounter, the participants' real bodies were replaced with a life-sized virtual female body that moved synchronously with their own real movements. Participants' emotion recognition skills were assessed before and after the virtual experience. Our results revealed that offenders have a significantly lower ability to recognize fear in female faces compared to controls, with a bias towards classifying fearful faces as happy. After being embodied in a female victim, offenders improved their ability to recognize fearful female faces and reduced their bias towards recognizing fearful faces as happy. For the first time, we demonstrate that changing the perspective of an aggressive population through immersive virtual reality can modify socio-perceptual processes such as emotion recognition, thought to underlie this specific form of aggressive behaviors.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Violence, Child abuse, Virtual reality, Abuse, Psychological abuse, Violence against women, Intimidation

31

Sexual health and gynaecological problems are the most consistent and largest physical health differences between abused and non-abused female populations. Sexual health services are well placed to identify and support patients experiencing domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Most sexual health professionals have had minimal DVA training despite English National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations. We sought to determine the feasibility of an evidence-based complex DVA training intervention in female sexual health walk-in services (IRIS ADViSE: Identification and Referral to Improve Safety whilst Assessing Domestic Violence in Sexual Health Environments).

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Domestic violence, Health, Child abuse, Abuse, Intimidation

27

This meta-summary study explores, extracts, and summarizes themes from related qualitative studies on the lived experiences and coping mechanisms among culturally diverse domestic violence survivors. Using Sandelowski and Barroso’s meta-summary strategy, a systematic literature review of articles published between 1990 and 2010 was conducted using a qualitative approach. Of a total of 802 studies, nine met the study inclusion criteria. This meta-summary of nine studies confirms the recurring themes in primary qualitative studies in the literature that illustrate women’s experiences of domestic violence. These themes include (a) the effects of violence, (b) the cyclical nature of violence, © normalizing and tolerating violence, (d) the strength and resilience of victims, (e) barriers to help-seeking, and (f) the role of substance use in domestic violence. The review shows key cross-cultural differences in women’s perceptions of abuse and the causes and strategies for responding to abuse. The review also reveals the lack of studies on domestic violence among women from Central Asia and the former Soviet Union.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Qualitative research, Violence, Asia, Child abuse, Soviet Union, Violence against women, Intimidation

25

Abstract Background: While intimate partner violence (IPV) affects 25% of women and impairs health, current societal conditions-including the normalization of abuse in popular culture such as novels, film, and music-create the context to support such violence. Fifty Shades of Grey, a best-selling novel, depicts a “romantic” and “erotic” relationship involving 28-year-old megamillionaire, Christian Grey, and a 22-year-old college student, Anastasia Steele. We argue that the relationship is characterized by IPV, which is harmful to Anastasia. Methods: All authors engaged in iterative readings of the text, and wrote narrative summaries to elucidate themes. Validity checks included double review of the first eight chapters of the novel to establish consistency in our analysis approach, iterative discussions in-person and electronically to arbitrate discrepancies, and review of our analysis with other abuse and sexual practice experts. To characterize IPV, we used the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definitions of emotional abuse (intimidation/threats; isolation; stalking; and humiliation) and sexual violence (forced sex acts/contact against a person’s will, including using alcohol/drugs or intimidation/pressure). To characterize harm, we used Smith’s conceptualizations of perceived threat, managing, altered identity, yearning, entrapment, and disempowerment experienced by abused women. Results: Emotional abuse is present in nearly every interaction, including: stalking (Christian deliberately follows Anastasia and appears in unusual places, uses a phone and computer to track Anastasia’s whereabouts, and delivers expensive gifts); intimidation (Christian uses intimidating verbal and nonverbal behaviors, such as routinely commanding Anastasia to eat and threatening to punish her); and isolation (Christian limits Anastasia’s social contact). Sexual violence is pervasive-including using alcohol to compromise Anastasia’s consent, as well as intimidation (Christian initiates sexual encounters when genuinely angry, dismisses Anastasia’s requests for boundaries, and threatens her). Anastasia experiences reactions typical of abused women, including: constant perceived threat (“my stomach churns from his threats”); altered identity (describes herself as a “pale, haunted ghost”); and stressful managing (engages in behaviors to “keep the peace,” such as withholding information about her social whereabouts to avoid Christian’s anger). Anastasia becomes disempowered and entrapped in the relationship as her behaviors become mechanized in response to Christian’s abuse. Conclusions: Our analysis identified patterns in Fifty Shades that reflect pervasive intimate partner violence-one of the biggest problems of our time. Further, our analysis adds to a growing body of literature noting dangerous violence standards being perpetuated in popular culture.

Concepts: Sexual intercourse, Domestic violence, Child abuse, Abuse, Psychological abuse, Bullying, Psychological manipulation, Intimidation

20

Guns figure prominently in the homicide of women by an intimate partner. Less is known, however, about their nonfatal use against an intimate partner. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we searched eight electronic databases and identified 10 original research articles that reported the prevalence of the nonfatal use of firearms against an intimate partner. Results indicate that (1) there is relatively little research on the subject of intimate partners' nonfatal gun use against women. (2) The number of U.S. women alive today who have had an intimate partner use a gun against them is substantial: About 4.5 million have had an intimate partner threaten them with a gun and nearly 1 million have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner. Whether nonfatal gun use is limited to the extreme form of abuse (battering) or whether it occurs in the context of situational violence remains to be seen. Regardless, when it comes to the likely psychological impact, it may be a distinction without a difference; because guns can be lethal quickly and with relatively little effort, displaying or threatening with a gun can create a context known as coercive control, which facilitates chronic and escalating abuse. Implications for policy, practice, and research are discussed, all of which include expanding an implicit focus on homicide to include an intimate partner’s nonfatal use of a gun.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Violence, Meta-analysis, Child abuse, Psychological abuse, Firearm, Gun, Intimidation

15

To measure the experience and perpetration of negative behaviour, including domestic violence and abuse (DVA), and investigate its associations with health conditions and behaviours in men attending general practice.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Violence, Child abuse, Violence against women, Stalking, Intimidation

11

Digital dating abuse (DDA) behaviors include the use of digital media to monitor, control, threaten, harass, pressure, or coerce a dating partner. In this study, 703 high school students reported on the frequency of DDA victimization, whether they were upset by these incidents, and how they responded. Results suggest that although both girls and boys experienced DDA at similar rates of frequency (with the exception of sexual coercion), girls reported that they were more upset by these behaviors. Girls also expressed more negative emotional responses to DDA victimization than boys. Although DDA is potentially harmful for all youth, gender matters. These findings suggest that the experience and consequences of DDA may be particularly detrimental for girls.

Concepts: Childhood, Experience, Control theory, High school, Abuse, Psychological abuse, Bullying, Intimidation

8

To quantify the experience of discrimination, domestic violence, abuse, and other stressful life events in people with epilepsy in comparison with the general population and people with other chronic conditions. To assess whether any excess relative burden of these adversities could explain the higher rates of depression in people with epilepsy.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Violence, Child abuse, Abuse, Violence against women, Stalking, Intimidation

6

Economic abuse is a form of domestic violence that has a significant impact on the health and financial wellbeing of victims, but is understudied. This study determined the lifetime prevalence of economic abuse in Australia by age and gender, and the associated risk factors.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Economics, Violence, Child abuse, Violence against women, Intimidation

5

Previous studies support a link between moral disgust and impurity, whereas anger is linked to harm. We challenged these strict correspondences by showing that disgust is activated in response to information about moral character, even for harm violations. By contrast, anger is activated in response to information about actions, including their moral wrongness and consequences. Study 1 examined disgust and anger in response to an action that suggests bad moral character (animal cruelty) versus an action that is seen as inherently more wrong (domestic abuse). Animal cruelty was associated with more disgust than domestic abuse was, whereas domestic abuse was associated with more anger. Studies 2 and 3 manipulated character by varying the agent’s desire to cause harm and also varied the action’s harmful consequences. Desire to harm predicted only disgust (controlling for anger), whereas consequences were more closely related to anger (controlling for disgust). Taken together, these results indicate that disgust arises in response to evidence of bad moral character, not just to impurity.

Concepts: English-language films, Violence, Child abuse, Morality, Abuse, Stalking, Intimidation