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Contrary to popular belief, pregnant women are no more likely than non-pregnant women to be victims of domestic violence. In fact, some women get a reprieve from violence during pregnancy.The risk of abuse during pregnancy is greatest for women who experienced physical abuse before the pregnancy. Some additional factors increase the risk during pregnancy: being young and poor and if the pregnancy was unintended. Physical abuse during the pregnancy can result in pre-term delivery, low birth weight, birth defects, miscarriage, and fetal death. Being young, black, low-income, divorced or separated, a resident of rental housing, and a resident of an urban area have all been associated with higher rates of domestic violence victimization among women. For male victims, the patterns were nearly identical: being young, black, divorced or separated, or a resident of rental housing. In New Zealand, a highly respected study found that the strongest predictor for committing partner violence among the many risk factors in childhood and adolescence is a history of aggressive delinquency before age 15. The study also found that committing partner violence is strongly linked to cohabitation at a young age; a variety of mental illnesses; a background of family adversity; dropping out of school; juvenile aggression; conviction for other types of crime, especially violent crime; drug abuse; long-term unemployment; and parenthood at a young age. Several other risk factors emerge from research: Recently, there is much discussion among police about the link between pet abuse and domestic violence.Also, although some risk factors are stronger than others, it is difficult to compare risk factor findings across studies because of methodological differences between studies.The female age group at highest risk for domestic violence victimization is 16 to 24. Among one segment of this high-risk age group—undergraduate college students—22 percent of female respondents in a Canadian study reported domestic violence victimization, and 14 percent of male respondents reported physically assaulting their dating partners in the year before the survey. And although the victimization of teen girls is estimated to be high, it is difficult to “…untangle defensive responses from acts of initial violence against a dating partner.” Although domestic violence occurs across income brackets, it is most frequently reported by the poor who more often rely on the police for dispute resolution.Understanding the risk factors associated with domestic violence will help you frame some of your own local analysis questions, determine good effectiveness measures, recognize key intervention points, and select appropriate responses.Risk factors do not automatically mean that a person will become a domestic violence victim or an offender.Every day, young people navigate relationships - crushes, breakups, sexuality, firsts, and hook ups - but they don’t always have the space to talk about them, learn about them, or share their experiences.
Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence Beginning in 2006, the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence was established as a result of the 2006 Workshop on Teen Dating Violence, which was coordinated and led by the National Institute of Justice. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 19, 517-539.