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Research finds common themes in domestic violence cases

Even though every individual supposedly criminal incident has its own back story and details, academics and the legal system like to find common threads within certain types of cases. This is true with the legal matter of domestic violence. Identifying common threads is supposed to help law enforcement and/or medical professionals assess whether a person is at risk of being a domestic abuse victim.

A study out of Ohio looked at this matter and tried to break down some clear commonalities within a set of domestic violence cases. Researchers listened to the phone conversations between 17 different couples wherein one was locked up for abuse in order to find life themes that the couples had in common, themes that may have led to the violence within the relationships.

According to the study, the following commonalities were found based on the phone conversations:

  • There was a long-term issue of infidelity (jealousy) between the couples.
  • There was drug and alcohol abuse among the couples.
  • Males had more traditional views regarding gender roles and how women and men should behave.

Studying trends within domestic violence cases is seen as a helpful way to identify potential victims and try to prevent violence within households. It is one thing to try to prevent abuse and another thing to use these supposed red flags as reasons to target people as violent criminal suspects.

Being accused of abuse has an immediate and long-term effect on a person's reputation within his community and family. Jumping to conclusions based on the above so-called indicators would be a danger to a person's right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in this country.

Source: Live Science, "Domestic Violence Often Triggered by Jealousy," Megan Gannon, Aug. 1, 2012

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