Primary Outcome Measures:
- Intimate terrorism and situational couple violence among shelter and community-dwelling abused Chinese women [ Time Frame: one-off ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Secondary Outcome Measures:
- Use of controlling behaviors [ Time Frame: one-off ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms [ Time Frame: one-off ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Depression symptoms [ Time Frame: one-off ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Although post-traumatic stress disorder and depression have been identified as the two most common consequences of intimate partner violence, research has generally not differentiated the effects of different types of intimate partner violence on victim's mental health. With intimate partner violence treated as a single phenomenon rather than having different types, abused women are unlikely to receive the most appropriate interventions.
Johnson's typology of control has been used increasingly to classify intimate partner violence based on physical assault and controlling behavior. Two distinct types of the violence, Intimate Terrorism and Situational Couple Violence, have received much attention. The two differ not only in the cause and trajectory of the violence but also in the effects including mental health outcomes. Although control is a critical factor in distinguishing intimate terrorism from situational couple violence, there is no consensus on what constitutes high or low control in physically violent intimate relationships. Partly, this may be due to the sole reliance on quantitative measures to determine the levels of control. By understanding the context in which control tactics are used, qualitatively different phenomena between violent relationships with high control and those with low control may be more apparent. Thus, there is a need to collect both quantitative and qualitative data on the use of controlling behaviors.
It has also been hypothesized that intimate terrorism and situational couple violence have different mental health outcomes but few studies have examined this empirically and none has studied women's experiences of the negative psychological consequences as victims of these two types of violence.