A new study reports that having a controlling boyfriend or husband makes you more susceptible to relationship violence. This is definitely not new news nor particularly surprising but it most certainly is something worth noting.
The study surveyed over 600 females patients visiting a reproductive health center between the ages of 15-24. Of the women surveyed 68% reported experiencing controlling behavior from their partners.
Controlling behaviors ranged from being expected to ask a partner’s permission before seeking health care, restricted family contact, being ignored or treated indifferently, and being prevented from seeing friends.
Of those who reported controlling behaviors in their partner the following was true in regards to relationship violence:
- 38% reported controlling behavior only
- 11% reported controlling behavior and physical abuse
- 10% reported controlling behavior and sexual violence
- 9% reported being victims of all forms of relationship violence
Since many women and girls might not feel comfortable sharing this information for a variety of reasons — shame, embarrassment, fear — I imagine that these figures are lower than what is actually happening behind closed doors.
I’d also be interested to see what lesbian and gay couples face when it comes to controlling partners and relationship violence. I’d like to see a study that doesn’t only examine heterosexual couples but all spectrums of relationships.
Photo from the U.S. Military