Women with Controlling Boyfriends or Husbands At Risk for Relationship Violence

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


Kerrie G.
Kerrie G4 years ago

Shared, thanks.

Annmarie Olsson
Annmarie Olsson6 years ago

Society's widespread and out of date misconceptions about traditional and conservative gender roles, above all the myth about the man as the 'head of family', is hugely responsible for controlling and abusive relationships. And sadly, there is not only men that sustain this destructive order. Real progress is only available if we all are truly willing to eliminate destructive mechanisms in our society. That would surely benefit both children and women living with abusive and controlling partners .

Teddie S.
Teddie S6 years ago

Not surprised at all, I just feel that the numbers are low because women are too afraid to report the abuse.

steve l.
Past Member 6 years ago

You need to do some basic homework. More men are controlled and abused (psychologically, verbally, and physically) by women than the other way around.

Naturally, since we live in a very sexist society (biased toward women), this fact is conveniently swept under the rug while the media bends over backwards to give a willing voice to the female gender.

Ally T.
A P6 years ago

They needed a study to tell us this? I thought it was public knowledge.

Elena Arutiunova
Elena Arutiunova6 years ago

Really. But... It depends

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

Are we just figuring this out now?

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

I divorced my ex for being controlling over money and being otherwise irresponsible.

James Howie
.6 years ago

As men it is our job our duty to respect and protect women never to hurt and abuse them, males who do such things can never again call themselves a man they will only ever be scum and they will never change..

Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila6 years ago

I fed my emotionally abusive (now ex) husband dog food soup which probably accounts for his currish behavior. But I used Pedigree, a 'high quality nutritious delicious blend of meat and vegetables'