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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Violence involving intimate partners may appear at first glance to be an intractable problem. But the character and incidence of intimate-partner violence have varied dramatically among societies and over time in ways that can help scholars, policymakers, and the public understand the circumstances that place intimate partners at risk. Intimate-partner violence can be triggered by government policies that are designed to encourage freedom, equality, and prosperity if officials are blind to the impact of those policies on gender relations. Intimate-partner violence can also be increased by the devastation and demoralization of conquered communities or concentrated and intensified in the households of men who fail or refuse to come to grips with the empowerment of women and the economic and cultural changes that facilitate it. The challenge will be to design public policies that have a benign impact on domestic partnerships and that recognize the risks as well as the benefits of the movement toward gender equality.

Keywords: intimate-partner violence, domestic violence, gendered violence, possessive violence, spousal homicide

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