Causes of Intimate Partner Violence

In Texas, “domestic violence” is referred to as “family violence.” Under Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code, family violence is defined as “an act by a member of a family or household member against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defense measures to protect oneself.” Now that we’ve examined Texas’ definition of family violence, let’s take a closer look at the causes of intimate partner violence, which generally occurs between spouses and people who are in a romantic relationship. According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), “Intimate partner violence has serious physical, psychological, economic, and social consequences.”

Here are some of the major causes identified by the NIJ:

1. Early parenthood. According to the NIJ, “Women who had children by age 21 were twice as likely to be victims of intimate partner violence as women who were not mothers at that age.” The NIJ says that men who were fathers by the age of 21 were “more than three times as likely to be abusers” than other men who were not fathers at the age of 21.

2. Male perpetrator problem drinking. The NIJ says that while alcohol is not the “cause” of violence against women, there is a definite relationship between “male perpetrator problem drinking” and violence against their wives and girlfriends. “Severe drinking problems increase the risk for lethal and violent victimization of women in intimate partner relationships,” says the NIJ.

3. Severe poverty. Extreme poverty and the stress that comes with it is linked to intimate partner violence. According to the NIJ, the lower the household income, the higher the reports of violence against a female intimate partner.

4. Unemployment. Studies have found that intimate violence is linked to unemployment. For example, it tends to impair a female victim’s capacity to find employment. This is what the NIJ says about intimate partner violence and its effects on women: “Women who have experienced serious abuse face overwhelming mental and emotional distress,” says the NIJ. The agency also says that nearly half of the women who report being victims of serious domestic violence have major depression. Of these women, 24 percent have posttraumatic disorder and 31 percent suffer with anxiety. (Source: NIJ) Accused of intimate partner violence in Plano or Texas? If so, it’s important that you understand the nature of these charges and the consequences of a conviction. Call The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today for a criminal defense consultation.

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