The social movement to end violence in the home has always been characterized by discursive struggles, both within the movement and in its engagement with wider society. This study examines how movement discourse is transformed and rationalized at the individual level, presenting a case study of one domestic violence advocacy agency located in a politically conservative community. In-depth interviews were conducted with 17 employees and volunteers of the organization, including three former employees. The study found a central discursive struggle within the organization surrounding the use of gendered language, reflecting tensions between newer and older members of the movement. A new discourse of “inclusivity” is becoming prominent in the organization, and its complexities suggest that de-gendering language may be a much more nuanced discursive shift than researchers of the movement have previously stated. In somewhat of a contradiction, proponents of inclusivity simultaneously see gender-neutral language as fitting into the conservative political landscape, yet also as progressively challenging this landscape by allying with the LGBT community. As gender-neutral comes to be seen as the “new progressive” and older advocates feel increasingly unable to express their concerns, the movement must examine the possibilities and consequences of its shifting discourse for social change.
This thesis suggests that certain characteristics make victims of domestic violence and sexual assault more or less likely to seek a Temporary Protection Order (TPO). In Colorado Springs, CO, the annual number of sexual assaults is exceptionally high and domestic violence incidents are frequent. Using data from TESSA, the only agency that is serving victims in Colorado Springs and El Paso County, CO, this thesis examines self-reported victim characteristics in conjunction with TPO seeking behaviors. After analyzing the data with a probit regression, the results have shown that domestic violence and sexual assault are very different crimes, and that domestic violence victims and sexual assault victims display some important differences when it comes to reporting the crimes and seeking TPO’s. Victims of domestic violence are more likely to seek a protection order against an offender who was an acquaintance, but victims of sexual assault are less likely to seek a protection order against an acquaintance. At the same time, all victims demonstrated some similarities in TPO reporting. TESSA clients that lived in rural locations, that had lower annual familial incomes, and that were associated with the military were less likely, to varying degrees, to seek a TPO. The results of this thesis, if combined with community awareness, engagement and cooperation, have the potential to reduce the occurrence of domestic violence and sexual assault in Colorado Springs.
Rates of domestic violence remain high in America despite many actions being taken against it. Though both men and women can be perpetrators of domestic violence, most often domestic violence is committed by men against women. Previous studies on the topic find that traditional masculine values and masculine gender role stress increase the likeliness of a man committing violence, and that gender role stress is higher in men who experience a form of masculinity marginalized from the hegemonic masculine ideal. In the present study I examine the effect that both traditional masculine values and hegemonic masculinity has on prevalence of male perpetrated domestic violence. I use six of the nine U.S. Census regions to carry out the study. By finding the average score or level of traditional masculine values, hegemonic masculinity, and prevalence of male perpetration in each of the six regions, I was able to observe the effect had on prevalence of male perpetration when traditional masculine values and hegemonic masculinity are present in the region. The goal was to find out if stronger traditional masculine values and lower access to the hegemonic masculine ideal in a region would lead to higher rates of male perpetrated domestic violence in that region. The results support both the previous findings and hypothesis, and also highlight the lowering effect that hegemonic masculinity has on rates of male perpetrated domestic violence.
This study utilizes shelter intake survey data from TESSA, a domestic violence resource agency in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to analyze the relationships between victim demographics and experiences with various forms of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). This study also addresses Michael Johnson’s Intimate Terrorism and Situational Couple Violence typologies and analyses the relationship between gender and control among IPV victims and perpetrators. Finally, this thesis considers the question of cumulative abuse as an indicator of abuse severity. Findings suggest that when the role of controlling behavior is considered, both gender-symmetrical and gender-asymmetrical forms of abuse can be identified in one sample. Specifically, highly controlling behaviors are more often perpetrated by males against female victims, but more event-specific and less controlling behaviors are perpetrated and experienced by males and females at roughly the same rates. Finally, findings suggest that cumulative abuse may be a proxy for control in predicting abuse severity.
The military is inherently associated with violence. Some studies have attempted to forge a link between military members and property crime or previous abuse, but none have explored the specific link between domestic violence and the military. This study presents a game-theoretic model that attempts to determine if the presence of military bases is positively correlated with the rates of violent crimes in the area. A Tobit regression model is used to identify the determinants of violent crime at a county level. Results indicate that the branch of the military most consistently associated with elevated levels of violence is the Air Force. This may, however, be largely dependent on the specific time period used for the study.