How gender and romantic beliefs influence people’s identification of and response to non-physical intimate partner violence.

Minto, K. (University of Queensland), Masser, B. (University of Queensland), Louis, W. (University of Queensland)

Despite causing lasting harm and being more prevalent than other forms of IPV, non-physical Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is not well understood. Specifically, we know little about the factors that influence the identification of, and response to, non-physical IPV.  My research evaluates how gender and romantic beliefs are associated with people’s perceptions of abuse. An analysis of responses from 309 first year psychology students, to scenarios documenting physically abusive, non-physically abusive, and non-abusive relationships shows that non-physical IPV is judged less harmful than physical IPV, and that traditional gender and romantic beliefs are negatively associated with identification of abuse, particularly when that abuse is non-physical rather than physical. Given that non-physical IPV is typically the first form of abuse in a relationship and that abusive behaviour can escalate in severity over time, demonstrating how gender and romantic beliefs relate to the identification of non-physical IPV is an important first step in understanding how to effectively build awareness of and educate about IPV.

Twitter: @Kiara_Minto

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