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Study of Female-on-Female Intentional Injuries in an Urban Community: A Proposal and Test of Gendered Theory

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2002
489 pages
Publication Series
This study, which was conducted among predominantly Black women who presented to emergency departments for treatment, identified differences in correlates of intentional injuries to women by other women compared to intentional injuries to women perpetrated by men residing in an urban, low-income community; circumstances of the violent events were also determined.
A total of 167 females were injured by other females, and 155 females were injured by males. Most injured women (82 percent) were victimized by acquaintances/friends or family members. Sixty percent of the violent acts occurred outdoors and were witnessed by others (82 percent). Violence against women by other women tended to occur in the view of witnesses. The most prevalent form of a violent act was one-on-one bodily physical contact (83 percent), and the most frequent location of injury was the head or face (67 percent). A significant minority (23 percent) were stabbed or cut. Sixty-two percent of the respondents fought back against their assailants. In the majority of the incidents, the perpetrator reportedly used alcohol or illicit drugs prior to the violent incident. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that women were more likely to engage in violence over relationship issues (e.g., protecting a third party and gossip/rumors) and personal esteem (i.e., insults/slights), and were more likely to report physical abuse by a mother figure during childhood. In contrast, women injured by men were more likely to sustain an injury during predatory crime and to have a history of partner abuse. This report advises that future policies to reduce violence against women should recognize the adaptational function of violence in the lives of urban females; provide females with opportunities that nurture success and empowerment; recognize the central role of relationships in the lives of women; develop conflict prevention/intervention programs and policies based on a gendered approach; recognize the drug/alcohol and violence nexus and weapon availability; recognize the diverse roles assumed by females involved in violence; increase public safety within communities; and recognize the need to minimize cultural stereotypes against Black females and the risk of victim blaming. Numerous figures and tables, a 221-item bibliography, and appended interview protocol and qualitative coding manual

Date Published: May 1, 2002