Home      Login

Differentiating Domestic Violence Types: Profound Paradigm Shift or Old Wine in New Bottles?  

Author:  Joan Meier, J.D..

Source: Volume 11, Number 01, Summer 2018 , pp.7-35(29)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

next article > |return to table of contents


Attorney, researcher, and advocate Joan Meier’s legal genius shines through this comprehensive examination of who, exactly—males, females, or both-- is most culpable for perpetrating violence in their intimate relationships. In making her analysis, Ms. Meier, an expert on child custody litigation involving intimate partner violence, discusses the evidence for, and the strengths and weaknesses of, Johnson’s (1995) Differentiation Theory. Johnson’s typology casts most couple violence as common and situational (SCV) rather than as a manifestation of the more harmful and at times lethal pattern known as intimate terrorism (IT). As the author eloquently argues, Johnson’s theory implies that females are as likely as males to engage in DV, a proposition that, while intuitively appealing to court personnel looking to settle custody cases, poses serious harms to mothers who are separating from partners who do, indeed, fit the description of intimate terrorists.

Keywords: Michael Johnson; “A Typology of Domestic Violence;” Differentiation Theory; Situational Couple Violence; Intimate Terrorism

Affiliations:  1: George Washington University Law School.

Subscribers click here to open full text in PDF.
Non-subscribers click here to purchase this article. $28

next article > |return to table of contents