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 PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, CRIMINOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (criminology.oxfordre.com). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 13 November 2018

Summary and Keywords

Family violence encompasses a broad range of maltreatment types between family members including physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, as well as neglect and financial exploitation. Such violence includes child maltreatment, sibling abuse, intimate partner violence, and elder mistreatment. Family violence is relatively common and represents a significant social, legal, and public health problem. Specifically, research shows that rates of family violence range from 10% to 45% across family relationships in the United States. Moreover, family violence tends to occur in a socioecological context characterized by risk and vulnerability and is related to various negative consequences including psychological distress, health risks, injury, and even death. Despite overlap in the causes and consequences of family violence, work on each type has largely developed independently. However, several theoretical perspectives have been offered that apply broadly to this important social issue. Additionally, existing criminological theories can be utilized to understand the nature and consequences of family violence.

Keywords: family violence, child abuse, sibling abuse, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, sexual violence, financial abuse, neglect

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