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Study Says Some Abused Women See Partners As “Affectionate” And “Dependable”

A study of data from U.S. National Institute on Mental Health published in the journal Violence Against Women has found that many women who endure physical, sexual and psychological abuse from their male partners see them as “dependable” and even “affectionate.” Researchers from Adelphi University in New York and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto examined the data — which was on 611 low-income, mostly African-American women from urban areas, with an average age of 35 — and saw 43 percent said they had been abused by an intimate partner within the last year. Of the abused women, 54 percent said their partners were reliable, 44 percent said they were dependable yet abusive, and 38 percent said the men were dependable yet controlling. Only 18 percent — or less than one fifth of the abused women — said their partners were dangerously abusive. According to Time, the authors of the study hope that this insight into the minds of victims of domestic violence will help them help women. When I think about this data, it doesn’t surprise me. Those of us who haven’t been affected by physical or psychological abuse probably see the situations as black and white: He’s jealous, rage-filled and controlling; ergo, you should leave him. But, similar to addicts who can be funny and charming despite their addictions, we should remember that even abusive partners can have positive characteristics, too. [Time]. I

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