7: Comparing Characteristics of Rural and Urban Intimate Partner Violence Against Women

Intimate partner violence (IPV) poses a significant public safety and public health problem in the United States. This is especially salient in rural communities. Rural jurisdictions have a number of unique problems that may exacerbate the frequency of IPV compared to urban communities, including, for example, the increase in availability of firearms, geographical isolation from victim services, increased stigma associated with IPV, and a lack of financial resources. The purpose of this chapter was to utilise incident-based crime data and measures of rurality from the US Census Bureau to develop an understanding of how crime incident characteristics of IPV vary across mostly rural compared to mostly urban counties in the United States. Findings indicate differences in the seriousness of IPV offences, the presence of firearms, frequency of arrest, and whether victims cooperate with authorities between rural and urban counties. Policy implications are discussed.

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