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Self-Harm Behaviors Among Female Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence

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Various psychological aspects of women perpetrators of intimate partner violence have been previously studied, yet to our knowledge, few studies to date have examined the prevalence of various self-harm behaviors among such women. In this study of 23 women court-referred to treatment for the perpetration of intimate partner violence, we encountered relatively high rates of high-lethal self-harm behavior (e.g., 48% had previously attempted suicide), low-risk self-harm behaviors (61% reported self-cutting), medically self-harming behaviors (30% endorsed making medical situations worse), and alcohol abuse (60%). In addition, based on a conservative cutoff score, nearly one-half of the participants in this sample scored in the clinical range for borderline personality symptomatology. Findings suggest that women perpetrators of intimate partner violence may harbor histories of intentional self-harm behavior, which suggests treatment implications.
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Keywords: BORDERLINE PERSONALITY; FEMALE PERPETRATORS; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; PARTNER VIOLENCE; SELF-HARM BEHAVIOR; SELF-HARM INVENTORY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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