Intimate Partner Victimization in Canada: A Test of Risk Factors, Self-Control, Routine Activities, Social Disorganization, and Collective Efficacy
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Over 12 million incidents of intimate partner victimization (IPV) occur each year in the U.S (Black et al. 2010). Moreover, approximately 363 per 100,000 Canadians are victims of IPV each year (Statistics Canada 2010). Due to these high victimization rates, many scholars have turned their attention to IPV research. However, there is still some debate as to what are the strongest correlates of IPV. This thesis examines risk factors (gender, geographic location, presence of children, Aboriginal status, and minority status) and theories (self-control, routine activities, social disorganization, and collective efficacy) as predictors of IPV. I use Statistics Canada’s 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) to develop our understanding of IPV. More specifically, this thesis examines how these theoretical perspectives help to explain three particular forms of IPV: physical, sexual, and financial. In order to help policy creation, this thesis explores differences between the explanatory power of risk factors, self-control, routine activities, social disorganization, and collective efficacy on IPV and general victimization (e.g., abuse carried out by someone not necessarily known to the victim). Overall, the findings provided some support for the theoretical expectations. With regard to the risk factor variables, women were more likely to experience sexual and financial IPV. Aboriginals were more likely to experience sexual IPV. Self-control theory worked in the opposite direction than was expected. Low self-control decreased the risk of financial IPV. Routine activities theory explained physical IPV to some degree in that routinely going out to a bar at night decreased the odds of physical IPV. Moreover, the findings revealed that low collective efficacy increased the odds of physical IPV and mediated the effects of routine activities theory. Finally, this thesis provided policy suggestions to reduce IPV and victimization in general.