Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence (IPV), is a contemporary social problem that has evolved from a husband’s legal right to discipline his wife through physical means (Lutze and Symons 2003: 321). Historically, the judicial system-protected the right of the husband; however, as the women’s movement gained influence, the courts began to treat IPV as the serious and pervasive problem that it is (Lutze and Symons 2003: 321, 324). While studies show that there are specific groups who are victimized with greater frequency than others—for example, women who are members of minority groups, or those who live in urban areas (U.S. Department of Justice 1998: 13–15), IPV is not exclusive, that is, it can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, culture, socioeconomic status, or race. Therefore, society must continue to develop effective means to address violence between partners.
Before solutions can be found, the etiology of the problem must be understood. In the case of this critical issue, criminological theories should be applied to better understand IPV and how best to control it. This research paper applies Charles Tittle’s control balance theory to occurrences of domestic violence; in doing so, it seeks to explain not only instances of IPV, but also victims’ responses to the violence that they are experiencing and suggests possible means of addressing IPV.
I. Statement of Problem
II. Charles Tittle’s Theory of Control Balance
III. Exploring Intimate Partner Violence
A. The Law
B. Relevant Statistics
C. The Root of Intimate Partner Violence
IV. Control Balance Theory and Intimate Partner Violence
A. Control Balance and the Batterer
B. The Victim and Control Balance
V. Implications for Criminal Justice and Social Policy
A. Social Support as a Control Mechanism for Victims
B. Involving Law Enforcement in a Violent Situation to Gain Control
C. Seeking Control through the Judicial Process
Statement of Problem
On March 28, 2003, in a case that garnered widespread media attention in Austin, Texas, Ortralla Mosley was stabbed to death on her high school campus, and her ex-boyfriend Marcus McTear was accused of the crime. He was later sentenced to a forty-year determinate sentence (Smith 2003). In a 2003 Austin American Statesman article discussing IPV, Veranda Escobar was profiled. She survived her violent relationship, but not before it left her confined to a wheelchair. In 2002, Michael Edward Hill was stabbed to death by his girlfriend in what appeared to be an attempt by the woman to defend herself from Hill, who had four prior convictions for domestic violence assaults.
The cases of Mosley and Escobar illustrate what could happen when a person is either unable or unwilling to attempt to end the circumstances that place her at risk of being a victim of IPV. The case of Michael Edward Hill, on the other hand, appears to represent the end result of a violent relationship and the attempt by a victim of IPV to end the relationship by desperate means. Each of these cases, however, raises questions as to what causes IPV, what may prevent women from escaping violent relationships, and what may cause them to feel compelled to escape the violence by killing or assaulting the person who victimizes them.
In his assessment of the policy issues that surround IPV and, more particularly, the specific policy of mandatory arrest in domestic violence cases, Drew Humphries (2002: 91) presented a summary of the connection between control and IPV for policymakers: ‘‘Policymakers should recognize that victim control is a core policy issue, which originates from the unique character of intimate violence.’’ His suggestion is that criminological theory can aid in the creation of public policy that would benefit victims and help in reducing instances of IPV. Considering Humphries’ statement regarding the importance of control in cases of IPV, it is possible that the application of Tittle’s control balance theory, which generally holds that a person’s proclivity toward criminal acts is based on his or her need to obtain control of a given situation (Tittle 1995: 135), could present a means to reduce IPV. Specifically, the theory could be applied to encourage the creation of legitimate means for victims to escape violent relationships so as to avoid a case like that of Michael Edward Hill.
Charles Tittle’s Theory of Control Balance
Tittle’s theory of control balance states that a person lives his or her life in one of three states: control surplus, control equilibrium, or control deficit (Lilly et al. 2002: 98). He predicts deviance by positing that ‘‘[t]he amount of control to which an individual is subject, relative to the amount of control he or she can exercise, determines the probability of deviance occurring as well as the type of deviance likely to occur’’ (Tittle 1995: 135). This is called the control ratio (Lilly et al. 2002: 98; Piquero and Hickman 2003: 284). Tittle’s thesis is that a person is moved toward deviance, as a result of an imbalance in the control ratio, when three situations exist simultaneously: predisposition, motivation, and opportunity.
An individual is predisposed toward deviance when the balance of control is somehow not equal. The inequality may favor the individual (a control surplus) or may not favor the individual (a control deficit) (Piquero and Hickman 2003: 284). In the former case, the individual is predisposed toward delinquent behavior that expresses exploitation, plunder, and defiance, while in the latter case, the person acts in a manner that expresses defiance, submissiveness, or predation (Lilly et al. 2002: 99; Piquero and Hickman 2003: 284). Examples of such delinquent acts for those in control surpluses can be found in financial, or white-collar, crime, where an individual with a considerable amount of resources and control exercises his control illegally in order to achieve more control or financial reward. In cases of delinquent acts by those in a control deficit, a group of people who, for instance, feel that they are being treated badly by the government may turn to vandalism, graffiti, or other property crimes in order to gain some modicum of control.
According to control balance theory, the second prong required for delinquency is motivation. Tittle (2000: 320) states that the motivation for delinquency could come from the imbalance that exists in control. The result of the motivation would be deviance in order to overcome the deficit or enlarge the surplus (Lilly et al. 2002: 99). Other possible sources for motivation could be a situation or issue that causes the need to act in a delinquent manner in order to remedy the situation or issue (Piquero and Hickman 2003: 282).
Much like other criminological theories, such as opportunity theory (see Lilly et al. 2002: 57) and routine activity theory (see Lilly et al. 2002: 234), the existence of motivation or predisposition alone is not sufficient to cause delinquent behavior. As in the opportunity and routine activity theories, according to control balance theory, there is a third element required. In order for delinquency to take place, one must have the opportunity to commit an offense (Lilly et al. 2002: 99).
After all three prongs of the theory are satisfied, one may engage in delinquency that is said to be a result of an issue of control imbalance. Conversely, if there is no imbalance in control—that is to say, if equilibrium of control exists—deviant behavior is less likely to take place (Lilly et al. 2002: 98) because of the absence of predisposition, and possibly of the motivation that may come from the unequal balance of power.
Exploring Intimate Partner Violence
In order to understand the meaning of IPV, it is helpful to know the applicable law that makes such violence an offense. Texas law defines IPV under two separate sections of code. The first section addresses dating violence, which is, in general terms, an assaultive act between individuals currently engaged in or previously engaged in a dating relationship (Texas Family Code § 71.0021). The second statute addresses family violence, which encompasses assaultive acts between individuals who are members of the same family or household (Texas Family Code § 71.004). These definitions, when combined with that of assault, which generally states that an assault takes place when a person ‘‘intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another’’ (Texas Penal Code § 22.01 (A)(1)), create the foundation for charging an individual with an offense based on an act of IPV. The IPV laws adopted by the state of Texas are similar to statutes enacted in other states that have enlarged the scope of assaults covered by domestic violence laws beyond that of the traditional marital relationship (Lutze and Symons 2003: 319).
Clearly, IPV is a serious issue in criminal justice, and the above-cited cases of Mosley, Escobar, and Hill illustrate this reality quite well. Furthermore, it is an issue that affects people nationwide (McFarlane, Wilson, Malecha, and Lemmey 2000: 167). Statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Justice lend support to the perspective that IPV is widespread. From 1992 to 1996, an average of 8 in 1,000 women and 1 in 1,000 men were victims of IPV (U.S. Department of Justice 1998: 3). In 2001, over 690,000 instances of IPV were reported through the National Crime Victimization Survey (U.S. Department of Justice 2003: 1). In the same year, 20 percent of the violent acts experienced by women and 3 percent of the violent acts experienced by men were a result of IPV (U.S. Department of Justice 2003: 1). A 1998 study by the Department of Justice (1998: 4) shows that ‘‘although less likely than males to experience violent crime overall, females are five to eight times more likely than males to be victimized by an intimate.’’ Due to the prevalence of violence against women, this research paper will address the issue of IPV from the perspective of a female victim and male batterer, a position supported by some theorists, who believe that IPV is a more significant problem for women than for men (McFarlane et al. 2000: 166–167; Melton and Belknap 2003: 332).
The Root of Intimate Partner Violence
Research has tied IPV to a relationship that contains ‘‘a pattern of intimidation and control that includes the use of physical violence by one person against another’’ (Wright 2000: 5, emphasis in original). This pattern may result in manifestations of violence of a physical and/or sexual nature, attempts by the abuser to control his intimate partner’s lifestyle or finances, or attempts by the batterer to isolate his intimate partner from other social contacts (Wright 2000: 6–7). In terms of examining IPV from the perspective of Tittle’s theory, the key issue is the control serving as an impetus for violence.
Control Balance Theory and Intimate Partner Violence
An issue at the core of IPV is control. The surplus of control is generally in the hands of the batterer, while the victim experiences a deficit of control (Wright 2000: 5–8). Parallel this with Tittle’s theory and the potential connection between theory and the crime of IPV begins to appear.
Control Balance and the Batterer
The batterer in an IPV situation exercises great control over his victim, and this control is expressed through a number of different outlets, including psychological abuse (Henning and Klesges 2003: 866–868; Wright 2000: 6–7). This psychological abuse takes the form of verbal threats and abuse and psychological manipulation of the victim by the batterer (Henning and Klesges 2003: 862) and allows the abuser to believe that he is increasing his control over the victim (Henning and Klesges 2003: 868). Another area of control for a batterer is that of the couple’s finances, which requires the victim to accede to the will of the abuser in order to have financial means, which allows control in that if the victim has no means to support outside activities, she finds it difficult to engage in any (Wright 2000: 6–7). These two control methods are illustrative of the many ways that an abuser controls his victim.
Tittle’s control balance theory states that deviant behavior by the individual who has a control surplus is undertaken as a means of expanding the surplus of control (Lilly et al. 2002: 99). IPV by the batterer appears to be consistent with the part of Tittle’s theory that outlines the potentially delinquent acts employed by the party with the surplus in control in order to extend that control. Supported by a patriarchal view of intimate relationships (which still exists, but has been losing popular acceptance since the 1970s) wherein men have certain powers and privileges, including total control of the intimate relationship (Lutze and Symons 2003: 321), it becomes easy for the batterer to engage in the deviant behavior (i.e., physical violence) because he perceives that his level of control allows it, as there are no factors that exist to restrain him (Piquero and Hickman 2003: 286–287).
The Victim and Control Balance
The position of the individual who experiences a deficit in control is a difficult one, because of the constant reminder of lack of control. Two examples given of control methods employed by batterers in IPV situations were psychological control and financial control. Regarding psychological abuse, a study by Henning and Klesges (2003: 869) indicated that such a mechanism of control causes the victim to feel at greater risk for additional violence. In the case of the latter example, with financial control in the hands of the abuser, the victim could feel as though she is powerless to escape the abusive relationship (Wolf, Ly, Hobart, and Kernic 2003: 124; Wright 2000: 7, 12). In both situations, the flow of control seems to be constant in favor of the abuser, and there appears to be little that the victim can do to gain control for herself in the relationship.
At the heart of control balance theory are the possible criminogenic implications of the control imbalance. This applies to the victim in IPV as much as it does to the batterer. Control balance theory holds that the individual with a deficit in control also has the potential to act in a delinquent manner to attempt to achieve a balance in control (Lilly et al. 2002: 99).
When a victim is subject to the control of her batterer, is experiencing physical abuse, and perceives an inability to gain control, one response is an increase in depression and hopelessness (Campbell and Soeken 1999: 23; Clements, Sabourin, and Spiby 2004: 34). This response, however natural, diminishes the victim’s ability to care for herself (Campbell and Soeken 1999: 35) and possibly exacerbates the control imbalance and the potential for future violence against the victim (Piquero and Hickman 2003: 299).
The most dramatic means that can be employed by a victim of IPV in order to gain control in a violent relationship is to respond to violence with physical violence. According to control balance, such a response would fall into the category of delinquent behavior. This is supported by Melton and Belknap’s study of violent relationships between intimate partners. One finding of their study that replicated other scholarly literature is that women tend to use violence in intimate partner relationships in order to oppose the violence that they are experiencing from their batterers (Melton and Belknap 2003: 345). The case of Michael Edward Hill, presented in the introduction to this research paper, illustrates the lengths to which a victim may be pushed in order to correct the balance of control and escape a violent situation. As stated previously, Hill, who had a record of convictions for offenses of IPV, was stabbed by his partner and died from his wounds. This event mirrors Jeffery Adler’s study of homicides perpetrated by wives against their husbands at the turn of the twentieth century in Chicago. His study found that many of the killings took place after a considerable amount of abuse by the batterer-turned-victim (Adler 2002: 877). This is a powerful illustration of Tittle’s theory at work that calls for attention by policymakers and people of all walks of life in society.
Implications for Criminal Justice and Social Policy
With a link between control balance theory, the offense of IPV, and the potential violent responses of the victim established, the mission of policymakers and society in general is to take this link and translate it into meaningful policy initiatives to address IPV. Policymakers should take note of the fact that individuals who experience a deficit of control are at a high risk of victimization (Piquero and Hickman 2003: 295–296) and could respond to that deficit by violent means (Adler 2002: 877; Melton and Belknap 2003: 345). This criminal response by the victim is strongly suggested by Henning and Feder (2004: 78–79) as a reason for the increasing number of arrests of women in IPV cases. Individuals who understand the connection between control balance and IPV and the foregoing statement about control deficit, victimization, and violent responses by victims should recognize that the implication for criminal justice and social policy is to aid the victim in achieving a balance in control by nonviolent means.
Social Support as a Control Mechanism for Victims
One step in giving women control over the relationship is to help them gain an understanding of their ability to take control, and to help them overcome the feeling of a lack of control. According to one study, there is an irony present in the psychological mechanisms of control employed by batterers, in that they may actually have the unintended impact of pushing the victim away from the potentially physically abusive situation (Henning and Klesges 2003: 868). In this circumstance, it is hoped that a victim, if provided with appropriate social supports, will be able to find an opportunity to gain control in a non-delinquent manner.
One study points out a problem with obtaining social supports, which is that many women in violent relationships were unaware of the resources that were at their disposal (Fry and Barker 2001: 338). Many of the social supports that are offered to victims of IPV are provided through shelters and other professional services. In Austin, Texas, there are a number of these professional resources available, including the SafePlace program, which provides shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence, the Women’s Advocacy Project, which provides legal information for IPV victims, and the Family Violence Protection Team, which is a consolidated ‘‘one-stop shop’’ where legal assistance is available and law enforcement and the prosecutors’ offices are accessible (Sylvester, Shirley, Mueller, and Clark 2004). The implications are clear: The development of programs that provide aid to victims and potential victims of IPV should be encouraged, and the general public’s awareness that professional services exist should be ensured. Finally, victims and potential victims of IPV must be directly targeted by these services. This can be done in a number of ways, one of which is effective publicity. Formal resources aimed at reducing domestic violence should be advertised at places where individuals who are at risk of being victims of IPV are found, such as schools, workplaces, and college campuses. As stated above, individuals in lower socioeconomic brackets are at high risk of being victims of IPV; as a result, places like unemployment-assistance centers, shelters, and food banks should also be targeted as places where information about IPV resources can be distributed. Both creating resources and shedding light on the problem of IPV should be explored as a means of encouraging victims and potential victims to obtain support in acquiring control in their relationships in a nonviolent manner.
Another area of social support of which a victim of IPV could avail herself comes in the form of aid from friends and family members, described in literature as ‘‘front-line helpers’’ (West and Wandrei 2002: 972). The value of professional violence intervention programs is in no way questioned here; however, it is hoped that by highlighting a complementary form of social support, professional support providers can consider extending their mission to educating the public at large. One question often aimed at victims of IPV seeks reasons as to why they did not leave the deteriorating relationship (Wright 2000: 10). Many of the reasons relate to their lack of control, which is caused by the controlling behaviors of their partner (Wright 2000: 12; Zoellner et al. 2000: 1095). The possibility exists that some of the first individuals outside of the abusive relationship who could notice the abuse or at least the change in the relationship between the victim and her abuser are the victim’s friends and family. These people are in a unique position to note changes in the victim and her behaviors, which may indicate a deteriorating or abusive relationship. They could provide some of the support needed to allow the victim of IPV to gain the control necessary in order to escape the relationship. The implication here is to sufficiently educate the public as to not only the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy relationship, but also as to the appropriate responses when these signals are noted (West and Wandrei 2002: 977, 984). These responses could include providing financial or emotional support to the victim in order to empower her to gain the control needed to leave the relationship, and absolutely should include advising the victim to seek professional support, in the form of either assistance from a professionally run program or intervention by law enforcement, when necessary.
Involving Law Enforcement in a Violent Situation to Gain Control
When the control imbalance in a relationship is such that physical violence takes place, law enforcement must be involved in the situation in order to protect both the health and the safety of the victim and her rights in the judicial process. Among the major barriers that keep a victim from contacting law enforcement are physical acts of the batterer that restrain her from seeking aid (Wolf et al. 2003: 124). There are also a number of other factors that exist that make a victim either unwilling or hesitant to contact law enforcement when she is assaulted by her partner.
One subset of these factors that create unwillingness or hesitation is found in the victim herself, or in the particular situation of IPV. These factors include the victim’s inaccurate belief that the violence must result in physical marks; a hesitation, on the part of the victim, to report an incident that involved sexual assault or injuries to the intimate parts of her body; cultural differences to which the victim ascribes that appear to condone IPV; the very fragile emotional condition of the victim who has been subjected to both psychological and physical control and abuse; and the financial dependence of the victim on the batterer (Wolf et al. 2003: 124). The worst-case scenario regarding access is that because of one or many of these factors, a woman who is otherwise unrestrained from contacting law enforcement does not feel able to call the police and replies to the violence inflicted on her with additional violence.
A second subset of factors that creates hesitation to involve law enforcement relates to the reaction of police to an IPV case. Female victims of IPV are sometimes arrested when they attempt to defend themselves (Henning and Feder 2004: 78; Humphries 2002: 91–96; Melton and Belknap 2003: 345) in an effort to gain control and safety. If a victim feels that she stands a substantial risk of being arrested in the course of an IPV incident where she has defended herself, or has been arrested in the past due to a similar situation, she may be far less likely to contact law enforcement (Henning and Feder 2004: 78; Wolf et al. 2003: 124). These arrests could stem from police use of mandatory arrest policies, which have drawn the attention of scholars (Henning and Feder 2004: 69). In their study of female victims of IPV in Memphis, Tennessee, Henning and Feder (2004: 77–78) concluded that many of the women victims who were actually arrested for the IPV offense did not fit the mold of such a perpetrator (that is, they had a low level of criminality and associated risk factors), and they suggest that some of these women were arrested for defending themselves.
Other factors that relate to victims’ hesitation to involve law enforcement include poor experiences with police officers in their response to previous violent incidents, including not arresting the batterer; the victim’s feeling that her situation is not important to the police; the perception that the responding officers could bond with the abuser; and the victim’s perceived inability to communicate with the officers due to a language barrier (Wolf et al. 2003: 125). The statistics collected by the Department of Justice (2000: 7) regarding non-reporting of IPV cases are interesting. Of women victimized between 1993 and 1998, 35 percent did not report because they felt that the incident was a private matter, 19 percent because they were afraid of reprisal, and 2 percent because they were unsure as to whether or not a crime had actually occurred. However, the most startling statistic presented was that 13 percent did not report because they felt that the police either were biased, would not bother to take action, or would be ineffective in their response (U.S. Department of Justice 2000: 7). This appears to infer a crisis of confidence in the police on the part of victims of IPV and suggests that action must be taken to truly make police a viable resource for victims in their attempt to escape a violent relationship.
There are two different sets of potential policy responses that address the involvement of law enforcement in IPV cases. The first, again, is to strengthen education—of the public and of law enforcement personnel. Educating potential victims of IPV will allow them to fully understand their right to seek help from law enforcement (Wolf et al. 2003: 128). This should also extend to educating the potential first responders (i.e., family and friends) to be aware of signs of abuse so that they can assist the victim in overcoming the fears and hesitations that seem to inhibit involving law enforcement.
Many of the suggestions made thus far relate directly to the victim. In the case of involvement of law enforcement, the changes in policy also come from the police. These changes include: effectively training officers in how to respond to IPV incidents, especially as it pertains to gathering sensitive information from the victim; ensuring that translators are readily available in order to serve all segments of the community; appropriately identifying the batterer in the relationship, as opposed to misidentifying as batterer the victim who is defending herself; and enforcing any mandatory arrest laws or policies that exist in a jurisdiction (Humphries 2002: 92, 94; Stephens and Sinden 2000: 534, 545–546; Wolf et al. 2003: 127–128). Another change involves the mandatory arrest policy itself. The suggestion in this situation is to give law enforcement the discretion to perform a thorough investigation of the situation in order to accurately determine who the abuser is, including reviewing the arrest histories of the parties and any prior domestic violence calls for service involving the parties to a given IPV case (Henning and Feder 2004: 78). This would hopefully lead to law enforcement looking beyond arresting the individual who appeared to cause the most damage in a mutual combat situation. Each of these areas of focus is designed to create an image of and response from law enforcement that engenders confidence on the part of the victim and permits her to feel free to utilize police service as a means of gaining control in an IPV situation.
Seeking Control through the Judicial Process
After a case of IPV is reported to the police, both the accused and the victim begin to wend their way through the judicial system, which only relatively recently began to respond to IPV as a serious problem (Lutze and Symons 2003: 322). The victim’s perceived legal power can serve as a very effective tool in gaining control in a situation of IPV (Miller 2003: 712) and present another nonviolent alternative to gaining such control. A victim does not tend to feel comfortable being involved in the criminal justice system in an IPV case if she does not perceive that the potential outcome of the legal proceedings will be appropriate to the situation (Wolf et al. 2003: 125; Wright 2000: 14) or that it will leave her vulnerable to reprisals from the batterer (Wolf et al. 2003: 126). As a result, the judicial system’s response to IPV must be examined to ensure that it provides a victim with maximum protection, of both her person and her rights.
One means that a woman has at attempting to gain control over her batterer through the judicial process is by obtaining an order of protection. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 20 percent of victims of IPV obtain orders of protection (Holt et al. 2002: 589). This number seems to be rather low, and other scholarly literature identifies the process of obtaining the order, which has the potential to be time-consuming and unduly burdensome on the victim, as a barrier to seeking this important protection (Zoellner et al. 2000: 1092). While no process of law should be undertaken hastily, the challenge for policymakers is to create a means by which a victim can avail herself of the protection of the legal system in a reasonable manner without having to expend unnecessary energy to do so.
A second issue relating to the criminal justice system is found in the laws and sanctions that deal with IPV. There has been a notable increase in legislation designed to aid the victim in IPV situations (Lilly 2002: 179), and in states that target IPV through legislation, a study has found that there is an impact on domestic violence (Dugan 2003: 303). As a result, the implication is that legislative bodies should enact laws that aggressively address IPV and that are well enforced in order to provide for the safety of the victim (Dugan 2003: 305; Lutze and Symons 2003: 324).
As with accessing law enforcement, becoming an active advocate for oneself in the criminal justice system requires that the victim become involved in a system with which, more likely than not, she is unfamiliar. The victim’s experience with that system will greatly impact the amount of control that she perceives she can gain by participating in the judicial process and can impact her choice to continue to involve the courts as a non-delinquent means of gaining control in a violent relationship, as opposed to responding with further violence. The inference here is that an effective advocacy program should be implemented so that victims have some form of guidance in navigating the legal processes that surround being victimized by one’s partner, which would provide positive support to the victim, and this inference is supported by scholars (Marano 2003).
In the case of IPV, the opportunity exists to explain both the origin of the crime (control) and the criminal act (violence), as well as to suggest possible ways to address the crime, through control balance theory. Applying the theory allows one to identify violence in a relationship on the part of a batterer as his attempt to extend his control over his victim, while the victim’s physical responses are explained as attempts to gain control in a violent relationship due to the victim’s belief that there are no other legitimate ways to acquire control. This presents the challenge of creating legitimate means of obtaining control that are accessible to the victim and are perceived favorably by her as effective in helping her gain the control necessary to escape the cycle of violence without resorting to violence herself. Some of the methods that should be considered involve increasing, and making accessible, social services and educational programs, improving police responses to IPV, and focusing the judicial system on the safety of the victims as well as the rights of the accused.
Michelle Hughes Miller (2004: 68), a sociologist at Southern Illinois University–Carbondale, states that ‘‘to be a survivor, women victims have to survive both their own victimization and the system of justice.’’ The application of control balance theory to IPV clearly illustrates the centrality of the issue of control in such cases. More importantly, it highlights the importance of the role of the entire community, policymakers, criminologists, and the public at large, in addressing the crime by providing to victims legitimate, nonviolent means of gaining control to survive IPV.
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