Topic: Violence and abuse

Gender, violence and couple relationships

Knowledge about women as perpetrators of violence in a couple relationship is limited, but according to countless studies, violent offenses are committed about equally regardless of gender. Other studies have concluded that most violent offenders are men. This project pursues the topic and also seeks to investigate how partner violence is related to various individual characteristics and to the perceived quality of the couple relationship

2010 This project has been completed 2011

Project Member

  • Pape, Hilde

Main objective

The following issues are central

  • What characterises young women who commit partner violence? Are they generally more aggressive than others, and if so, do they demonstrate these tendencies at an early point in life? Or is violence often relationship-specific and committed as a response to a partner’s physical use of violence?
  • In what way is partner violence related to different lifestyle markers and to the perceived quality of the couple’s relationship?
  • Is partner violence mainly a gender-symmetric phenomenon or are women more exposed than men? Is the way in which violence is studied decisive for the outcomes that are obtained in terms of possible gender differences?


The project is based on statistical analyses of data from questionnaire surveys of the normal population. The data used is from the longitudinal NOVA survey ‘Young in Norway’ – for which information on partner violence was collected when the participants were in their early twenties (n≈2000; cumulative response percentage: 68%). Furthermore, the Oslo survey ‘Hidden violence’ will provide the basis for analyses pertaining to partner violence among adults (n≈4300; response rate: 56%).