Cohabiting couples far more likely to suffer from partner abuse

From – Increasing rates of violence between couples in the United States and Europe have been widely attributed to the global recession, but the problem has another dimension that is often ignored: it is far more likely to occur between unmarried, cohabiting couples than married couples.

Spanish statistics, which have been highlighted in recent years by Europe’s Family Policy Institute (FPI), and recently reported by the Spanish Newspaper ABC, indicate that while only 11% of Spanish couples cohabit without marriage, such unions account for 58% of the most violent crimes between couples. For every one protection order issued for a married couple, ten are issued for cohabiting couples.

FPI also reports that, according to Spanish government statistics, “for every homicide that is brought about in a marriage, 12 are produced” in non-married couples. Moreover, the increase in such homicides in recent years is largely explained by cohabitation; homicides have jumped 45% among cohabiting couples, while they have actually fallen 15% among married couples.

Similar results have been found in statistical surveys of the United States and Britain, says Ignacio Socías, blogging for Spain’s El Razón newspaper.


2 comments for “Cohabiting couples far more likely to suffer from partner abuse

  1. Reni Haakma
    17 January 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I guess most of us have suspected this for some time. It’s a shame that in New Zealand almost any kind of cohabiting relationship is usually called a “family”.
    This must distort a lot of the information around issues like this.

  2. Leftrightout
    17 January 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I think you need to do a bit more digging before you can be certain of the correlation.

    Is there, for example, an under reporting of domestic violence amongst married couples due to religious / cultural reasosn, for example? Eg, Many muslim and xian women are taught that the man’s word is law and that they must submit.

    I doubt its as black and white as you’d like.

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