The purpose of this study was to examine violence against separated, divorced, and married women using Statistics Canada's 2004 General Social Survey. Based on a subsample of 6,716 heterosexual women (429 separated; 614 divorced; 5,673 married), available risk markers were examined in the context of a nested ecological framework. Consistent with past research, the results indicated that there may be differences in the dynamics of violence across the 3 groups. Separated women reported 7 times the prevalence of violence and divorced women reported twice the prevalence of violence than married women in the year prior to the study. Young age was an important predictor of violence for separated and divorced women. Unemployment and the presence of children of the ex-partner were important predictors for divorced women. Patriarchal domineering and sexually proprietary behaviors were strong predictors of violence for married women. The results suggested the possibility that motives for postseparation violence tend to differ depending on whether one is separated or divorced. Future research is warranted to uncover these potentially differing dynamics of risk.
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