Well-paid women at greater risk of domestic abuse, study finds

Scott Greer | Contributor

A sobering study recently revealed that women who have more education or earn more than their parents run a higher risk of suffering domestic abuse than their peers.

The study conducted by Norwegian researchers found that women who earn 67 percent of the total household income were seven times more likely to experience both psychological and physical abuse in comparison with women who earn 33 percent of a household’s total income.

Heidi Fischer Bjelland, the sociologist who spearheaded the study, believes that this higher rate of abuse is caused by the uneven allocation of power in the relationship and that the weaker partner resorts to violence and control to make up for their lower status.

“Violence or control is used as a compensation for the partner’s weak position in the relationship, and may thus be regarded as an attempt to balance what is perceived as an uneven division of power,” Bjelland explained to The Telegraph.

The findings of this study contradict previous findings that concluded high-economic status correlates with lower levels of domestic abuse, which Bjelland’s study states that high status only acts as a protection against abuse if both partners have similar levels of income and education.

The study analyzed thousands of couples and interviewed nearly two thousand people to assess couple dynamics and the factors that correlate with higher levels of abuse.

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