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Threat of firearm use affects PTSD symptoms among female victims of partner violence

April 10, 2017

New Rochelle, NY, April 10, 2017-A new study shows that the threat of firearm use by a male partner in an intimate relationship is a significant predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity in women, independent of other forms of interpersonal partner violence. The study is published in Violence and Gender, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Violence and Gender website until May 12, 2017.

Tami Sullivan, PhD and Nicole Weiss, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine (New Haven, CT), coauthored the article entitled "Is Firearm Threat in Intimate Relationships Associated with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms among Women?" The researchers reported that more than 24% of the nearly 300 women in the study who had been victims of domestic violence by a male intimate partner had experienced threat with a firearm during the relationship.

These findings have important implications for providers who care for women involved in criminal cases associated with intimate partner violence. The development of validated measures to assess firearm-related threat and fear could be valuable predictive tools to help identify women who are at risk for PTSD and candidates for prevention and intervention efforts.

"This article underscores the continued damage caused by the reckless use of firearms and, as important, it provides much needed and critical insight into the breadth and depth of trauma brought about by domestic violence," says Editor-in-Chief Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.) Director of the Forensic Sciences Program, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.
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Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse under Award Numbers K23DA039327 and T32DA019426. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

Violence and Gender is the only peer-reviewed journal focusing on the understanding, prediction, and prevention of acts of violence. Through research papers, roundtable discussions, case studies, and other original content, the Journal critically examines biological, genetic, behavioral, psychological, racial, ethnic, and cultural factors as they relate to the gender of perpetrators of violence. Led by Editor-in-Chief Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.), Violence and Gender explores the difficult issues that are vital to threat assessment and prevention of the epidemic of violence. Violence and Gender is published quarterly online with Open Access options and in print, and is the official journal of The Avielle Foundation. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Violence and Gender website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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