Date of Award

Summer 7-8-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Lisa Muftic

Second Advisor

Wendy Guastaferro

Third Advisor

Brian Payne


Victim offender overlap is a relatively new area of research with most studies having focused on applying this concept to the study of assault and homicide. Research in intimate partner violence has found that there exists a group of victim offenders or individuals who are involved in initiating, sustaining, and engaging in intimate partner violence as both victims and offenders (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000; Steinmetz, 1980). This Master’s thesis explored the concept of victim offender overlap in connection to intimate partner violence (IPV). Bivariate analyses were conducted using Paul C. Friday, Vivian Lord, M. Lyn Exum, and Jennifer L. Hartman’s (2003-2005) data, Evaluating the Impact of a Specialized Domestic Violence Police Unit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The findings suggest that there is a separate group of individuals involved in intimate partner violence who are both victims and offenders. Furthermore, the three groups (offenders only of IPV, victims only of IPV, and victim/offenders of IPV) were found to be different across gender, past criminal involvement, and future criminal activity as predicted. Suggestions for future research and the implications of the findings are discussed.