Physical bruises, emotional scars and 'love-bites': Women's experiences of men's violence

Michelle Jones, Jeff Hearn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Marks on human bodies can have many identifiable social and public meanings (Lingis, 1984: 22). Various forms of ‘body writing’ and techniques of social inscription are practised in many cultural contexts, including violent ones. This chapter explores the body of the female victim of violence from men known to them as partners or ex-partners. It analyses the personal and social meanings of physical marks, such as bruises and love bites, as well as the ways in which emotional scars can manifest themselves in and on the physical body. Men’s violence to known women remains an urgent social question; women form the vast majority of victims of men’s violence (Taft et al., 2001; Kimmel, 2002). Men continue to perpetrate most interpersonal violence in intimate relationships, especially planned, repeated, heavy, physically damaging, nondefensive, premeditated, non-retaliatory and sexual forms of violence, along with most economic, collective, institutional, organised and military violence, which themselves are usually also interpersonal (Hearn and McKie, 2008).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSex, Violence and the Body
Subtitle of host publicationThe Erotics of Wounding
EditorsJeff Hearn, Viv Burr
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780230228399
ISBN (Print)9780230549340
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2008


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