Friday, January 16, 2009

Domestic violence

Clinical & Research News

Statistics show that while men tend to inflict injury at higher rates, the majority of domestic violence overall is reciprocal.

Very few studies have shown men to aggress more frequently than women. However, until recently the bulk of domestic violence research did not even ask about woman-on-man violence. It has also been found that many kinds of behavior, such as pushing and slapping, are experienced by both genders, but are mainly called "violence" by female victims. Early studies that merely asked "have you been a victim of domestic violence" did find far lower levels of male victims; but when they asked about specific behaviors ("have you been slapped, punched,...), the numbers evened out. Justice Department studies show that men are 32 percent less likely than women to report any form of violent victimization.

In couples reporting spousal violence, 27 percent of the time the man struck the first blow; the woman in 24 percent. The rest of the time, the violence was mutual, with both partners brawling. The results were the same even when the most severe episodes of violence were analyzed. In order to counteract claims that the reporting data was skewed, female-only surveys were conducted, asking females to self-report, and the data was the same.

Coramae Richey Mann, a researcher at the Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University/Bloomington, found that only 59 percent of women jailed for spousal murder claimed self-defense and that 30 percent had previously been arrested for violent crimes.

Women charged with killing their husbands were acquitted in 12.9 percent of the cases, while husbands charged with killing their wives were acquitted only 1.4 percent of the time. In addition, women convicted of killing their husbands receive an average sentence of only six years, while male spousal killers got 17 years, according to an LA Times article citing Department of Justice data.

These findings, however, may have other problems. Women are far more likely to use weapons in their domestic violence, whether throwing a plate or firing a gun. Women are also much more likely than men to enlist help if they wish to kill their spouse; but such multiple-offender homicides are not counted toward domestic-violence statistics. In addition, Warren Farrell points out that there are several "female-only" defenses to murder charges, such as the posthumous allegation of abuse; in short, our data on rates of domestic homicide are incomplete.

There is a whole source of new evidence to suggest that some of the research into family abuse has been politicized. Sam and Bunny Sewell, Family Resources & Research state that "However, misleading statistics are a deliberate fund raising tactic for women's shelters. The shelter movement almost never mentions scientific studies.

I think women and men are equally responsible for any amount of domestic violence. After all, a woman has to ask herself why she is in an abusive relationship in the first place, doesn't she?

Men Shouldn't Be Overlooked as Victims of Partner Violence

By Joan Arehart-Treichel
Psychiatric News August 3, 2007
Volume 42, Number 15, page 31
© 2007 American Psychiatric Association

An abstract of "Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury Between Relationships With Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence" is posted at
Daniel J. Whitaker, PhD, Tadesse Haileyesus, MS, Monica Swahn, PhD and Linda S. Saltzman, PhD

Women Commit Over 50% of Domestic Violence:

DISABUSING THE DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC ABUSE: HOW WOMEN BATTER MEN AND THE ROLE OF THE FEMINIST STATE Florida State University Law Review: domestic violence is equally the province of women by LINDA KELLY:
Florida State University Law Review

Women Commit Most Child Murders:

"Perpetrator's Sex. Children were somewhat more likely to be maltreated by female perpetrators than by males: 65 percent of the maltreated children had been maltreated by a female, whereas 54 percent had been maltreated by a male. Of children who were maltreated by their birth parents, the majority (75%) were maltreated by their mothers and a sizable minority (46%) were maltreated by their fathers"

Women Commit Over 58% Of Child Abuse: United States Department of Human Health and Services:

Domestic Violence is equally the province of women:
Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., Martin S. Fiebert, Ph.D., and Erin Pizzey

Domestic Violence is equally the province of women:

The actual answers from men on the Yahoo Answers forum gives you an insight into the socialization of males and supports the CDC and American Psychiatric Associations findings on domestic violence against men. Both of the men below were taught that it is ok for a woman to commit violence against them and to not reciprocate. As witnessed from the study above violence against men is very real yet a hidden part of our society. It is something that men think is ok and is under reported. Indeed men believe and are taught that if they are beaten, they deserve it. The phrase "you go girl, he probably had it coming" is rampant when violence against men is either witnessed or talked about.

"In my house, being raised with a sister and three
brothers, there was an absolute - it was a nuclear
sanction, if under any circumstances, for any reason,
no matter how justified, even self-defense - if you
ever touched your sister, not figuratively, literally.
My sister, who is my best friend, my campaign manager,
my confidante, grew up with absolute impunity in our
household." "And I have the bruises to prove it.
I mean that sincerely. I am not exaggerating when
I say that."

--Joseph Biden Vice President of The United States and founder
of the Violence Against Women Act--
Joe has not helped but harmed the situation as men are now even more less likely not only to raise question to the violence but the law does not protect men and further more perpetuates the false idea that men are the only ones that commit domestic violence. The law and the name of this bill alone serves to perpetuate inequality and the further denigration of men and our cultural views of men, not to mention our civil rights.


(The importance of men in the reports I suppose is simply to exemplify any violence against women but men are of no importance when we plaster billboards, radio and TV adds about domestic violence) There are no laws such as VAWA, outreach initiatives, Domestic violence services for men. In fact men are turned away from domestic violence shelters.) No one speaks of domestic violence against men by women.) I have seen myself adds on Dallas Area Rapid Transit buses stating "When I grow up my husband will kill me" These kind of of sexist ads leads EVERYONE to believe that violence against men by women does not happen. They lead to shock, outrage and finally a resentment and denigration of men. Please see for yourself whether you think anything should be done about this.....

First of all let's make clear that the federal government does not have any reliable data on domestic violence and its reports contradict each other. BUT there is good news!!

According to a July 2000 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, data from the Bureau of Justice, National Crime Victimization Survey consistently show that women are at greater risk of intimate partner violence than are men.

However, data from the National Family Violence Survey, and from numerous peer-reviewed studies dating to as early as 1980 and a 2000 meta analysis contradict these data and consistently show that men and women suffer domestic abuse in at least equal rates.

NOTE!!! So the good news is that the scientific community only accepts peer reviewed and meta analysis studies as the only credible form of study and scientific data. AND NOT CRIME SURVEYS used to formulate the CDC, Bureau of Justice and National Crime Survey.. Further more you all will be excited to know that the image at the very top of this blog post was formulated by the CDC working closely with the American Psychiatric Association to gain more accurate results rather than relying on crime reports, random surveys and statisticians alone.

Either way, here is some of what I've been able to gather so far..

Below: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women
United States Department of Justice

Intimate partner murder:
Total victims 51571
Male victim of female 20,311 murdered
Female victim of male 31,260 murdered
Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, U.S. Department of Justice, March 1998

"Each year, women experience about 4.8 million
intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes.
Men are the victims of about 2.9 million intimate
partner related physical assaults."

Source: 1. Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner
violence: findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey.
Washington (DC): Department of Justice (US); 2000. Publication No. NCJ
181867. Available from: URL:

39.0 percent of female physical
assault victims, and 24.8 percent
of male physical assault victims, reported
being injured during their most recent
physical assault.

The survey found that men who were physically
assaulted by an intimate partner in the previous
12 months averaged 3.5 assaults. Thus, there
were about 2.9 million physical assaults perpetrated
against U.S. men by intimate partners in
the previous 12 months amd 4.5 million physical assaults
committed against U.S. women by intimate partners in the 12
months. Of the combined 7.4 million assaults A difference between men and women of only 1.6 million. Remember, there are NO domestic violence services, shelters or laws protecting men! Boys of 12 years of age or older are turned away from women's shelters as well.

NVAW Survey annual
rate of physical assault by an intimate was
44.2 per 1,000 women age 18 and older and
31.5 per 1,000 men age 18 and older.

In order to sort through all the madness below is part of the meta analysis and peer review project that scientists are working on in order to get to the truth of domestic violence. The results are compelling.

This bibliography examines 249 scholarly investigations: 194 empirical studies and 55 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 241,700.

In a Los Angeles Times article about male victims of domestic violence, Fiebert suggests that "...consensus in the field is that women are as likely as men to strike their partner but that - as expected - women are more likely to be injured than men.

However, he noted, that when all these separate studies are added up, men are seriously injured in 38% of the cases. The present analyses indicate that men are among those who are likely to be on the receiving end of acts of physical aggression. Debate continues on the extent to which this involves mutual combat or the male equivalent to “battered women” is at present unresolved. It is unclear at this point if men should be provided any domestic violence services, assistance or equal treatment under law. Currently, in the case of reciprocal violence, and female initiated physical assault in many cases only the male perpetrator is arrested. Violence against men is seen as natural, acceptable and normal. Here a study has demonstrated a high degree of acceptance by women of aggression against men (

There is speculation that in our culture, violence against men is expected of men and that part of being a man is being able to take pain, hardship and abuse much like Joe Biden did when he spoke of having to lie still while being beaten and indeed bruised by female relatives. Abuse of men is simply seen as part of being a man. It is accepted as a part of the male experience and ignored and even laughed at when it is committed against a man by a woman. Remember 38% of cases of intimate partner violence against men involves serious injury... Should we do something about this?

Article: The violence we ignore
Published: BaltimoreSun
McNair tragedy underscores fact that men are often victimized by wives and girlfriends

Police recently concluded that former Baltimore Ravens star Steve McNair was shot dead in his sleep by girlfriend Sahel Kazemi in a murder-suicide. Yet while there are more than 10,000 media entries on Google News for "Steve McNair," only a few of them mention the phrase "domestic violence."

Violence by women against their male partners is often ignored or not recognized as domestic violence. Law enforcement, the judicial system, the media and the domestic violence establishment are still stuck in the outdated "man as perpetrator/woman as victim" conception of such violence. Yet more than 200 studies have found that women initiate at least as much violence against their male partners as vice-versa. Men make up about a third of domestic violence injuries and deaths in heterosexual relationships. Research shows that women often compensate for a disadvantage in physical strength by employing weapons and the element of surprise - just as Ms. Kazemi did.

The most recent large-scale study of domestic violence was conducted by Harvard researchers and published in 2007 in the American Journal of Public Health. The study, which surveyed 11,000 men and women, found that, according to both men's and women's accounts, 50 percent of the violence in their relationships was reciprocal (involving both parties). In those cases, the women were more likely to have been the first to strike. Moreover, when the violence was one-sided, both women and men said that women were the perpetrators about 70 percent of the time.

New research from domestic violence researcher Deborah Capaldi, a social scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, shows the most dangerous domestic violence scenario for both women and men is that of reciprocal violence, particularly if that violence is initiated by women.

There are solutions to protect all parties affected by domestic violence. For one, just as we've properly stigmatized men who hit women, we need to encourage women not to attack their men. Ms. Capaldi believes the best way for women to be safe is to not initiate violence against their male partners, adding, "The question of initiation of violence is a crucial one ... much DV is mutual, and initiations - even that seem minor - may lead to escalation."

Second, when it is safe to do so, the domestic violence system needs to treat violent couples as violent couples, instead of shoe-horning them into the "man as perp/woman as victim" model. Counseling services for violent couples are rare. Domestic violence authority Lonnie R. Hazelwood says that the misguided domestic violence establishment "has been very effective in passing laws to prohibit couples counseling and eliminate programs which use gender-inclusive strategies."

Third, establish services and help for male domestic violence victims. Denise Hines of Clark University found that when an abused man calls the police, the police were more likely to arrest him than to arrest his abusive female partner. This is partly the result of laws such as Maryland's primary aggressor law. Primary aggressor laws encourage police to discount who initiated and committed the violence but instead look at other factors (such as size and strength) that make them more likely to arrest men. When the men in Ms. Hines' study tried calling domestic violence hot lines, 64 percent were told that they only helped women, and more than half were referred to programs for male DV perpetrators.

Fourth, work to ensure that male domestic violence victims will not lose their children in child custody proceedings. Ms. Hines found that the biggest reason male victims hesitate to leave their wives/girlfriends is concern for their children. If they leave, their children are left unprotected in the hands of a violent mother. If they take their children, when they're found, the children will be taken away and given to the mother.

Perhaps none of these policies would have saved Steve McNair. But domestic violence by women isn't rare, it isn't trivial, and ignoring it harms couples and their children.

Dr. Ned Holstein is a public health specialist with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the founder of Fathers & Families. Glenn Sacks is the organization's executive director. Their Web site is,0,5844465.story

Battered women - and men
By Cathy Young
July 16, 2009

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