Research About Domestic Violence Against Men

Started by dr e, Oct 17, 2002, 02:44 PM

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dr e

#2 in the series of fact sheets on DV from

Getting the Facts: Research About Domestic Violence Against Men

Q: How prevalent is domestic violence against men? What sources support this?

Research in the field of domestic violence over the past 25 years has generally shown that men and women act violent in relationships at about the same rate. Furthermore, men and women are equally likely to instigate violence against one another. The truth is surprisingly egalitarian: about half of all domestic violence occurs with both partners abusing each other. 25% occurs with only men assaulting women, and the other 25% occurs with only women assaulting men. [1]

The Fiebert Bibliography, described at the end of this flyer, lists over 100 studies which show that women are as likely, or more likely, to commit abuse in relationships as men. Dr. Murray Straus, a UNH Sociologist, founder and co-director of the Family Research Lab, is the author or co-author of several of these studies.

Q: But don't women only hit men in self defense?

Contrary to popular belief, women don't only hit in self-defense, which has been proven many times over in domestic violence research. Dr. Murray Straus himself was surprised to find that women hit first just as often as men do, and has confirmed this result many times to be certain. [2]

Q: But don't other studies contradict this information? What about Department of Justice Studies?

Older DoJ studies tended to find that women are the majority of victims of domestic violence. But as time has gone on, the number of abused men has gone up. In fact, in the most recent DoJ study on domestic violence, 1.5 million women and 835,000 men were found to have been battered. That means that 36% of domestic violence victims are men. On top of that, men have always been underreported in crime surveys such as the DoJ studies.

Q: Why are men under-reported in crime studies about domestic violence?

Many crime studies are done by telephone, and when a man is told that he is responding to a "crime survey," he is less likely to report abuse than a woman. Both men and women tend to think of domestic abuse as a personal matter and not a crime, but with men this misperception is much stronger, especially since domestic violence campaigns have made women more aware of this problem as a crime.

Other crime surveys are derived from police arrest logs, and here bias against men exists strongly. Police are much more likely to arrest a man than a woman when fielding a domestic dispute call, and lobbying by women's groups and biased police training manuals (which always refer to the victim as "she" or "her" and the perpetrator as "he" or "him") contribute to the underreporting of men.

Q: I find it hard to believe that so many popular domestic violence statistics are false. Why would researchers lie about domestic violence?

It actually isn't so much that the researchers are "lying" about their information, but the sources and research methods that they have used are strongly biased against men.

The most fair studies on domestic violence don't rely on crime surveys or police statistics, but rather on surveys which ask about specific abusive events. When men and women are asked direct questions about whether certain acts of violence have occurred, the results give a clearer picture of family violence than whether certain acts are a "crime" or if they resulted in an arrest.

Some misinformation, however, is the result of an overzealous media which has done a poor job at verifying their news stories.

For example, during the 1993 Super Bowl, it was announced throughout the country that battered women's shelters reported a sharp increase in calls during Super Bowl Sunday. Sources from The Boston Globe to CBS News reported this fact, which was found to be entirely false. [3] In another case, several major newspapers reported that according to a March of Dimes study, domestic violence was the leading cause of birth defects. Once again, it was found that this study never existed. [4]

Perhaps you've even heard of these "facts" and repeated them without knowing that they were false. The extent to which misinformation about domestic violence exists in our society is often disturbing and this misinformation needs to be challenged.

Q: Where can I find more information about domestic violence research?

The following books are readable, secondary sources which deal with the subject of battered men:

Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence, by Philip Cook

Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say, by Warren Farrell

When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence,  by Patricia Pearson

Behind Closed Doors, by Murray Straus, Richard Gelles, and Suzanne Steinmetz is also a readable overview of domestic violence research written by some important researchers in the field.

Violent Touch: Breaking Through the Stereotype, by David Fontes. Published on-line by SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone) at:

If you're interested in looking at primary sources of information, please pick up the Fiebert research bibliography packet. You can also find it on the web at the following URL:

SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 122 scholarly  investigations, 99 empirical studies and 23 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 77,000.


There is a great deal of sound research which supports the existence of battered men and these men are in need of resources to help them. The question is how to inform the public and media about the gross misconceptions people have about domestic violence, and we hope you will consider doing something this month to help stop the spread of misinformation about the serious social problem of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is not a gender issue.


1: Interview with Prof. Murray Straus of the UNH Family Research Lab.

2: Ibid

3: Christina Hoff-Sommers, Who Stole Feminism?

4: Ibid.
Contact dr e  Lifeboats for the ladies and children, icy waters for the men.  Women have rights and men have responsibilties.


This is my speech I intend to give on sat.  Any advice or comments will be appreciated, thanks  :D

Hi I hope everyone is doing fine today.  My name is Dan Lynch and I am an Expert in Martial Arts and Self Protection.     I was always in and out of scrapes as a kid and I started seriously training around the age of 10.  Giving me nearly 22 years of expreince.  I have felt that their are many faucets to the martial arts that have been left un-utilized by  martial artists. So I have tried to expand the field and began developing my own style of martial arts.  

Confidence in ourselves should be the ultimate goal.  To make each of us independant and strong.  Courageous enough to meet the world head on and to strive for our hieghts as individuals male or female.

Today I intend on covering some sensitive areas and some people may feel offended or distraught.  Because of that I am going to ask that we put our objective hats on.  To allow me to finish  and to honestly look at the issues rather than the emotions.    My intentions are to make some challenging statements against the current norm of ideals.  

I was going to speak for about 20 mins to a half hour then Im hoping some debate will come up or even a chance to work through the mediation or dispute resolution process.  Either way Im hoping for some crowd participation.  And feel free to bring up other areas of related interest that were not in my speech.  I want to cover a perticular ground peice that I feel is the central focus which I think will spawn off into other areas.

Today I would like to honour one of my favorites Erin Pizzey and dedicate this speech to her.

Erin Pizzey back in 1971 is accredited with being the first person to open a shelter for abused women. She is the author of numerous books including probably the first book on the subject of domestic violence 'Scream Quietly or the Nieghbors Will Hear' as well as 'Prone to Violence' which is now an online book that was originally in paperback. The paperback is a rare find and according to some worth a tremendous amount. To my understanding it is now in reprint.

It has been over 30 years for Erin doing her work in the feild.

Its funny, you'd think they would be having an Erin Pizzey day , or parades in her honour. Even memorabilia or a constant mention of her contribution on television, radio or newspaper eachtime the issue comes up. Hell; even mention on all those numerous pamplets that are circulated or billboards about Domestic Violence that can be seen all across the UK, Canada the US, right down to Australia and New Zealand.

What she got instead  was ostracism and death threats. Erin has been cast out of many circles because of her statements. She has been denied webspace at nearly every Domestic Violence site there is.

You wouldn't think that people would be burning or trashing her books in every English speaking country in the world to the point that it has been found that their are only about two known copies of her book 'Prone to Violence' left in Canada.

How did this pioneer come about in deserving such wrath from fellow DV councilors and feminists; what did she do to extract such hate?    Erin stated very clearly that woman were also abusers  and just as equally too if not more than men and  not just for reasons of self defence.

During Erin's book tour she had to have armed guards escort her across the UK because she was getting bomb threats and death threats everywhere she went.  According to her they were not by men or angry husbands trying to suppress Erin's work. They were in fact by the very councilors and feminists who were screaming the mantra of the day, that men were the sole perpetuators of violence and women the sole victims.

Erin was preaching  that some women are prone to violence that they hungered for it that they agitated their spouse's for the thrill.  Erin was pointing out how women were abusive to their own children and how she wanted to work towards a solution to help women.  Women who needed help to control their violence and anger.  Women who were addicted to abuse.

Erin's observations are reinforced by every objective data ever accumulated in the last 30 years.

The research team of Richard Gelles, Murray Straus, and Susan Steinmetz is a show example who started their research in the early 70s. The team also had the same assumptions about Domestic Violence. They believed that women were the sole victims and that men were the sole victimizers.

Gelles later realized that he had made a giant mistake. Gelles had made a note of a knife attack on a husband by his wife. Gelles had made this as a foot note but not as a primary note in his original research. It was years later before he realized that what he had done was such an error. That the wife had not attacked in 'self-defence' but rather in malice. It boggled his mind that he did not consider a knife attack an act of violence.

The team soon changed its course of research.  Now with the inclusion of female on male violence. Ultimately the team came to the conclusion just like Erin Pizzey on the other side of the Atlantic that women were contributing to the violence in homes at  equal rates. That women were just as violent as the men they were living with. That the violence was not always in self-defence, but; because of a multitude of variables.  And that men were being injured just as severely.

The team so far has come up with research that has been backed by over a hundred studies of objective researchers involving 77 000 participants.  Where a 12% volley of families  deal with this problem. Finding (in narrow estimate) that it was about 25% of the time men on women, 25% of the time women on men and 50% of the time is was a mutual affair. Which in Erin Pizzey's own words was about the summation of her findings.

In the most recent study by Murrey Straus, he has concluded from his research that much of the violence between dating couples is an act of coersion. That the perpetrators were trying to get the other person to do something and that ultimately it was not one sex over the other that was more responsible.

But just like Pizzey, when the team started researching more violence against men by women they also recieved  constant death threats, bomb threats and personal attacks of lible made against them.  In fact Suzanne Steinmetze had to leave her research behind because her children were threatened so much she felt she couldnt risk it.  These attacks were not made by angry or insane men , they were made by DV councilors, shelter workers and self-proclaimed feminists of all sorts.

Erin, in her own words stated that the Domestic Violence shelters were "hijacked" by 'feminists' with a clear cut anti-male agenda. Erin in her own admission did not attempt to discredit this right away; because she feared that federal money would be cut from the services and that all her work would go into retreat.

Erin eventually realized that she could take it no longer as she sat by and witnessed how the shelters became an industry and  perpetuator of anti-male indoctrination and propaganda. She describes how the shelters have turned into lesbian seduction camps.   That women were not getting the help they really needed   How unreasonable formulations were created out of these institutes. The constant held view is that women are not responsible for any and all of the abuse done to them. That any and all of the abuse that women have done towards men and children also is not their fault.  That they are innately the victim. And that any other way to look at it was to blame the victim.  

Erin asserts  that women who have severe violent tendancies are not getting the proper help and treatment they desperately need. That by not taking responsibility and accountability for their actions the shelters are putting children and men at risk from further abuse as well as the women themselves and thereby not breaking the cycle of violence.  For many reasons like this, Erin feels that the domestic violence industry is really just promoting more violence.

Erin makes further accusations against the industry and all its offshoots. From councilors to lawyers. To university proffessors to judges and politicians and even police officers who either help to perpetuate the falsehoods or make a tremendous amount of money from all that is going on. The printing industry itself must make an absolute fortune in government and grant money that is used to print pamplets among other things.

Erin points out that the industry is desperately trying to get into the rural areas not to help communities but to destroy families and create anti-male bias and ultimately hostility between the sexes. Erin makes many harsh remarks about how many of these places are run.  Erin even sites a few cases where some lesbian women could not go to a local dv shelter because the women that were abusing them were working there.  Routinely seminars are given to judges, jurists, lawyers, police officers, highschool teachers the list is virtually endless and they are all told the same one sided rhetoric.

The unfairness is established deep in government  as Warren Farrell's research points out. He writes:
"In Canada, a University of Alberta study found 12 percent of husbands to be victims of violence by their wives and 11 percent of wives to be victims, but only the violence against women was published. Even when Earl Silverman, six years later, was able to get the data from an assistant who had helped prepare the original study, and then wrote it up himself, he was unable to get it published.

Similarly, another major Canadian study of dating couples found 46 percent of women vs. 18 percent of men to be physically violent. You guessed it. The 18 percent male violence was published immediately. Not only was the 46 percent female violence left unpublished, but the authors did not acknowledge in the Canadian Journal of Sociology that their study had ever included violence against men.

When a Canadian professor found out, he requested to see the data and was refused. It was only when he exposed the refusal in his next book, combined with another three more years of pressure, that the 46 percent female violence was releasd and published. By that time ('97) Canadian policy giving government support for abused women but not abused men had been entrenched. As were the bureaucracies; as were the private funding sources like United Way."

This type of stigma continues even in research regarding sexual harrasment in highschools. While the harrassement against the girls is being widely publisized the harrassement against boys is completely ignored despite that the research most commonly cited 'Hostile Hallways' found that the girls were doing just as much harrassing.

Even Mary Koss's research which was highly publicised in Ms. Magazine states that college women were raped at a ratio of 1 in 4. Another woman who was well recoknized in the feild of sexual assault took it apon herself to do the research in reverse.  She asked the 'guys' using the same research model .  Just like Mary Koss did for the girls she too found that men under those guidlining principles were raped at a ratio of 1 in 4.   Kate Fillion cites the work and the researcher's name in her book 'Lip Service' Unfortunately my library is on strike and I could not get a copy of the book to show the researchers name.   The point is that the stat is a skewed and bolstered lie. Much like other stats as Erin points out in her own work that only proves to create blanket demonization of men and minimalize any hopes for a real solution.

Amber Pawlik, founder of a women's club at Penn State College known as the IWC (independant women's club), describes how the victim mentality is pervading and that events like 'Take Back The Night' only enforces people to relive their accounts.  To never let the scab heal.  That those events and organizations infact appeal not to the best in women but to the worst.  Amber writes:  "In order to keep their "cause" going and their numbers high, feminists need to keep women angry. They have a heavy amount invested in angry women. Not just their cause, but certain feminist's careers, tenure, and livelihood are invested in ensuring that women are being oppressed -- and that they stay upset over it. "   Amber's club focuses on creating an atmosphere of dating and positive imagery for men and women coupled together.

It is not my intention today to demonize women my intention here was to give a look into whats going on in the unpopular circuts.  Erin Pizzey is the very first woman to open a shelter and she has recieved nothing but ill repute from her adversaries.  So far the only real truthful angst against her that I have found is that she is pro-marriage.  Erin even advocates that men should most certainly be allowed to work in shelters.  That it is the anti-male mantra that is telling victims to hate men in general and not the individuals that have harmed them.  Erin indeed had men working with her in her shelters.

Erin Pizzey is a woman that should be honoured and remembered for her enduring work not threatened.  She should be remembered by the rationale and the peacemakers of the world.  The people who are truly looking for a solution to diminishing violence between married couples  From a college student's club to scientists' research. We will have to develop and promote objective studies by objective people.  To avoid the agendas and look at the concrete evidence.   The sexes will have to drop their guard and redevelop trust to work hard on the answers.  To consider concepts like negotiation, forgiveness, compassion, and empathy.  Making the law a last resort rather than a first option.

To work soft on the people and hard on the issues. Whether it be the wage gap, violence stats or completely ignored suicide rates.  We need to find the core of the problem to open up that path that can lead us as men and women; lovers and co-authors of our happy fate.

dr e

Dan - This is excellent!  I think you are wise to start off with the Pizzey story.  People like a story and hers is hard to not appreciate.  It also helps people begin to see the political lay of the land and the ruthlessness of those involved.

Where are you giving it?  When?

Contact dr e  Lifeboats for the ladies and children, icy waters for the men.  Women have rights and men have responsibilties.


Thanks I really appreciate that.

Im hoping its seen as unbiased and objective.

Im giving the speech tomorrow at North York Toronto at the Novatel Hotel for a Mensa gathering.

Im hoping it goes well  and that good work comes of it. That the right answer prevails.

dr e

Dan - Giving it at the mensa club may help a bit.  Very bright folks are a bit harder to brainwash.  OTOH once they get brainwashed they are worse than the rest!

I would urge you to expect some negative responses.  Probably not so many with this group but expect them all the same.  In some ways negative responses mean you have gotten through!  :angel:

For what it is worth, when I go out and speak on men's issues I try to avoid power struggles on smaller issues...that is where the fems will try to engage at times, on a smaller issue that is only partly related. Oftentimes a tiny detail.   I have found it helpful to not give them a fight on the small detracts and shifts the ground away from your main message.  An overt power struggle also imperils you in looking like an "aggressive male!"   Keep coming back to your main idea whatever that is.  Mine might be "DV is a human issue not a gender issue" or "Can we find compassion for both men and women who are victims of DV" or "What keeps us from offering the same love to men that we have for women who are victims?"  In some ways you will probably be able to use your audience to help you.  Get them discussing things.  Fostering a discussion about the issues is exactly what you want and it helps you by making you a steward rather than a salesman.  

Please let us know how it works out.

Go Dan!
Contact dr e  Lifeboats for the ladies and children, icy waters for the men.  Women have rights and men have responsibilties.


Quote from: "Dr Evil"
Get them discussing things.  Fostering a discussion about the issues is exactly what you want and it helps you by making you a steward rather than a salesman.  

Please let us know how it works out.

Go Dan!

Yes thats how I work, I used the crowd against itself.  I am trained in dispute resolution , negotiation and mediation as well as my martial arts.  The key was going in like a 'lamb and going out like a lion'.  I was able to set precidents with other areas then knock down their arguements with their own precidents.  All I had to do was get them disccusing.

One comment I found was "women did their fight 30 years ago what you are doing is men's problems and you will have to deal with it yourself. etc"

I demonstrated that it was 'our' problem that I was there as a humanitarian not as a men's rights activist.  I showed them that we had to advance eachothers issues because we are people and we are connected and share in this.

I used Erin Pizzey as the example of why the fight for dv shelters was led of course from the beginning.  Unfortunately an aquantance became emotional and turned into a real 'MascuNazi" if you get my drift.  He entrenched himself in his position and starting going on about the stats etc...  The stats were discarded as men's activist propaganda etc...  So I was not entirely able to use my forum as I had planned.  I didnt realize he wanted so much space on my floor.  I should have shut him down but it would have made me look rude.  In the end I wasnt prepared for him to do what he did which was to fall back on the positions rather than the issues.  However, we did hand out all of our flyers from the Men's activism dv info stuff etc..  And I was able to see how many people wanted to discuss this and how the emotions were inflamed.  I took them well over my time limit.  I can't wait until next time I get to do this.  However I may not use a speech.  I am scheduled to be on a university radio this thursday.  YOu might be interested in hearing me work and give me constructive critisim to get to our goal.

dr e

That's great Dan!

Sounds like you raised some awareness and got these issues into a public forum.  That is an important success.  It takes balls to do this.  Sounds like you did a great job in handling them!  I admire your courage.

Radio show?  Can it be heard over the net??  That would be cool
Contact dr e  Lifeboats for the ladies and children, icy waters for the men.  Women have rights and men have responsibilties.


This is the link to the station.   Its the Penn State radio station, not sure how many listeners there are.  Im scheduled for Thursday at 5pm est.  If you have a pop up stopper you will have to depress it so you can get the media buffer link.  You can also call in.


Thanks   for  this  info.
y book, Men's Rights Activists.

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