Information on Male Victims of Domestic Violence

by David L. Fontes, Psy.D., CEAP
9728 Kent St., Suite C
Elk Grove, CA 95624

(916) 685-5258, ext. 8
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September 23, 1999

What domestic violence presenters don’t tell you.

  • How many know that the same research which is used to say that a woman is severely assaulted by her husband/boyfriend every 15 second in this country, also indicated that a man is severely assaulted by his wife/girlfriend every 14.6 seconds.
(Straus, M. A., 1977)

  • How many know that although most Archival research (data which comes from police arrest reports, hospital records, judicial reports, and domestic violence shelters usually set up to help female victims) indicates only a small percentage of male victims of domestic violence, that the vast majority of scientific Survey research continues to indicate that husbands and wives are assaulting each other at nearly the same rate, a range from 35 to 50 percent male victims.
(Straus, M. A., 1977; Steinmetz, 1978; Brutz & Ingoldby 1981; Makepeace 1981; Makepeace 1983; Elliot, D. S. et al., 1985; Straus, M. A., & Gelles, R., 1986; Meredith et al. 1986; Szinovacz, 1987; Barling et al., 1987; Mason & Blankenship, 1987; O’Leary & Arias, 1988; Malcolm, G., 1994; Dunn, K., 1994; Coochey, J., 1995; Carrado et al., 1996)

  • How many know that when Feminist groups and domestic violence workers are exposed to these facts they will immediately minimize the importance of these studies by raising the argument that even if women do assault their partner it is usually for reason of self-defense, yet they produce no scientific research to support this claim other than some case studies or anecdotal information. Although limited, scientific research data suggests that only 10-20% of women assault their male partners for reasons of self-defense. Domestic violence shelters are likely to see these women and are less likely to see the 80-90% of women who assault their husbands/boyfriends for reasons other than self-defense. Interestingly, about 30% of the men said they assaulted their partner in self-defense.
(Carrado, et al., 1996; Sommer, 1992)

  • How many know that survey research suggest that women who are assaulted are 9 times more likely to report to police and 5 times more likely to tell a friend/relative than men who are assaulted by their wives. (Stets, J. & Straus, M. A., 1990) In general only about 8-10% of women who are assaulted and 1-2% of men who are assaulted report the assault to an agency/authority. (Fontes, 1998) This is likely why archival data indicates more female victims.
  • How many know that most assaults between partners are mutual 48.6%, men only 25.5%, and women only 25.9%. Or that women are more likely to stick the first blow against their intimate partner, as reported by women themselves. (Straus, 1997) One study showed that 83% of the couples studies engaged in "bi-directional or mutual physical aggression." (Jennifer Langhinrich-Rohling et al., 1996).
  • How many know that 60% of women who are arrested for domestic violence against their husbands have previous criminal records.
(Jurik, N. C., 1989; Jurik, N. C., & Gregware, P., 1989)

  • How many know that although women are seven times more likely to report they needed to see a doctor as a result of being assaulted by their husband (Gelles, 1996), one does not know if they are seven times more likely to actually be injured by their husbands than husbands are by their wives. Only 3% of the women reported they needed to see a doctor and only 0.4% of the men reported they need to see a doctor as a result of being assaulted. (Straus, M. A., 1997) Women are nearly twice as like to use an object when she assaults a male partner which can equalize the level of injury he receives. (Straus & Gelles, 1986)
To learn more about male victims of domestic violence the following literature is suggested:

    • Abused men: The hidden side of domestic violence by Philip Cook, publisher: Praeger, 1997. ISBN: 0-275-95862-0
    • When she was bad: Violent women and the myth of innocence by Patricia Pearson, publisher: Viking, 1997. ISBN: 0-670-85925-7
    • Ceasefire: Why women and men must join forces to achieve true equality by Cathy Young, publisher: Free Press, 1999. ISBN: o-684-83442-1
    • Who stole feminism: How women have betrayed women by Christina Hoff Sommers, publisher: Simon and Schuster, 1996. ISBN: 0-684-80156-6
    • The myth of male power by Warren Farrell, publisher: New York: Berkley, 1993. ISBN: 0-425-15523-4
  • Violent Touch: Breaking Through the Stereotype.
(45 page paper) by David L. Fontes, Psy.D., 1998.

$12.50 per copy includes shipping and handling.
  • Battered by their wives. ABC 20/20 video, September 19, 1997, $29.95, call

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