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MenWeb online journal ISSN: 1095-5240
February, 2001

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Battered Men - The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence

Latest Research Findings

The Risk of Serious Physical Injury from Assault by a Woman Intimate

A Re-Examination of National Violence Against Women Survey Data on Type of Assault by an Intimate

© 1999, 2001 by Bert H. Hoff,1
Draft Paper pending Peer Review and Submission to a Journal
This paper may be cited as Hoff, Bert H., The Risk of Serious Physical Injury from Assault by a Woman Intimate: A Re-Examination of National Violence Against Women Survey Data on Type of Assault by an Intimate. MenWeb on-line Journal (ISSN: 1095-5240 http://www.menweb.org/nvawrisk.htm) Retrieved from Web on Nov. 1, 2001.

 

SUMMARY: The report on the most recent National Violence Against Women survey (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998, 2000) examines the percentage of persons surveyed who experience each form of assault, rather than the percentage of those assaulted who experience each form of assault. Thus, it offers no information on how dangerous the situation is once a man or woman is assaulted. Re-examination of the data on the type of assault perpetrated on men and on women by intimates shows that assaulted men are more likely than assaulted women to experience serious assault by being hit with an object, threatened with a knife or being knifed. For the more serious forms of assault (hit with an object, beat up, threatened with a knife or gun, victim of a weapon) 96.8 percent of the women assaulted and 90.5 percent of the men assaulted experienced one of these dangerous forms of assault. For forms of serious assault that do result in injury (hit with object, beat up, used knife, used gun) 68.3 percent of the women assaulted, and 63.5 of the men assaulted, were assaulted in this manner. Applying these percentages to the number of men and women that the NVAW estimates are assaulted by an intimate each year suggests that over a third of a million men will be hit with an object, and over 90,000 will be knifed. Over 180,000 will be threatened with a knife, well over half a million men will be slapped or hit, and well over a half a million pushed, grabbed or shoved. The over-arching conclusion of this paper is that a gender-polarized approach to "family violence" in government-funded and private research, that focuses millions of dollars of research effort only on domestic violence against women does not serve the needs of the 835,000 men that NVAW estimates are victims of family violence each year, of violent women, or of their children.

Current research provides little insight into the risks a man faces if he is assaulted by a woman in an intimate relationship. Family violence research has focused on the relative risks that men and women face, and mask the high number of men at risk, because of the large number of women who are injured as a result of domestic violence. (Straus 1999a) Government sponsored policy research has focused exclusively on the risks that women face from domestic violence (NIJ 1997, NIJ 1999, CDC 1998, CDC 1999), in large part because of women's research projects funded under the federal Violence Against Women Act (NIJ 1997, NIJ 1999, Travis 1997) Even apparently "gender-neutral" programs such as the "Divorce Mediation and Spousal Violence" research by the Denver-based Center for Policy Research, the organization that conducted the National Violence Against Women Survey, focus exclusively on "protecting the interests of abused women." (NIJ, 1999b) Of the 77 "family violence" research projects under the auspices of the National Institute of Justice, none mention family violence by women against men. (NIJ 1997)

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control is explicit about its gender-exclusive focus regarding domestic violence. "The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has identified intimate partner violence and sexual assaults against women as a significant and costly health issue. ... And intimate partner abuse is not limited to a woman but may involve her children as well." "The CDC is committed to help achieve the Healthy People 2000 objectives of reducing incidents of violence against women." (CDC 1999, Introduction, p. 1) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was appropriated $14.3 million in Fiscal Year 1997, focused exclusively on preventing domestic violence against women. (CDC 1998)

The problem is exacerbated, perhaps, because of the "advocacy-based" focus of women women advancing feminist causes or seeking funds for domestic violence programs to serve women. (Gelles 1994, Straus 1999a, Straus 1999b). Straus, for example, describes the "moral agendas and professional roles" of "service providers and feminist activists" advocating for increased resources for domestic violence against women. He observes that it's possible these service providers and advocates do not realize or deny that moral agendas and professional roles are involved." (Straus 1999a).

In the meantime, few programs offer services to battered men or women who batter (Cook 1997, Hoff 1998a, Hoff 1999b, Hoff 1999c) despite the fact that the recent National Violence Against Women survey estimates that over 835,000 men are victims of violence by an intimate each year. (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). The CDC found that funding for statewide domestic violence coalitions ranged from $22,000 to nearly $13 million. Some 17 coalitions received over half a million dollars each. They provide services advocacy, systems advocacy, statewide planning, public awareness/community services, and in some cases, direct services. (CDC identified 1,849 local programs, over 90% of which were members of statewide coalitions. Only 67% of these provided shelter services.) (CDC 1999, pp. 6-9, 14) It would appear that serving the needs of people affected by domestic violence is seen as a "win/lose" rather than "win/win" proposition for these activists, in that serving the needs of men is seen as taking away from woman victims. This would suggest that recognizing that 835,000 men each year are estimated to be battered would conflict with the "moral agendas and professional roles" of Tjaden & Thoennes, as described by Straus.

Some of the best data on serious assault by intimates appears to be homicide data, which suggest that four out of ten intimate homicides are of men. (Mercy 1989, Langen & Dawson, 1995, FBI Uniform Crime Reports) Several studies found women more likely than men to initiate serious domestic violence. (Hampton, Gelles & Harrop, 1989, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., & Vivian, D., 1994, McLeod 1984, Morse 1985, Russell & Hulston 1992, Stets & Henderson 1991, Straus 1993, Straus, Hambly, Boney-McCoy & Sugarman 1996) Hampton et. al., for example, found in the 1985 National Survey that severe violence of husbands to wives occurred at the rate of 64/1000, while severe violence of wives to husbands was 108/1000. Straus' 1993 paper reported a 1992 severe violence rate of more than 40/1000 for women against men, but 19/1000 by men against women.

Analysis:

The National Violence Against Women survey (hereinafter cited NVAW) has been presented to the public as showing that women are more often the victims of domestic violence. (Straus 1999a) Little attention has been paid to what the survey results show about the extent of the problem for men. The finding that over 835,000 men are victims of domestic violence has simply not been reported by the media. The research report focuses exclusively on women's concerns, and in fact minimizes the impact of domestic violence on men by focusing on the percentage of those surveyed who experience more severe forms of violence, rather than the percentage of those assaulted who experience serious assault. This paper re-examines the NVAW data to look at the risk that domestic violence poses to men.

Table 1 uses the data from Exhibit 11of Tjaden & Thoennes (2000), which reports the "percentage of persons physically assaulted by an intimate partner in lifetime by type of assault and sex of victim." (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000, exhibit 11) The first two numerical columns, from Tjaden & Thoennes, report the percentage of persons sampled who experienced each form of assault. The second two numerical columns show the percentage of persons assaulted who experienced each form of assault.

Table 1
Type of Assault by an Intimate
as Percentage Surveyed and Percentage Assaulted, by Gender
Re-analysis of data from NVAW Survey, Tjaden & Thoennes (2000), Exhibit 11
Type of Assault Percent of Surveyed Percent of Assaulted
  Women Men Women Men
Total 22.1 7.4 100% 100%
Threw something 8.1 4.4 36.7% 59.5%
Pushed, grabbed, shoved 18.1 5.4 81.9% 73.0%
Pulled hair 9.1 2.3 41.2% 31.1%
Slapped, hit 16 5.5 72.4% 74.3%
Kicked, bit 5.5 2.6 24.9% 35.1%
Choked, tried to drown 6.1 0.5 27.6% 6.8%
Hit with object 5 3.2 22.6% 43.2%
Beat up 8.5 0.6 38.5% 8.1%
Threatened with gun 3.5 0.4 15.8% 5.4%
Threatened with knife 2.8 1.6 12.7% 21.6%
Used gun 0.7 0.1 3.2% 1.4%
Used knife 0.9 0.8 4.1% 10.8%
Note: Highlighting shows which percentage is higher, but does not indicate if the percentage difference is significant.

The problem with reporting the percentage of persons surveyed, of course, is that it magnifies the number of women who experience each form of assault, since a larger number of women surveyed experienced assault in the first place. Hence, these data shed no light on how dangerous any individual assault might be.

Tjaden & Thoennes report:

It is important to note that differences between women's and men's rates of physical assault by an intimate partner become greater as the seriousness of the assault increases. For example, women were two to three times more likely than men to report that an intimate partner threw something that could hurt or pushed, grabbed, or shoved them. However, they were seven to 14 times more likely to report that an intimate partner beat them up, choked or tried to drown them, threatened them with a gun, or actually used a gun on them. (Exhibit 11)
(Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000, p. 27) When we look at the percentage of those assaulted rather than the percentage of those surveyed, however, these apparently-large disparities disappear. Tjaden & Thoennes' analysis above overlooks all three of the areas where men are at more risk than women: being hit with an object, threatened with a knife or being knifed. Men were much more likely than women to be assaulted in this manner if they were assaulted. When one combines the more serious forms of assault (hit with an object, beat up, threatened with a knife or gun, victim of a weapon) 96.8 percent of the women assaulted and 90.5 percent of the men assaulted experienced one of these dangerous forms of assault. A threat, of course, may or may not result in injury. When one looks at the forms of serious assault that do result in injury (hit with object, beat up, used knife, used gun) one finds that 68.3 percent of the women assaulted, and 63.5 of the men assaulted were assaulted in this manner.

In the next table, the percentages in Table 1 are used to provide an estimate of the number of women and men in the U.S. who might experience each form of assault in a year.

Table 2
Type of Assault by an Intimate
and Estimated Annual Number in U.S. by Gender
Projected from data from NVAW Survey,
Tjaden & Thoennes (2000), Exhibit 11

Type of Assault Number in U.S. Each Year
  Women Men
Total 1,510,455 834,732
Threw something 553,606 496,327
Pushed, grabbed, shoved 1,237,069 609,129
Pulled hair 621,952 259,444
Slapped, hit 1,093,542 620,409
Kicked, bit 375,905 293,284
Choked, tried to drown 416,913 56,401
Hit with object 341,732 360,965
Beat up 580,944 67,681
Threatened with gun 239,212 45,121
Threatened with knife 191,370 180,483
Used gun 47,842 11,280
Used knife 61,512 90,241

Caution must be used in interpreting these results. The annual projections are based on the percentage of persons experiencing each form of assault in their lifetime, because the data on the percentage experiencing each form of assault in the last 12 months was not available. A person may experience one, or many, assaults in a lifetime. The important point, however, is the form of assault the survey respondent experienced, not the number of assaults.

It may be true that a person who experiences more than one assault may experience more severe assaults. However, people assaulted in the last year, too, may have experienced more than one assault in the last year. The issue, then, is whether the types of intimate assault a person experienced in the last year differs greatly from the types of intimate assault they experienced over their lifetime.

Memories may be more unreliable over a longer period of time. Further, as Straus has observed (Straus 1999a, Straus 1999b) the NVAW survey is more like a crime survey than a family violence survey, with its focus on incidents that are crimes or threats to physical safety. It is plausible that women are more likely to remember such events because they are more frightening to women. (Straus, 1999c). Taking Straus' insight one step further, if women are more likely to remember being pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or hit as "frightening," "lifetime" memories of men and women regarding serious assault, like being stabbed with a knife, are more likely to be similar.

Note that in the NVAW survey a higher percentage of men reported being assaulted in the last year, than reported being assaulted in their lifetime. Of those assaulted in their lifetime, 76.5% were women, while of those assaulted in the last 12 months, only 62.5% were women. One possible explanation for the difference could be that men might remember being pushed or slapped in the last year, but might not remember it if it happened several years ago. This could suggest that memory of the serious assaults in a lifetime are more likely to be the same for both genders, and closer to the reliability of "last 12 months" memories, than "lifetime" memories of less serious assaults which men may not be as likely to see as "frightening." Thus, projection of "lifetime" data on the type of assault against "12 month" data on the number of assaults might well be more reliable for serious assaults, the focus of this paper on the risks men face, than it is for less-serious forms of assault.

Dr. Malcolm George of the St Bartholomew's and Royal London Hospital Medical School, author of Aggression in British Heterosexual Relationships, offers these comments on why the discrepancy between "last 12 months" and "lifetime" gender ratios.

When the policy focus is on the number of men affected, rather than on the percentage of men who experience assault by an intimate in their lives, the significance of the social issues concerning battered men becomes more apparent, even if women are assaulted at a higher rate or injured more frequently. Over a third of a million are hit with an object during a domestic dispute each year. Some 90,000 are knifed, and over 180,000 threatened with a knife. Well over half a million are slapped or hit, and well over half a million are pushed, grabbed or shoved. The numbers may vary if one uses type of assault within the last 12 months data rather than type of assault in lifetime, but a problem that might affect a third of a million or a half a million men each year is a matter of social concern.

Discussion:

More research and analysis is needed to reconcile the results here, on the type of assault, with the results of the many other studies using the CTS or revised CTS. Straus, for example, reports that women are seven to ten times more likely to be injured in a domestic violence assault (Straus 1999) But many of the studies cited in Fiebert's annotated bibliography (Fiebert, 1997) report no great disparity in the number of women and number of men subject to serious physical assault by an intimate.

One obvious area of further exploration is to derive estimates of the number of men and women subject to each form of assault, based on NVAW data on assaults "in the last 12 months" rather than "in lifetime," if and when the data on type of assault within the last 12 months become available.

The over-arching conclusion of this paper is that a gender-polarized approach to "family violence" in government-funded and private research, that focuses millions of dollars of research effort only on domestic violence against women does not serve the needs of the 835,000 men that NVAW estimates are victims of family violence each year, of violent women, or of their children.


REFERENCES


References cited in this paper:

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). (1998) FAMILY AND INTIMATE VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM (updated 06.29.98). http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/vawprograms/Default.htm Retrieved from Web on Jan. 10, 1999. Extensive survey of domestic violence programs, stressing services to women and containing no information on services available to men.

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). (1999) Inventory of Services and Funding Sources for Programs Designed to Prevent Violence Against Women (undated). Available in Adobe .PDF format on the Web at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/vawprograms/Default.htm Retrieved from Web on Jan. 10, 1999. Extensive survey of domestic violence programs, stressing services to women and containing no information on services available to men. The introduction to this inventory is available on MenWeb as a .PDF document.

Cook, P. W. (1997). Abused men: The hidden side of domestic violence. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Fiebert, M. S. (1997). Annotated bibliography: References examining assaults by women on their spouses/partners. In B. M. Dank & R. Refinette (Eds.), Sexual harassment & sexual consent (Vol. 1, pp. 273-286). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. Also: Sexuality and Culture, 1997, 1, 273-286., updated version retrieved from Web site 1/5/99

Fiebert, M. S., & Gonzalez, D. M. (1997). College women who initiate assaults on their male partners and the reasons offered for such behavior. Psychological Reports, 80, 583-590.

Gelles, R. J. (1994). Research and advocacy: Can one wear two hats? Family Process, 33, 93-95.

Hoff, Bert H. (1999a). The Gender Neutrality Joke. MenWeb on-line Journal (ISSN: 1095-5240 http://www.menweb.org/gjdvneut.htm) Retrieved from Web on Jan. 8, 1999.

Hoff, Bert H. (1999b). Official Washington Policy: Blame the Victim. MenWeb on-line Journal (ISSN: 1095-5240 http://www.menweb.org/gjdvneut.htm) Retrieved from Web on Jan. 8, 1999.

Hoff, Bert H. (1999c). Battered? Here's What You Can DO MenWeb on-line Journal (ISSN: 1095-5240 http://www.menweb.org/gjdvneut.htm) Retrieved from Web on Jan. 9, 1999. Lists all known North American programs that serve men.

Langen, Patrick A. & Dawson, John M. (1995). Spouse Murder Defendants in Large Urban Counties National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Executive Summary. (September 1995, NCJ-156831)

Mercy, J. A., & Saltzman, L. E. (1989). Fatal violence among spouses in the United States, 1975-85. American Journal of Public Health, 79, 595-599. (Examined FBI figures regarding spousal homicides. During the 10 year period from 1975 to 1985 found higher murder rates of wives than husbands <43.4% vs 56.6%>. Wives and husbands were equally likely to be killed by firearms <approximately 72% of the time> while husbands were more likely to be stabbed and wives more likely to bludgeoned to death.)

National Institute of Justice (1997). Violence Against Women and Family Violence: Research and Evaluation Program Grants, National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs United States Department of Justice, December 1997. (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/vawprog/contents.htm) Retrieved from Web on Jan. 10, 1999. Lists 8 Violence Against Women Act projects for FY 1997, 13 Violence Against Women Act Projects Before FY 1997, 15 Family Violence and Violence Against Women Projects Supported Directly by NIJ, 6 Projects Supported by COPS Office Funds, 12 Interagency Consortium on Violence Against Women and Violence Within the Family, 5 Mandated Studies Under VAWA (Completed) and 18 Completed Projects. None of these 77 projects discuss domestic violence against men or female perpetrators of domestic violence.

National Institute of Justice (1998). Violence Against Women and Family Violence Research and Evaluation Program. (updated on 07/21/98 12:42:35 ) (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/vawprog.htm) Retrieved from Web on Jan. 10, 1999. "The mission of the Violence Against Women and Family Violence Research and Evaluation program is to promote the safety of women and family members, and to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system's response to these crimes."

National Institute of Justice (1999). Interagency Consortium on Violence Against Women and Violence within the Family: Projects from the January 26, 1996 Request For Applications (undated) (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/vawprog/inter.htm) Retrieved from Web on Jan. 10, 1999. "Coordinated by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), this inter-departmental and trans- NIH program was co-sponsored by the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health (ORMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

National Institute of Justice (1999b). Completed Projects: Divorce Mediation and Spousal Violence-Jessica Pearson, Center for Policy Research, January 1, 1994 through December 31, 1995. (undated) (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/vawprog/comp12.htm) Retrieved from Web on Jan. 10, 1999.

Straus, Murray A. (1999a), In Press. "The Controversy over Domestic Violence by Women: A Methodological, Theoretical, and Sociology of Science Analysis." in Violence in Intimate Relationships, edited by X. Arriaga and S. Oskamp. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Paper presented at the Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology on Violence in Intimate Relationships: Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, 28 February 98.

Straus, Murray A. (1999b), In Press. "Characteristics of the National Violence Against Women Study that might explain the low assault rate for both sexes and the even lower rate for women." in Violence in Intimate Relationships, edited by X. Arriaga and S. Oskamp. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Straus, M. A. (1999c). Personal communication Jan. 4, 1999.

Tjaden, P. G., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Full Report of Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research Report, Nov. 2000. NCJ 183781

Tjaden, P. G., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research Report, July 2000. NCJ 181867

Tjaden, P. G., & Thoennes, N. (1998). Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research in Brief series, November, 1998. NCJ 172837

Travis, Jeremy (1996). Violence Against Women: Reflections on NIJ's Research Agenda. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, National Institute of Justice Journal #230: Thinking Globally to Act Locally. P. 21. Published: February 1996

References comparing serious assault by men and women intimates:
(Summaries are extracted from Fiebert, "References Examining Assaults by Women on Their Spouses or Male partners: An Annotated Bibliography (Sexuality and Culture, 1997, 1, 273-286., updated version retrieved from Web site 1/5/99) and edited to focus on findings regarding serious violence.)

Cascardi, M., Langhinrichsen, J., & Vivian, D. (1992). Marital aggression: Impact, injury, and health correlates for husbands and wives. Archives of Internal Medicine, 152, 1178-1184. (Examined 93 couples seeking marital therapy. Found using the CTS and other information: While men and women were equally likely to perpetrate violence, women reported more severe injuries. Half of the wives and two thirds of the husbands reported no injuries as a result of all aggression, but wives sustained more injuries as a result of mild aggression.)

Hampton, R. L., Gelles, R. J., & Harrop, J. W. (1989). Is violence in families increasing? A comparison of 1975 and 1985 National Survey rates. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 969-980. (Compared a sample of 147 African Americans from the 1975 National Survey with 576 African Americans from the 1985 National Survey with regard to spousal violence. Using the CTS found that the rate of severe violence of husbands to wives decreased 43% (113 to 64/1000) from 1975 to 1985, while the rate of severe violence of wives to husbands increased 42% (76 to 108/1000) from 1975 to 1985.)

Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., & Vivian, D. (1994). The correlates of spouses' incongruent reports of marital aggression. Journal of Family Violence, 9, 265-283. (In a clinic sample of 97 couples seeking marital therapy, authors found, using a modified version of the CTS, that 36% of husbands and 53% of wives were classified as severely aggressive.)

McLeod, M. (1984). Women against men: An examination of domestic violence based on an analysis of official data and national victimization data. Justice Quarterly, 1, 171-193. (From a data set of 6,200 cases of spousal abuse in the Detroit area in 1978-79 found that men used weapons 25% of the time while female assailants used weapons 86% of the time, 74% of men sustained injury and of these 84% required medical care. Concludes that male victims are injured more often and more seriously than female victims.)

Mercy, J. A., & Saltzman, L. E. (1989). Fatal violence among spouses in the United States, 1975-85. American Journal of Public Health, 79, 595-599. (Examined FBI figures regarding spousal homicides. During the 10 year period from 1975 to 1985 found higher murder rates of wives than husbands <43.4% vs 56.6%>. Wives and husbands were equally likely to be killed by firearms <approximately 72% of the time> while husbands were more likely to be stabbed and wives more likely to bludgeoned to death.)

Morse, B. J. (1995). Beyond the Conflict Tactics Scale: Assessing gender differences in partner violence. Violence and Victims, 10 (4) 251-272. (Data was analyzed from the National Youth Survey, a longitudinal study begun in 1976 with 1,725 subjects who were drawn from a probability sample of households in the United States and who, in 1976, were between the ages of 11-17. This study focused on violence as assessed by the CTS between male and female married or cohabiting respondents during survey years 1983 <n=1,496>, 1986 <n=1,384>, 1989 <n=1,436>, and 1992 <n=1,340>. For each survey year the prevalence rates of any violence and severe violence were significantly higher for female to male than for male to female. For example, in 1986, the rate of severe violence male to female was 9.5, while the rate of severe violence female to male was 22.8. In 1992, ... severe violence rate male to female of 5.7; ... severe violence rate female to male of 13.8. In 1986 about 20% of both men and women reported that assaults resulted in physical injuries. In other years women were more likely to self report personal injuries.)

Russell, R. J. H., & Hulson, B. (1992). Physical and psychological abuse of heterosexual partners. Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 457-473. (In a pilot study in Great Britain 46 couples responded to the Conflict Tactics Scale. Results reveal that husband to wife violence was: Overall violence= 25% and severe violence= 5.8%; while wife to husband violence was: Overall violence= 25% and severe violence=11.3%.)

Stets, J. E. & Henderson, D. A. (1991). Contextual factors surrounding conflict resolution while dating: results from a national study. Family Relations, 40, 29-40. (Drawn from a random national telephone survey, daters <n=277; men=149, women=128> between the ages of 18 and 30, who were single, never married and in a relationship during the past year which lasted at least two months with at least six dates were examined with the Conflict Tactics Scale. Women were "6 times more likely than men to use severe aggression <19.2% vs. 3.4%>...Men were twice as likely as women to report receiving severe aggression <15.7% vs. 8%>.")

Straus, M. A. (1993). Physical assaults by wives: A major social problem. In R. J. Gelles & D. R. Loseke (Eds.), Current controversies on family violence pp. 67-87. Newbury Park, CA:Sage. (Reviews literature and concludes that women initiate physical assaults on their partners as often as men do.) Straus, M. A. (1995). Trends in cultural norms and rates of partner violence: An update to 1992. In S. M. Stich & M. A. Straus (Eds.) Understanding partner violence: Prevalence, causes, consequences, and solutions (pp. 30-33). Minneapolis, MN: National Council on Family Relations. (Reports that severe physical assaults by men declined by 48% from 1975 to 1992--38/1000 to 19/1000 while severe assaults by women did not change from 1975 to 1992 and remained above 40/1000.)

Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2). Development and preliminary psychometric data. Journal of Family Issues, 17, 283-316. (The revised CTS has clearer differentiation between minor and severe violence and new scales to measure sexual coercion and physical injury. Used the CTS2 with a sample of 317 college students <114 men, 203 women> and found that: 16% of men and 14% of women reported being seriously injured by their partners.)

Vivian, D., & Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J. (1996). Are bi-directionally violent couples mutually victimized? In L. K. Hamberger & C. Renzetti (Eds.) Domestic partner abuse (pp. 23-52). New York: Springer. (Authors found using a modified version of the CTS, that in a sample of 57 mutually aggressive couples, there were no significant differences between husbands' and wives' reports concerning the frequency and severity of assault victimization. With regard to injuries, 32 wives and 25 husbands reported the presence of a physical injury which resulted from partner aggression.)  

Bert H. Hoff, J.D., formerly affiliated with the School of Social Policy at The American University and a former research scientist at the Battelle Human Affairs Research Centers, is publisher of Men's Voices quarterly. He is WebMaster of MenWeb, the only resource in Washington that offers public education and victim education/outreach for male victims of domestic violence. His prior research has been published in the Journal of the Association of Advancement of Psychiatry and the Law, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Evaluation and Reseasrch, Journal of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, and numerous government-funded research reports.

     

Return to Latest Research Findings National Violence Against Women survey shows 37.5% of victims each year are men. Men are at real risk of serious physical injury. Murray A. Straus looks at controversies in DV research. Martin Fiebert examines reasons women give for assaulting men. JAMA emergency room study shows equal number of men, woman victims.

 
     


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