Domestic Violence. Women are just as violent as men

Following my blog on male suicides and the inability of our society to accept men are subjected to domestic violence in the same proportions as women I have been asked to provide references for my position. Here are some reliable academic references as a starting point for those who are interested.

Also, to almost everybody’s surprise, men and women perpetrate IPV at near-equal rates (Archer, 2000; Ehrensaft, Moffitt, & Caspi, 2004).2

Cited Eli J. Finkel, Northwestern University and Christopher I. Eckhardt Purdue University file://localhost/(2011) http/


In spite of this well-accepted belief, studies have supported that conceptualizing family violence in this way is inaccurate. Hamel (2009) found the patriarchal model most commonly used to frame domestic violence incorrectly assumes that men perpetrate the vast majority of abuse that is considered severe. Results of a study conducted by Robertson and Murachver (2007) support that there are few differences between men and women who abuse in regard to frequency, severity, and injury. Straus and Gelles (1990) found that mothers, not fathers, were more often the perpetrators of physical abuse within the family. Recently, research has been conducted that contends when all available data are evaluated, abuse is perpetuated at a relatively equal rate between men and women with women slightly more likely to engage in severe violent acts than men (Gilfus et al., 2010; Hamel, 2009). Accounting for the fact that men are not the only perpetrators of family violence is a crucial step forward in family violence research.


Mandy Morrill and Curt Bachman (2012) Confronting the Gender Myth : An Exploration of Variance in Male Versus Female Experience With Sibling Abuse.

Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2013 28: p1695. DOI: 10.1177/0886260512468324

While I was on placement on a medical ward for older people, it was reported during handover that a man with  dementia who had been admitted the previous evening was being abused at home. When a healthcare assistant asked who was perpetrating the abuse, the nurse handing over told us it was theman’s wife. I felt shocked by this, as did some of the other staff, yet a few of them sniggered. I did not feel that this was an appropriate response to the situation, and wondered about the underlyingattitudes of these staff members and how this might affect patient care. I worried that if I asked people directly what they thought, I might come across as challenging or confrontational.  So I decided to read about domestic violence, and attitudes towards it, to inform myself and my future practice.

A study on aggression in heterosexual relationships found that women were more likely than men to use one or more act of physical aggression, and to use these acts more frequently, although men were more likely to inflict injury (Archer 2000).

Amy Wilkins (2011) Nursing Standard. p26-27w3_Reflections 4 copy 19/09/2011 16:05 Page 26

Referencing  Archer J (2000) Sex Differences in Aggression Between Heterosexual Partners: A Meta-Analytic Review. PsychologicalBulletin. 126, 5, 651-680

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