Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Woman As Aggressor: The Unspoken Truth Of Domestic Violence

Female-initiated domestic abuse

Women are three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by their male counterpart than vice versa. Though those numbers suggest a more dire need, they do not connote that women are completely innocent when it comes to domestic violence.

More than 830,000 men fall victim to domestic violence every year. A man is the victim of domestic abuse every 37.8 seconds in America. These numbers are not inconsequential and the frequency is far from insignificant.

Jan Brown, executive director and founder of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men, stated that “domestic violence is not about size, gender, or strength. It’s about abuse, control, and power, and getting out of dangerous situations and getting help, whether you are a woman being abused, or a man.”

In 2001, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health collected data about the health of a nationally representative sample of 14,322 individuals between the ages of 18 and 28. The study also asked subjects to answer questions about romantic or sexual relationships in which they had engaged during the previous five years and whether those relationships had involved violence.

From this information researchers found that of the 18,761 relationships, 76 percent were non-violent and 24 percent were violent. Of the 24 percent that were violent, half had been reciprocal and half had not — reciprocal meaning there was violence inflicted by both partners. Although more men than women (53 percent versus 49 percent) had experienced nonreciprocal violent relationships, more women than men (52 percent versus 47 percent) had taken part in ones involving reciprocal violence.

This statistic was undoubtedly the most striking: in committing acts of domestic violence, more women than men (25 percent versus 11 percent) were responsible. In fact, in the 71 percent of nonreciprocal partner violence instances, the instigator was the woman. This flies in the face of the long-held belief that female aggression in a relationship is most often predicated on self-defense.

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