Violence Against Men Essay

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Violence Against Men

Billboards, radio, and TV ads across the country proclaim that “every fifteen seconds a woman is beaten by a man.” Violence against women is clearly a problem of national importance, but has anyone ever asked how often men are beaten by women? The unfortunate fact is that men are the victims of domestic violence at least as often as women are. While the very idea of men being beaten by their wives runs contrary to many of our deeply ingrained beliefs about men and women, female violence against men is a well-documented phenomenon almost completely ignored by both the media and society.

"... she started pawing and ripping at him with her fingers, scratching his back and face..."
From Dec. 12, 1990 police
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In that study, it was found that 47% of husbands had used physical violence on their wives, and 33% of wives had used violence on their husbands (Gelles). Half of the respondents in this study were selected from either cases of domestic violence reported to the police, or those identified by the social service agency.

Also in 1974, a study was released showing that the number of murders of women by men (17.5% of total homicides) was about the same as the number of murders of men by women (16.4%of total homicides). This study, however, showed that men were three times as likely to assault women as vice-versa. These statistics came from police records (Gelles).

The murder statistic was no big news, by the way. In1958, an investigation of spousal homicide between 1948 and 1952 found that7.8% of murder victims were husbands murdered by wives, and 8% were wives murdered by husbands. More recently, in a study of spousal homicide in the period from 1976 to 1985, it was found that there was an overall ratio of 1.3:1.0 of murdered wives to murdered husbands, and that "black husbands were at greater risk of spouse homicide victimization than black wives or white spouses of either sex".

The subject of husband battering had finally been addressed, but not to the great satisfaction of anyone. Although it had finally been shown that there was violence being perpetrated both by wives and husbands, there was no information about relative frequency or severity, or