No more silence

News about these pages.

Planned additions to these pages.


There's a conference scheduled for March 1999 focussing on domestic violence against men.

New! The Resource Links Page!

Testimonials from men battered by women.


An unaddressed problem

Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of men is something that doesn't get talked about very much. What's worse, when it does get talked about, discussion is almost always limited to the abuse that men do to men. Alot of people are very emotionally and politically invested in believing that violence isn't something that women do, and when the men who have been victims of women try to speak out they frequently encounter negative reactions ranging from outright denial to actual accusations that it's their own fault that they were abused.

It's worse when those reactions come from self-identified feminists, who should just plain know better. There is no excuse for any feminist to deny female abusiveness or to attack any man for discussing their experiences of it.

Male violence against women is adequately discussed elsewhere, and so I'm devoting some space to talk about this topic, which is not adequately discussed at all.


Myths about female violence against men

Myth

Fact

Women don't batter men. In their Conflict Tactics Scales, Murray Strauss and Richard Gelles found that women initiated violence nearly as much as men overall, actually being more likely to
  • throw something
  • kicking, biting, or hitting
  • assault with an object other than a knife or gun.

If you want more than one study, check out these and these.

Women don't batter men except in cases of self-defense. While this is frequently claimed when people are confronted with the Conflict Tactics Scales studies, this is a rationalization not documented by research. Stop Abuse For Everyone contains no fewer than five men's stories of the abuse their wives inflicted on them that clearly refute this notion. Some men have been brave enough to post their stories to usenet, also giving the lie to this myth. Again and again and again it becomes clear each time the tale is told: Women beat men for the same reasons that men beat women -- and sometimes, self defense is the reason the man is being violent.

The complaint about this non-exclusion of self-defense in these studies also works both ways -- they do not exclude cases where a woman initiates violence and a man defends himself.

Worst of all, the prevalence of this myth leaves me wondering just how many women who actually killed their husbands have been getting sympathy and even pardons for their murder by playing on this belief?

Since women are not as large as strong as men, it's not as bad when they batter men. Husband batterer Karen Gillhespy "broke her husband's ribs, ripped entire patches of his hair out, scratched him, bit him, beat him with a baseball bat and kicked him," according to the Detroit News article about her. (Emphasis added) Other men have been stabbed, shot, bludgeoned, and otherwise battered -- there is no form of violence that female violence against men has not included.
It's just not as big a problem as wife-beating It is the same problem as wife-beating. The one and only problem here is that people are using violence as a means of control of others. To cast the problem as "male violence against women" is to lie.

Years ago, it could have been excused as misunderstanding based on missing data. However, there is no longer any excuse for anyone to pretend that such a term accurately describes domestic violence. To point out "female violence against men" is to expose the lie and to allow the truth to be seen.

The claim that any significant number of men are battered is not borne out by police reports. Men were:
  • 46% of the murder victims
  • 32% of the aggrivated assault victims
  • 7% of the rape victims
  • 30% of the robbery victims
  • 18% of the simple assault victims
  • 10% of miscellaneous other offenses in crimes
in Domestic Violence incidents reported to the Michigan State Police by individual police departments in 1995. (Source: The Detroit News)

Nor is these an isolated statistic, as documented by the appalingly misnamed Nov. 1998 Department of Justice report on the National Violence Against Women Survey", which showed 36% of the victims of domestic violence being men.


Note: Sending feedback about this page constitues your agreement to allow me to post that feedback on these pages. I'm happy to give anonynimity to those who need it, but abuse will be exposed. Feedback