National police reports and emergency room records indicate that women are 75-90% of the victims in reported domestic abuse cases. But, studies show that this statistic distorts the truth and can be explained by the fact that men are reluctant to report being the victims of domestic abuse for fear of ridicule and humiliation.
Furthermore, police and courts tend to disbelieve male victims, and men who call for help during domestic disputes are more likely to be the one arrested when the police arrive.
So What’s the Truth Regarding Domestic Violence?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), almost 24% of all relationships experience some level of violence. 50% of domestic violence cases involve mutual violence. In the other 50% of domestic violence cases, the violence was non-mutual.
In relationships where violence was non-mutual almost 70% of the violence was perpetrated by the woman. In other words, in almost 7 out of 10 cases of mutual violence, the batterer was a female.
Furthermore, mutually violent relationships were most likely to result in injuries to women. However, women who participated in mutually violent behavior with their male partners were more likely to display a pattern of repeated violence than men. Men’s violence was more likely to be isolated and unlikely to be repeated.
Do Men Initiate More Domestic Violence Than Women?
A 2006 study of physical and psychological aggression between 453 cohabiting couples with young children indicated that there were instances of minor aggression initiated by men in 23.3% of the cases, while there were instances of minor aggression ignited by women in 33.8 % of the cases.
Women also lead the men in cases of severe aggression with male-initiated aggression in 8.4% of the cases and female-initiated aggression in 11.5% of the cases.
The study also revealed that the most often cited reason for male-initiated aggression was female physical aggression while for female-initiated aggression it was male verbal aggression.
Is Female Domestic Violence Most Often In Self Defense?
Studies show that in half of all reported domestic abuse cases it is impossible to determine who initiated the violence, and in the other half of reported domestic violence cases, males and females initiate physical aggression at an equal rate. This is true not only in the United States but also around the world.
Data collected from 68 University studies from 38 different countries and involving more than 13,600 students found the following:
- 32% of the participants had displayed some level of violence towards their dating partner in the previous year
- In 68% of these cases, the violence was mutual
- In 9%, the violence was male-only, and in 21%, female-only
- In 25% of the case, the male initiated the violence
- In 25%, the female initiated the violence
- In the other 50%, one could not tell who initiated the violence
Studies of married couples show similar results with domestic violence being initiated as follows:
- 25% by male
- 25% by female
- The other 50% mutually
So, What Can We Conclude About Domestic Violence?
From these findings, we can safely conclude the following:
- The rate of female-on-male violence is equal to the rate of male-on-female violence.
- Domestic violence has nothing to do with gender.
- Society is misinformed about the nature of domestic violence
- Domestic violence prosecution is based on myth rather than reality
Finally, women initiate domestic violence as often as men. Still, when the police arrive, it’s most often the man who is arrested, regardless of the circumstances. So, if you have been accused and arrested for domestic violence in California, contact an experienced California Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer to preserve your innocence.