An introduction to
Male victims of domestic violence – the unseen side of domestic violence
By Robert Whiston FRSA
(on behalf of the ManKind Initiative charity)
Traditionally, feminist theory holds that in a “patriarchal society” marriage is the vehicle of oppression of women.  However, outside those restrictive parameters it becomes increasingly less relevant as the different gender profiles are offered up for comparison..
As might be surmised that view of cause and effect quickly losses cohesion when confronted with survey results of gay and lesbian domestic violence where violence is more common than in heterosexual relationships.  In addition, a study in a doctoral dissertation by psychologist Valerie Coleman of 90 lesbian couples, showed that 46% had experienced repeated violent incidents (Garcia, 1991). The lifestyles of gay and lesbians, by definition, cannot be said to be a product of oppressed victims of marriage or of patriarchy.
The model loses further credibility when heterosexual male victims of domestic violence (DV) are considered. They too, do not fit the mould of oppressed victims of a patriarchal society.
There is perhaps no agreed definitive model of what causes domestic violence. At the moment what we can say is that it is incorrect to assert that domestic violence is perpetuated because of an imbalance – physical or economic – between men and women. However, regardless of sex or preferred gender roles victims of domestic violence all deserve equal treatment and consideration. Unfortunately, for men there are at present no resources or support services. Frequently they are ignored or disbelieved. 
In 1997, the American Psychological Association’s official journal, the “Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology”, found domestic violence by men was more likely to be associated with indicators of powerlessness than it was when women were violent.
This was evident in the Kosovan war. Practical insights into the cause of this phenomenon began to appear in June 1999 when the world’s newspapers carried stories of domestic violence by Kosovans as a result of ethnic cleansing (e.g. Daily Telegraph, 1/6/99). Before the Kosovans began their return home increasing levels of anti‑social and pathological behaviour were reported by Aid Workers in many of the camps.
Severely traumatized Kosovans, unable to cope with the atrocities they had witnessed were directing their sense of impotency onto themselves, their wives and family. Thus, powerlessness caused violence. Interviewed by the Daily Telegraph (June 1st 1999) Sue Prosser, head of MSF (Medicine Sans Frontiere) mental health project said:
- “There is a huge problem with domestic violence in the camps. We are also starting to see suicide attempts because some of these men see no other way out. The problem of accepted social norms breaking down seem exacerbated by the misery of the camps, where they have little control over their lives prompting depression and violence ‑ particularly among men and young men. Having lost everything including their identity and dignity, the men are attempting to regain some semblance of control and assert themselves which leads in turn to heightened family tensions and domestic violence. In contrast, Kosovan women are ‘internalising’ their trauma. They are experiencing epileptic fits, occasions when their bodies go rigid.“
The same edition of “Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology”, reported that researchers found that physical violence among men was more strongly associated with unemployment, low educational attainment, and few social support resources. These are precisely the same factors that are found in the 1999 domestic violence survey publication “Home Office Study 191” (see Appendix A).
Until more definitive or conclusive research is concluded into the causes of domestic violence it remains easier to state the negative, ie what it is not, rather than propound models that may be found wanting in the near future.
- Domestic violence is not related to marriage as cohabitation brings about greater incidences of offending. The use and occupation of women’s refuges is dominated by female cohabitees and casual girlfriend type relationships – not married women.
- Domestic violence is not about ‘power’ as usually portrayed, if anything, quite the opposite (see Kosovan reference above and prison reference below).
- Domestic violence is not related to men’s inherent violent nature because men are socialised to protect women and children and to sacrifice themselves, e.g. ‘women and children first’. In the example of the RMS Titanic, men from all passenger classes, from steerage to first class, put women and children first and so the death rate for men was the by far the highest. Indeed, this fact may also be the very reason why there are low reporting frequencies of female aggression +noted in all countries.
- Domestic violence is not due to size and strength differences between the sexes. 
The last point (size and strength) is more insidious than would be commonly imagined. For example, official Home Office statistics show high levels of murder and assault of men by other men who are blandly classified as ‘acquaintances’, ‘stranger’ or ‘known to the victims’. But we are not told exactly what their relationship to one anther is, or whether the motive was monetary or sexual favours.  Dr. Warren Farrell, quoting FBI figures, shows that intermediary or ‘contract’ beatings or murder of male spouses (sometimes by the ex-wives new boyfriend) is far greater than previously supposed.
The argument premised on “economic imbalance” must also be considered suspect. It cannot be said to be the key, as an imbalance in earning power between men and women has always been the historic ‘norm’. Only in recent decades has legislation eliminated the historical differences. Single women now earn the same as single men. But it is in those very decades that concern about domestic violence has risen. This concern correlates with the rise in power of feminism and the disproportionate influence of its radical wing (Rad-Fems).
The economic argument further fails when spending patterns of disposable incomes are analysed. Women may earn less (or not at all, if housewives) but in the majority of households they have the virtual monopoly of spending any money earned. In addition, out of the disposable income women spend far more (around 7 times) on ‘personal’ items for themselves than do men (see “The Myth of Male Power”, by Dr. Warren Farrell, and ONS, Household Survey).
Susan L. Morrow, one of the authors of a 1989 article in the ‘Journal of Counselling and Development’, witnessed a therapist refer to a lesbian who had been abused by her partner as “borderline” and “paranoid.” The fact that the patient was a victim was completely ignored. Morrow and co-author Donna M. Hawxhurst found that several myths – that women are less aggressive than men and therefore don’t batter, and that women are incapable of inflicting serious harm – “have contributed to the secrecy surrounding the issue” of lesbian partner abuse. Could the imbalance advocated by many (lesbian) radical feminists really be a mental imbalance ?
In the past decade, there have also been three large-scale gender-neutral studies in the UK, all showing a significant level of female aggression in couple relationships:
- The MORI survey in 1991 (which reported 10% of women and 3% of men admitting tohitting their partner).
- The survey of 2,000 heterosexual adult men and women conducted on behalf of the BBC by Dr Malcolm George in 1994,
- The comprehensive survey reported in Home Office Research Study 191 published inJanuary 1999.
In the US and Canada there have been far more large-scale gender-neutral studies and for many years. The most well known is probably Behind Closed Doors – Violence in The American Family, (1980) by Murray Strauss, Richard Gelles and Suzanne Steinmetz. They reported that domestic assault rates between men and women were about equal (see Appendix B).
Physically, men caused more damage to women but women retaliated with weapons. This is backed up in a report from Leicester Royal Infirmary, England, that reported that their findings confirmed that men and women were equally victims of violent assault but that men’s injuries were more horrific because they were caused by weapons.  (see also footnote 31).
Despite HOS 191 being the biggest survey of domestic violence of its kind, it is routinely ignored by government and ministers. Its conclusions endorse those of other large sample and gender neutral studies from around the world, including Fiebert. Most samples sizes in surveys and reports cited in the media are ‘attitudinal’ and or comprise a sample of no more than 50 or 250 respondees. A bibliography of male victims of domestic violence has been collated by Martin Fiebert PhD  (US). Often they are from self-selecting populations, e.g. a survey about the incidence or likelihood of violence conducted in a women’s refuges.  The BMA’s report into DV questioned 429 men, but only about whether or not they had physically or sexually abused women, not vice versa (July 1998).
Publication of HOS 191 coincided with the ministerial launch of “Breaking the Chain” (Jan 1999) yet three years later HOS 191 continues to be never mentioned in any announcement of new initiatives.
Despite “Breaking the Chain” not addressing the issue of men as victims of domestic violence Miss. Jeshran of the Criminal Policy Strategy Unit at the Home Office felt able, in April 1999, to write that it was an “…. example of measures that are gender neutral and designed to be helpful to both men and women.”
Six months later the Gov’t released another document (June 1999) entitled “Living Without Fear”. This document outlined £6 million plus a further £6.3m and £14m of government and near-govt money available for schemes to combat violence against women. There was no mention of funding for male victims. The only male helpline for male victims (MALE) closed in 2000 when the Merton women’s refuge decided they could no longer afford the £5,832 spent on male victims. Their budget for 2001 had been pruned from £123,500 to £116,000. The £5,832 substantially off-set the lost £7,500.
Again, in June of 1999, the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw, said when opening a new court in Leeds that “Domestic violence is the beating up by men of their female partners”. Paul Boateng, then also at the Home Office said publicly that, “Violence against men in the family does not exist”.
Thus, six months after its release, HOS 191 was effectively buried by ministers and incessant newspaper articles, such as the Daily Express’s banner headline “This Nation of Wife Beaters” (June 30th 1999).
The previously mentioned report into domestic violence sponsored by the British Medical Assoc. in 1998 was authored by among others, Radford & Hester (see footnote 9 above). Of all the references cited, over 60% were derived from surveys of women’s refuges’ or studies that contained in their title; “abused women”, “battered women”, “abusive men”, “wife abuse”, “patriarchy”, “violent men”, etc, etc. None were titled Abused Men and references to battered men and abused fathers (caused by women) could be counted on one hand.
By February 2000 the Home Office had a domestic violence budget of £250m for its Crime Reduction Programme (CRP), a programme that was first announced by the Home Secretary in July 1998. Tenders for funds were invited by the Home Office for the “Crime Reduction Programme: Reducing Violence Against Women Initiative” which continues to be part of the £250m. However, no one who has tendered for male victims has received any funding. 
We need to ask ‘why’? Why is there no funding for men; why do we never hear of men as victims; why are funding applications routinely rejected; and why is it that politicians ‘see’ only female victims ?
A significant part of the answer must be political pressure leading to political expediency. Even if male victims constituted only 1% to 5% (as used to be assumed), it should be sufficient to justify funds and prompt “support services” to be directed towards them. HOS 191 states that 4.2% of men and 4.2% of women suffer from acts of domestic violence – the only difference it concludes is that women, not unnaturally, feel more “frightened”. This level of partner violence is validated in other surveys including those in Canada and the US.
If 4.2% of victims trigger huge Government largess, why is it withheld from another group who also constitute 4.2% ?
Some years ago Dewar Research undertook a limited survey of half of all police forces in England. The results broadly mirrored the later conclusions found in HOS 191, namely that domestic violence is evenly distributed in the population; that around 50% of victims are men; and that age and marital status is relevant. Domestic violence is, therefore, not a gender crime but it has been politicised and presented as such for a variety of reasons
Dewar Research, which is cited in HOS 191, also found that only 45% of all domestics involved either male or female spouses or cohabitees (past and present). The remaining 55% of offenders were either: another women, other family members (male and female), neighbours (male and female), or other friends acquaintances or strangers (male and female).
However, even if we were still to suppose that men only represented 5% or 10% of all victims of domestic violence, ManKind would still be pressing for adequate funding and support commensurate with demand. But that is not the case. Even the most dogged of radical feminists (e.g. Betsy Stanko and Women’s Aid) now recognise that men constitute 20% of all victims. This is far short of the true picture but ManKind welcomes the move, which they must realise, reduces their argument that all funding must be channelled towards solely women. ManKind predicts that it will perhaps take a further 3 or 4 years before society will recognise the truer level of 40% – 50% of victims are men.
The BCS (British Crime Survey) ‘estimates’ that in 2000 there were 499,000 cases of domestic violence. Most instances, as we have alluded to above, were reported by women. If 4.2% of women experience some form of domestic violence (according to HOS 191) and it equally applies to men (who are very reluctant to report it), then the figure of 499,000 can only represent 50%, i.e. the true figure being 998,000 victims [499k x 2] or 1.9% of total population (assuming 52m adults England & Wales).
The figure for victimisation in domestic circumstance found in many reports, e.g. Canada, is between 2% and 4%.  Figures often quoted in the range of say 26% or 54% of respondees who report domestic violence reflect only the survey sample under scrutiny and not its frequency in the general population.
Although there has been an absence of comparable studies specifically of male victims over the same period, some idea of the estimated proportions of male victims in England and Wales has been given in successive British Crime Surveys, in particular the 1996, 1998 and 2000 reports. Each of these estimated a significant proportion of male victims, namely 29%, 28% and 25% respectively (see Fig 1 and 2). A similar proportion was estimated in the 1996 Scottish Crime Survey.
Fig 1. Trends in reported male and female domestic violence (1995 – 2001).
The more publicised headline figure of “1 in 4” women suffering domestic violence over a lifetime, while very attractive to the media, is based on an extrapolation of life long predictions of what might or might not happen, and is therefore of little significance in statistical terms. It is also misleading because the banner headlines focus on somewhat dated BCS ‘estimates’ which, although finding around 22% (1 in 4) of victims were women omitted to state that 14% (ie 1 in 6) of victims were men. The fact that in recent years between 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 men report suffering domestic violence in BCS surveys appears to be of little concern and not worthy of either further research or funding.
Domestic violence is not a new concept but the unprecedented publicity it has received of late has seen it propelled onto everyone’s agenda. At the British Library, one of the six ancient books in the “turning the pages” room shows a wife beating her husband. Historical research by Dr. Malcolm George found that a husband was punished by the community if his wife beat him. Punch and Judy, depicting violence between partners, is part of our medieval heritage but so too is the Skimmington procession. A plaster frieze in Montacute House, Somerset, has been unearthed by Dr George. It depicts a wife hitting her husband over the head followed by a “Skimmington” ceremony.  Coincidentally, Montacute House was built by the country’s highest legal officer of the time, the Lord Chancellor.
Though it has now become a canon of urban mythology, the ‘rule of thumb’ maxim that is said to allow a man to beat his wife with a stick was no wider than a thumb, is not in fact based on any known ancient custom or alleged 17th century law. Promoted by women’s groups it is a modern creation and broadcaster Jennie Murray (of Woman’s Hour), in a feature article, has unconditionally and publicly withdrawn it on their behalf (Daily Telegraph, Feb 7th 2002). Simon Schama in his recent ‘History of Britain’ (BBC TV) fell into the same trap and gave the myth an unnecessary boost (Nov 2002).
Author and broadcaster Lynette Burrows, who has researched the 19th century, also insists that it was the mistress of the house, not the master, who beat both female and male servants.
Comedy in the immediate pre and post war periods often depicted, in euphemistic terms, a ‘hen- pecked husband’ with either a ‘formidable’ mother-in-law or a ‘domineering’ wife. The cartoon character of Andy Capp encapsulates this genre.
More contemporary examples of male victims are the actor John Wayne, beaten by his wife Conchita Martinez, and Humphrey Bogart battered by his wife Mayo Methot. More recently, it came to light in a custody dispute that actor Robert De Niro had been assaulted by his wife, Grace Hightower. 
US Pres. Abraham Lincoln had his nose broken with a lump of wood by his wife Mary, and Pres. Bill Clinton has also been a male victim of domestic violence by both his wife and his mother.
The view that women “are always acting in self-defence” is not true – 50 per cent of those who initiate aggression are women. The present wife of footballer George Best, whose reputation for heavy drinking is well known, admits that it was she who initiated much of the domestic violence which resulted in both of them becoming bruised (BBC TV, Sept 2002).
Politicisation of DV inevitably lends itself to manipulation. Subsequent marketing campaigns can lead to surges in reporting (see Fig 1 above). The trend lines shown in Fig 2 (below) for acquaintance violence and domestic violence might tend to endorse the view that through the1980’s the issue of DV was becoming ever-more politicised. However, the continued decline, shown in Fig 1, when mapped onto Fig 2 would suggest a level of offending in 2001 comparable to 1987 levels. This is as inexplicable as the sudden rise in 2001 of ‘female only’ victims seen in Fig 1.
Fig 2. Trends in BCS violence typology 1981 – 1997 (BCS 1998, Figure 3.10, page 15).
- “Looking at the violence typology, domestic violence and acquaintance violence have decreased significantly by 34% and 35% respectively. The declines in domestic violence and acquaintance violence are large and statistically significant”.
This is as ManKind predicted and we are discussing with the Home Office the reason for the increase in female victims for 2001 – 2002 (see Fig 1).
The television programme “Dispatches”, in conjunction with ManKind, conducted a survey and found that 25% of male victims who called the police for help were themselves arrested. Other programme findings, broadcast on Channel 4 (Jan 7th 1999), were:-
- only 50% asked for any type of help
- 89% of male victims felt that the police did not take their complaints seriously
- only 7% of the female assailants had been arrested and none were subsequently charged
- 30% had been attacked whilst asleep 
- 25% had been kicked in the genitals
This sends a dangerous message to men because society is saying they are not going to get any legal redress so their option is to hit back.
The situation for men is further complicated by our cultural values. A recent American survey of 60,000 people, aged over 18, conducted by the Department of Justice, found that people rated a husband’s stabbing his wife to death 40% worse than a wife’s stabbing her husband to death.
In a study based on police records from Detroit, Michigan, Eve Buzawa and Thomas Austin concluded that while 85% of the victims in the reported cases were female, only 14% of the female victims compared to 38% of the male victims had “serious injuries.”
According to those number (85 x 14% = 11.9 women; 15 x 38% = 5.7 men), women are about twice as likely as men to be seriously injured in a domestic violence incident. But in terms of risk of “seriously” being injured, men at 38% are three time more likely to than women (see “Determining Police Response to Domestic Violence Victims”, American Behavioural Scientist, May 1993).
Violence takes various forms. There is no question that since men are, on average, bigger and stronger than women are, they can do more damage in a fistfight. However, according to Professors R.L. McNeely and Coramae Richey Mann, “the average man’s size and strength are neutralised by guns and knives, boiling water, bricks, fireplace pokers and baseball bats.” In fact, a 1984 study of 6,200 cases of reported domestic assault found that 86% of female-on-male violence involved weapons, while only 25% of male-on-female violence did.
But the tendency to dismiss female violence as negligible, harmless, or ‘justified’ can be quite unfair to men. In a 1993 study of police handling of domestic violence in Detroit, 94 percent of the female victims and none of the male victims, who accounted for 30 percent of the serious injuries, were satisfied with the police response. One man was taken to the hospital after his girlfriend stabbed him in the chest, but his pleas that she be arrested or at least removed from his home were ignored. The attitudes of many public officials are exemplified by a comment made a few years ago by Los Angeles prosecutor Alana Bowman: “Men, if they need to leave a violent situation, can spend a night on a park bench.” 
Messages become even more mixed when according to a study of women’s attitude towards other women who were violent it was “ … considered attractive and on a par with being assertive and aggressive”. Ms Chappell, of the Open University, said “What the results of these studies tell us is that for women in ordinary, everyday life violence is mostly a matter of the mundane. As participants in this study made clear, ordinary women who behave violently seldom pose any serious threat at all. They can be nasty, stroppy, mean and manipulative, but hardly ever will they cause serious injury or act uncontrollably”. The stated reason was that it ‘gets things done’ (Daily Telegraph, 9/4/99).
Terrie Moffitt, professor of social behaviour at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, agrees that women do engage in abusive behaviour and said the Home Office should fund research into the issue in the UK.
- “If we ask ‘does women’s violence have consequences for their kids’ then the answer is ‘yes’,” she said. “There is also an elevated risk of children being victims of domestic violence if there is central violence between parents” (see Appendix C-1 to C-4).
One of the most fascinating and perhaps most pertinent findings into domestic violence is the analysis of data gleaned from a longitudinal study of a birth cohort in Dunedin, New Zealand. Researchers posited whether physical abuse was strongly linked with mental disorders. Tracked for over 21 years analysis showed that 88% of men and 65% of women who became embroiled in severe partner violence (either as perpetrator or victim) ‘presented’ with signs of mental disorders (comorbidity) as defined and measured by the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSMIIIR). 
Comorbidity means that a patient suffers from two or more disorders or problematic conditions at once. Comorbidity between abuse and mental disorders was examined because studies of comorbidity among mental disorders have shown that coexistence of multiple psychiatric problems predicts more severe life impairment, longer duration of the problems, and poorer response to treatment (see Appendix C-3 & D). In the light of this, the Home Office move to withdraw funding for male counselling is all the more disappointing and regressive.
If being violent, either physically or emotionally, to someone is ‘oppressive’, then domestic violence is oppression. However, it would be wrong to assume oppression cannot be directed at both sexes, at any age and by all genders.
Domestic violence appears to occur in two quite separate scenarios. The first is where one or both parties have been disagreeing and there is a temporary, abrupt and catastrophic loss of self-control, ie leading to hitting out physically or lashing out verbally by one or both parties.
The second is where domination or control of the other person is the planned and prime motive force. This, by definition, is not temporary. However, third parties arriving at the scene after an incident of the second type could be forgiven for seeing it as one that falls into the first category. Erin Pizzey wrote of this in her book “Prone to Violence” and again in her newest book “Terrorists in the Family”. Both titles capture the essence of the situations. Both books would seem to embrace the mental instability aspect found in Ms. Moffitt’s research.
The question to be answered is, ‘If domestic violence is loss of control, then is the real oppression being perpetrated by the party that connives or the other party who reactively lashes out ?’ (Appendix D).
Power does not seem the be the answer as can be seen from prison violence statistics where inmates, unable to wield power, are subject to loss of power and control over their daily lives (Appendix E)
The ‘gendered’ view of violence is that men who batter their wives are more likely to assault their children.  Therefore, using that model, the one that lashes out is the perpetrator. However, this 20- year-old view is now increasingly seen as a dated perspective and written with ‘an agenda’ in mind rather than an objective assessment. For example:-
- ‘The battering of women who are mothers usually predates the infliction of child abuse’ (Stark & Flitcraft, 1988). ‘At least half of all battering husbands also batter their children’ (Pagelow, 1989). ‘The more severe the abuse of the mother, the worse the child abuse’ (Bowker, Arbitell, and McFerron, 1988).’
If this linkage is true, then we should expect violence perpetrated by mothers and women to not only deeply affect children but to be more common than violence by fathers. We already know statistically that women and mothers abuse children more often then fathers. This has been true in all English speaking countries over many decades (see Appendix C, F-1 to F-2 and G). In Britain, the research of Susan Creighton, since the late 1970, bears this out. Boxing Heavy Weight Champion of the world, George Forman, experienced years of physical abuse from his mother growing up and as a teenager.
Despite recent NSPCC television adverts (2001 and 2002) depicting men as aggressors, their own research reveals that in numerical and percentage terms children are more likely to be abused, battered, neglected or murdered by their mothers than by fathers.
That men are violent is not in contention. We all know they are and can be. What is really at issue is the struggle to have accepting the view that women can be equally violent – or more so (Appendix B & E).
A 1997 study by Anne McMurray of the Griffith University School of Nursing (Australia) began with the express purpose to “provide definitive explanations for the violent behaviours of certain males.” However, she was forced to conclude that “regardless of the males propensity toward violence” the circumstances most conducive to it arose “during the process of marital separation and divorce, particularly in relation to disputes over child custody, support, and access.”
- “These men,” McMurray continued, “from a range of socio-economic backgrounds and age groups, freely discussed episodes in which they had either planned, executed, or fantasized about violence against their spouses in retaliation for real or perceived injustices related to child custody, support, and/or access. One is tempted to say this is what fathers are for: to become violent when someone interferes with their offspring.”
Culture cruelly colludes with biology and psychology to drive men toward instinctively protecting their family only it would appear for this to be penalised by the courts.
Society finds it difficult to come to terms with these facts, to realise that the hand that rocks the cradle can also kill. Why are we so surprised and appalled that men hit and abuse women who are physically smaller when women regularly hit and abuse small children ?
To paraphrase the Ancient Mariner when society is asked to choose it prefers “ not to look, but draws its eyes away”.  Faced with taboos society invariably runs away from tough choices. There are many taboos we prefer not to acknowledge. Many come as a shock to the uninitiated.
- It used to be thought that divorce was better for children than living in an unhappy marriage and that divorce didn’t really ‘damage’ children’s long-term prospects. 
- It used to be thought that child sexual abuse in families was perpetrated by fathers and step-fathers but now data from the NSPCC show that fathers are the least likely to commit these offences. 
- It used to be thought that only a man could perpetrate rape and that all paedophiles were men (we now know that between 25% and 35% of all paedophiles are women). 
- We used not to know the cause of schizophrenia but now there are indications that it is related to stress levels and social factors (including fatherlessness), and that it may even have an ethnic bias. (BBC News, on-line 22 June 2002, citing King’s College, London). 
So we are left with very few inhibitions about how the world really works and we should no longer be surprised to learn that men can be victims of domestic violence. It used to be difficult for many people to conceptualise men as victims of domestic violence but the evidence is now so overwhelming there can be no excuse.
Today’s repertoire of politically correct excuses insists that we must perceive a woman who batters a man to be acting, by definition, in self-defence – after all, he has the power. This leads to a “victim-either-way” scenario. Victimhood is now an exalted status but leads only to victimhood syndrome.
The resulting rationalisation leaves men feeling blamed either way. This ‘no win’ situation increases tensions and, therefore, increases the likelihood of the battering of a spouse or partner leading to the break-up of relationship. In turn this leaves millions of children raised without the love of their Dads, and as fathers are the main socialising force available to children, the spiral of deprivation and anti-social behaviour is initiated. In cost-effective terms it is far more attractive to keep the family together and work to iron out problems as a united whole. The state makes a poor ‘parent’.
In the view of Dr. Warren Farrell and Prof. Stephan Baskerville, society is therefore legislating on very questionable evidence. That ‘evidence’ has been available since the 1970’s (see “Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say”, pp 141 – 156). For example, the National Family Violence Survey (US) found that;
- “ ….. compared with 1975 ..… severe violence against wives had by 1992 decreased by 48%, but violence against husbands (by wives) had decreased only 2%. And although overall violence (including minor violence like shoving or slapping) against women decreased, overall violence against men increased.” 
Fig 3. “Indexed” trend in comparable crime 1981 – 1997 (BCS 1998, p23, Fig 4.5)
The conduct of British cabinet ministers, underlined by their disdain of HOS 191, and the Canadian and American examples (‘Alberta Report’ and “Behind Closed Doors”) reinforces the view that there has unquestionably been systematic suppression of reports where men are victims.
What can be seen in Fig 3, after 1985/87, is the emergence of a variance between reported and recorded crimes, which only comes back into alignment in 1995 – 97. After 1993, the number of reported crimes actually began to fall. The recently published 2001 BCS shows continued falls for 1999 and 2000. This, naturally, has implications for funding and the making of grants to those advocates for whom domestic violence is an increasing problem. If instead, there was a recognition that it was a declining problem this would lead to a diminution in the availability of funds. The obvious and logical step when faced with a declining situation, would be to counter the effect by enlarging the definition. This has now happened with domestic violence and we must expect it to happen in other areas.
The legislating on shaky foundations leads us to the question, “Has violence against men been censored out of public life ? And, if so, why ? The short answer is “Yes”. Studies reporting violence against men have indeed been censored. The “why”, ie the underlying dynamics of this censorship, is very simple to grasp. It is not a conspiracy but the result of the collective and incremental action of many people, many of whom have no idea what the impact will have in political terms.
Take one American pioneer analyst of research in domestic violence, R. L. McNeely. When asked why few studies are published he replied, “I’ll tell you why – as soon as I published results along these lines, I received a letter threatening to stop my funding.”
It’s as simple as that. To a greater or lesser degree funding is the prerogative of either private industry or government departments. The fund suppliers have to feel they are getting value for money. They also have to be led to believe that more funding will bring them closer to the results they want. Women as abusers, as we have seen with the NSPCC television adverts, don’t make for attractive newspaper ‘feature’ articles or for the quotable headlines they crave, for example, the seductive 1 in 4.
At an even more personal level, we must not forget that a portion of the government funding to a professor or research faculty usually goes to the university.  We must not also forget the kudos of being given a multi-million pound budget reflects well on the university, attracts new students and other sponsors.
Research funding, therefore, often allows a university to keep a professor employed. If the professor is supporting a family, it creates an ethical dilemma: When does being ‘responsible’ become
irresponsible ? And, of course, the instinct to ‘protect the female’ (in this case, his wife, in economic terms) can make the choice for him. Thus, when it comes to domestic violence, the censorship is both direct, which is a story, and indirect – which is the ‘real’ story.
In the final analysis nothing goes to men. No funding; no public acknowledgement; no sympathy; no understanding; no empathy; no research; no enlightenment; no legislation; no public opinion. In short, ‘no nothing’.
At one level the debate goes on – impervious to the urgent needs of men. In the one tent are those who stress the greater damage men do when they hit women, regardless of who strikes first. In the other tent are those who say women, especially younger women, hit first and about as often as men. While they squabble as to who should be held accountable, men and fathers are being injured and maimed. Their children look on helplessly. As researchers scuffle over domestic violence (and thereby, the all important funding) “ …. neither side is motivated to understand the other”, says Karen S. Peterson, USA TODAY, (27 July 1999). “Rather, each seeks to impose its will on the other”.
Confirmation that women are or can be as violent as men came recently with figures announced by the Home Office. The level of prison admissions for women is at an all-time high and those admitted for violence have reached unprecedented proportions.  (Appendix E and H)
The trend is echoed in many other countries. For instances the Leader-Post (01/08/02, Regina, Canada) ran a story, under the headline “Girls’ cruelty can be deadly”. It described how girls engaged in forms of aggression that can hurt just as much as a punch in the face from a boy.
For many years it has been known that girls committing violent crimes now are more likely to end up in violent relationships and that violence by a mother has a more traumatic effect on children
The archetype of this genre is the lesbian feminist and author Andrea Dworkin. She is alleged to have had a very abused and illiterate childhood leading to juvenile prostitution, which perhaps explains much of her damaged attitudes and advocacy of incest. She once opened a conference with a hitherto unexplored solution for the problem of wife-beating, namely husband-killing. She added: “I am asking you to stop men who beat women. Get them jailed or get them killed.”
Some years ago Dr. Anne Campbell (then of Durham University, now Oxford) said that in the past PMS (PMT or pre-menstrual tension) was the excuse favoured by women to explain their violence against partners. Behaviour, she believes, they cannot admit to themselves. She acknowledges that male victims feel too embarrassed to come forward. She explained the ferocity of many female attacks in this way:- Boys learn from a very early age how far to go, and decide what is a “fair fight”; they decide where and how to call a halt without inflicting too much damage. Girls on the other hand have never learnt this in their games or roles.” She said, “70% of all adolescent girls-on-girl fights involve “territory”, ie possession of a boy, or a boy’s attention. The savagery of their attacks on other girls was far worse than boys would have inflicted.”
Feminism, which despises patriarchy, cannot tolerate the idea of women as perpetrators. Feminists tend to despise the police and police officers, as embodiments of patriarchy. In their turn police officers, who embody this essence of patriarchy, see themselves in a chivalrous role and can’t tolerate the idea of “weak” men as victims (yet they are quick to prosecute men who lash out). The result is a double bind for male victims. The feminists and law enforcement agencies arrive at the same position – though via different circuitous routes – and “agree to cast men as exclusive perpetrators and women as exclusive victims.”
At the heart of the matter is the dualism of money and politics. Men suffer the same problems that women endure. Their hurt, pain and injuries are the same.  Their unhappiness at the situation in which they find themselves is identical. They, too, are torn between leaving home or staying to protect their children. They face all the dilemmas women victims of domestic violence face but must do it unaided -and they are expected to suffer it in silence
“Many gender feminists – myself previously included”, says Jenna Brooke O’Neil “thrilled to the idea that masculinity is a point of view that forgets that it is one. But that can also be true of a viewpoint that puts the female gender in the privileged position. And it seems to me that we get on very shaky ground when we, as women, posit that our gender perspective is somehow truly universal and objective.” O’Neil, who teaches ‘Women in US History’, says that this question has caused her to rethink her one-time flirtation with the idea that the most fundamental feature of our society is its unrelenting maintenance of a sex / gender system that keeps women cowering and submissive.
Describing herself as a ‘victim feminist in recovery’, O’Neil says her main complaint with the idea of men as sole perpetrators in the domestic violence equation is the idea that women can’t be perpetrators, except in self-defense and other extreme situations provoked by men. “The appeal is that it reduces some very complex issues to a manageable band of complexity, or should I say simplicity”, adding. “Which, of course, is also its fundamental limitation.”
What’s clear is that women’s and girls’ violence is not meaningless, either for researchers or for the women themselves. Teenage girls who commit violent crimes “are twice as likely to become victims themselves than juvenile male offenders according to an FBI report.
“Moffitt’s findings about women’s violence and the FBI statistics are invitations to further research – not because so many women are being beaten and killed every year, but because of it”, says Patricia Pearson.  “But there are additional reasons why all aspects of violence must be studied, including those of violent women.”
In the last paragraph of her book Patricia Pearson states why that is:
- “The consequences of our refusal to concede female contributions to violence are manifold. It affects our capacity to promote ourselves as autonomous and responsible beings. It affects our ability to develop a literature about ourselves….. It demeans the right our victims have to be valued. And it radically impedes our ability to recognize dimensions of power that have nothing to do with formal structures of patriarchy. Perhaps above all, the denial of women’s aggression profoundly undermines our attempt as a culture to understand violence, to trace its causes and to quell them.”
There is an enormous number of victims of violence by women. Patricia Pearson makes it quite clear in her book who they are: men, of course, but foremost children, and also other women, in short, women’s victims, just like men’s victims, are to be found in all sectors of society. They have rights, and they need to be heard, seen and recognised.
Most of all they, too, need our help. Will we help them, or will we continue to ignore them ? What choice will you make ?
E n d
- ‘The Courtship Dance of the Borderline’ By Anthony Walker, MD, ISBN: 0-595-19712-4, US, 2002. (Note the 2%)
- ‘Violent femmes: Women beating up on men ? You bet’ The Union Leader, New Hampshire, 1 August 2002
- ‘Men fall victim to domestic violence’ By A Correspondent, The Times, March 5th 2002
- ‘Lies, damned lies and rape statistics’ By Melanie Phillips. First published in the Daily Mail, July 24 2002.
- ‘Men shouldn’t be forgotten victims’ By Brad Crouch, Sunday Mail (South Australia), 6 January 2002, Page 30
- ‘Men as well as women are victims of domestic abuse but discussing that fact is a taboo in our society.’ By Wendy McElroy May 29, 2001, firstname.lastname@example.org
- ‘Straw pulls plug on counselling for wife-beaters’ By Martin Bright and Sarah Ryle, The Observer, 28 May 2000
- “Researcher claims men, women equal abusers – data supported by Statistics Canada study” By Linda Slobodian Calgary Herald, November 6, 2000, Front page (Prof. M. Straus) Canada
- ”Battered males: A domestic abuse secret’ By Ruth-Ellen Cohen, Of the News Staff, Bangor Daily News, 27 October 2000
- ‘Women are more violent, says study’ By Sophie Goodchild, The Independent Home Affairs Correspondent, 12 November 2000, Britain
- ‘Battered men want victim status’ By Jonathan Milne, Nations News, 13 OCTOBER 2000, New Zealand
- ‘Violence against men deserves attention, too’ by Donna Laframboise, National Post August 1st 2000, Canada (Note 2%)
- ‘Love you to death, my funny Valentine By Amanda Craig, News Review, February 6th 2000, USA
- “Man beaters behind closed doors”, By Melanie Phillips, Sunday Times, November 19th 2000 New Review, Britain
- ‘Abusing the Truth: Woman Trouble’ By Cathy Young http://www.modernman.com/family/244-1.html
- ‘Men are the victims of a feminist myth’ By Melanie Phillips, Sunday Times Sunday, May 30th 1999, Britain
- “Women emerge as aggressors in Alberta survey – “67% of women questioned say they started severe conflicts” by Brad Evenson and Carol Milstone, National Post, Saturday 10 July 1999, Ottawa – Canada
- ‘Teach girls and boys not to be bullies’ By Kathleen Parker, The Orlando Sentinel, October 13, 1999.
- ‘Silence of the Screams – Female Violence in Intimate Relationships’ by Yuri Joakimidis. Policy Monograph – Joint Parenting Association – Nov 1996. Australia (Note 2%)
A Review of 20 Years of Research, London, Sage Publications (divergent views)
- Mullender, A., (1996), Rethinking Domestic Violence the Social Work & Probation Response, London, Routledge.
- Pirog-Good, M.,A., Stets, J., A., (1989), Violence in Dating Relationships, Emerging Social Issues, London, Prasgrave.
- Stets, Y., E., & Strauss, M., A., (1990), gender Differences in Reporting Marital Violence & its Medical & Psychological Consequences in Physical Violence, Transaction Publishing, 151/165.
- Steinmetz, S., (177), The Use of Force for Resolving Family conflict; a Training Ground for Abuse, the Family Coordinator, Vol 26, p 19/26.
- Szinovacz, M., E., (1983), Using couple Data as Methodological Tool, the Case of Marital Violence, Journal of Marriage & the Family, Vol. 45, p 633/44.
- Strauss, M., A., Gettes, R., Y., Steinmetz, S., K., (1980), Behind Closed Doors, Violence in American Families, New York, Doubleday.
- Straus, M., A., & Gelles, R., J., (1986), Societal Change & Change in Family Violence from 1975 to 1985 as Revealed by 2 National Surveys, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 465/479.
- Straus, M., A., & Gelles, R, J., (1987),The Costs of Family Violence, Public Health Reports, Vol 102 (6), 639/641.
Home Office Study 191 (Jan 1999)
H.O. Study 191 demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of incidents of domestic violence occur between young couples (under 25 year old), and non-marital (cohabitees) relationships.
Note: ONS figures show that the average age for marriage for women is about 28 years old.
Page (vii) “4.2% of women and 4.2% of men were said to have been physically assaulted by their current or former partner in the last year”.
“4.9% of men and 5.9% of women had experienced physical assaults or frightening threats”.
Page (ix) “Half of life-time incidents were committed by current of former spouses compared to 43% of last years incidents, probably reflecting the lower rates of marriage amongst the young [First indication that domestic violence is age and martial status related- Ed].
Page (viii) “Amongst women, risks of physical assault in 1995 were highest for those who were 16 – 24 [years old]; separated from their spouses [this definition includes cohabitees- Ed]; Council tenants; in poor health; and/or in financial difficulties”.
“Women aged 20 –24 reported the highest levels of domestic violence in the survey; 28% said they had been assaulted by a partner at some time and 34% had been threatened or assaulted [too broad a range to the meaningful – Ed].
“The victim was injured in 47% of incidents …. women 47% and men 31% ….. 9% of incidents resulted in cuts and 2% in broken bones”.
Page (ix) “A half of those who were living with their assailant were still doing so at the time of the BCS interview ……”
Page 11. “Young women now tend to live with a greater number of partners so increasing their chances of encountering one that is violent.
Page 28. Summary; Figure 4.1 “Prevalence of domestic assaults” depicts a reversed logistical curve for incidents of domestic violence decreasing with age. Groupings begin from 16-19 and end 55- 59. There is little difference between men and women.
Page 29. Summary; Figure 4.2 “ Risk of domestic assault in 1998 by ethnic group”. There is only half of one percent point differentiating Whites from Blacks, Indians and Pakistanis.
“Women who described themselves as currently separated from their partner [most likely a former cohabitee -Ed] with whom they had previously been living were by far the most likely to have been victims of domestic violence in the previous year”.
“At lowest risk are married women (2%) …… Married men are also at lowest risk (3%) but at greatest risk are the non-married cohabiting (8%) than the separated (5%) [men].”
Page 30. “Women living in households whose head of household’s occupation fell into the two least skilled categories reported the highest rates of assault in the previous year (6%). Women in ‘professional’ households reported the lowest (3%).”
General Note: Home Office Study 191, undertaken by Ms. Mirrlees-Black is an extremely powerful tool. It is based on the best scientific approach and she has deployed a sound and unquestionably good methodological technique. The impartiality is guaranteed by the accuracy and confidentiality of the ‘blind’ computer technique of self-response used.
Appendix B -1
Spousal Assaults expressed as rate per 1,000 couples (1975 – 1992)
|Minor Assaults||Year||Assault by husband||Assault by wife|
|Wives report they have been severely assaulted by husband||22 per 1,000|
|Wives report they have severely assaulted their husband||59 per 1,000|
|Husbands report they have been severely assaulted by wives||32 per 1,000|
|Husbands report they have severely assaulted their wives||18 per 1,000|
|Husbands & wives both report wife has been assaulted||20 per 1,000|
|Husbands & wives both report husband has been assaulted||44 per 1,000|
Tables prepared using data from “Change In Spouse Assault Rates From 1975 to 1992: A Comparison of Three National Surveys In The United States”, by Murray A. Straus and Glenda Kaufman Kantor.
Spousal assaults expressed as rate per 1,000 couples
|Minor Assaults||Year||Assault by husband||Assault by wife|
|Wives report they have been severely assaulted by husband||22 per 1,000|
|Wives report they have severely assaulted husband||59 per 1,000|
|Husbands report they have been severely assaulted by wives||32 per 1,000|
|Husbands report they have severely assaulted wives||18 per 1,000|
Appendix B –2
Victims of domestic violence by sex – England and Wales
For every 3 ‘reported’ female victims there is approximately 1 male victim. However as the Canadian statistical service has reported, men are 5 time less likely to report a domestic violence incident involving their partner (“Report on Family Violence in Canada”, see abridged article below).
New figures of victims of domestic violence by sex from the Home Office (Oct 2002)
|Trend in estimated number of incidents of domestic violence in thousands|
|England and Wales|
|Year||Total||Male incidents||Female incidents||% male incidents|
|1996 BCS (crime in 1995)||987||298||694||30|
|1998 BCS (crime in 1997)||812||253||564||31|
|2000 BCS (crime in 1999)||771||203||575||26|
|2001 BCS (crime in 2000)||503||134||374||27|
|2001/2 BCS interviews||621||117||511||19|
The fall to 19% is uncharacteristic of prior trends particularly when the figure for women reporting victimhood have increased after a steady decline. In this latest table these figures are said to have been ‘adjusted’ and the result ‘weighted’ by reference to the ONS and new population total indices.
Abused males get a statistical break – maybe
By Lynne Cohen, Report Newsmagazine, August 12, 2002, p. 35
[ Abridged ]
At last – reliable statistics showing that women abuse men almost as much as men abuse women. In its fifth annual “Report on Family Violence in Canada,”[*] release June 26, 2002 Statistics Canada reported that 8% of women and 7% of men claimed to have experienced at least one incident of spousal violence between 1990 and 1995.
But Male victims shouldn’t crack open the champagne yet to celebrate all the funding that governments will be redirecting their way. The study also reports that women are five times more likely to report serious abuse, including choking and to seek medical attention.
These findings nevertheless represent a rare masculine breakthrough, a slight dent in the exclusive possession of spousal abuse claims by women’s groups. They are based on a sample of 25,876 respondents, broken down proportionally by gender in accordance with census data. Furthermore, they
may be readily believable.
Why so ? Mainly because of their source, the often-maligned Statistics Canada, which went on a politically correct social analysis binge in the 1990s. Its seems that StatCan, whether or not it is appreciated at home, regularly wins international awards (including one some time ago from Britain’s ‘The Economist’) for the integrity of its work. Indeed, says departmental spokeswoman Karan Mihorean, “people from all over the world train here.” 
* Catalogue no. 85-224-XIE, “Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2002” Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics
<http://www.statcan.ca/english/IPS/Data/85-224-XIE.htm > < http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/85-224-XIE/free.htm >
Appendix C –1
Table 4-4: Maltreatment Fatalities by Perpetrator Relationship, 1999 DCDC
|Relationship of Perpetrator to Victim||Number
of Fatality Victims
of Fatality Victims
|Male Parent and Other||5||1.1%|
|Substitute Care Provider(s)||27||6.1%|
|Male Parent Only||47||10.7%|
|Female Parent and Other||72||16.3%|
|Female Parent Only||139||31.5%|
Note. Based on data from 15 States: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. Sum of percentage column does not total 100.0% due to rounding of the category percentages. (See also Appendix F)
England & Wales
Often overlooked in discussions relating to violence and perpetrators is consideration of the ultimate form of abuse and violence, namely those acts leading death.
Various groups have rightly made linkage in the past between child abuse and spousal or partner abuse.
Figures from UK and US sources show that children in families where their is no regular contact with a father, or father figure, are more pre-disposed to become murder victims (see Figure 4.4 “Criminal Statistics England and Wales 2000” published by the Home Office. (See also Appendix C -4 )
Appendix C –2
In England and Wales, “child abuse” is divided into 4 primary categories and 4 secondary that are a combination: –
England only 2001
Neglect alone 10,400
Physical injury alone 5,000
Sexual abuse alone 3,200
Emotional abuse alone 4,800
Neglect, physical and sexual abuse 200
Neglect and physical injury 1,600
Neglect and sexual abuse 700
Physical injury and sexual abuse 400
(Source NSPCC and Dept of Health)
The most readily called to mind forms of abuse other than physical are 1). neglect and 2). child sexual abuse. Certain abuses are historically associated with one parent or the other (ie, either the mother or father). ‘Neglect’ continues to be the most frequent (majority) cause of abuse and has always been associated with female / mother abuse. In 2001 there were out of 26,800 cases 12,900 or 48% involving neglect (see definition overleaf).
Child sexual abuse is more commonly associated with men and father figures. However, this form of abuse represents only 15% of all child abuse. Moreover, it is becoming more widely acknowledged that women can also sexually abuse children on a scale hitherto unrealised and a recent research by the NSPCC (Nov 2000) would indicate that siblings in reconstituted families pose a larger danger.
Table 1.18 below roughly follows the child homicide trend in that the greatest risk is in the infant years.
Table 1.18 Registrations to child protection register during the year ending March 1999 by age sex and category of abuse (rates per 10,000).(NSPCC).
- Where: Neglect = Neglect only
- Neglect + Ph + Sx = Neglect and physical abuse and sexual abuse
- Neglect + Ph = Neglect and physical abuse
- Physical abuse = Physical abuse only
Neglect – Definition
A number of studies have sought to measure neglectful behaviour, but there is no standard way to subcategorise neglect. The Virginia Child Protection Newsletter , 1998, p.3, outlines the following subcategories, as recognised by Virginia’s Department of Social Services:-
- Inadequate supervision
- Inadequate clothing
- Inadequate shelter
- Inadequate personal hygiene
- Inadequate food
- Failure to obtain emergency care or treatment
- Failure to obtain necessary care or treatment
- Failure to obtain necessary dental care or treatment
- Failure to obtain necessary mental care or treatment
- Mental Abuse
- Failure to thrive
E N D
Appendix C –3
England – NSPCC
Neglect – Parental characteristics:
Parents and caregivers that neglect their child(ren) display a wide range of demographic, socio-economic and psychological characteristics. The literature on parents in neglectful families has largely focussed on mothers, with neglect ‘usually seen in terms of the mother’s failure to provide care’ (Stevenson, 1998b, p.49), reflecting the fact that mothers are typically the primary caregivers in society (Schumacher et al, 2001, p.232).
The literature cites many ‘risk factors’ contributing to neglect:
- a large number of neglectful families are headed by a lone mother, or have a transient male (Stevenson, 1998b, p.56; Kimball et al, 1980 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.20)
- mother younger than 21 at the birth of the first child (Zuravin, 1988 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.20)
- mother having more than one child in her teens (Zuravin and Di Blasio, 1992 cited in Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 1998, p.3)
- mothers have a greater number of live births, more pregnancies and unplanned pregnancies (Chaffin et al, 1996 and Zuravin, 1987 cited in Schumacher et al, 2001, p.235)
- prematurity or very low birth weight of child(ren) (Belsky, 1984 and Ross, 1984 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.20; Zuravin and Di Blasio, 1992 cited in Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 1998, p.3)
- larger families than controls (Chaffin, 1996 cited in Schumacher et al, 2001, p.240)
- low family income (Pelton, 1994 cited in Schumacher et al, 2001, p.20; Sedlak, 1997 cited in Schumacher et al, 2001, p.235)
- neglectful parents are less likely to be in paid employment than parents in society as a whole (Creighton, 1992 cited in Minty and Pattinson, 1994, p.735)
- low educational attainment (Crittenden, 1993 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.20; Zuravin and Di Blasio, 1992 cited in Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 1998, p.3)
- neglectful mothers have lower levels of social support from the community and their families (Polansky, 1985 cited in Stevenson, 1998b, p.42)
- presence of marital violence (Erickson and Egeland, 1996 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.20)
- substance abuse (Browne and Saqi, 1988 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.21)
- mental health problems, high levels of depression and stress (Kotch, 1995 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.21); Browne and Saqi, 1988 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.21)
- history of physical and sexual abuse or neglect in the parent’s childhood (Egeland et al, 1988 cited in Ethier et al, 2000, p.20; Zuravin and Di Blasio, 1992 cited in Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 1998, p.3), although ‘the direct cause-effect relationship between parental history of neglect and subsequent neglect of children is not clearly established’ (Gaudin, 1993 cited in Stevenson, 1998b, p.51)
- neglectful mothers showed poor attachment to their primary caregivers whilst they were growing up (Belsky, 1984 cited in Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 1998, p.4)
- neglectful families are less cohesive and poorly organised, with parents rarely displaying warmth and positive interactions with their children (Gaudin and Dubowitz, 1996 cited in Browne and Lynch, 1998, p.74)
- neglectful mothers have significantly lower self-esteem than control mothers (Christiansen et al, 1994 cited in Schumacher et al, 2001, p.246; Stevenson, 1998b, p.49)
- neglectful parents process information about their children differently to other parents, which contributes to a lack of sensitivity and responsiveness towards their child (Crittenden, 1993 cited in Browne and Lynch, 1998, p.73)
However, despite the blindingly obvious, namely the frequency of fatherlessness in the above cases, the report continues in its politically correct terms to state that :-
“Evidently, there is no single ‘type’ of neglectful family. The characteristics of chronically and acutely neglectful families may also differ, with newly-neglecting parents responding to sudden stress points or life changes, for example bereavement, redundancy, divorce or illness (Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 1998, p.3).”
Scale of Incidence
Neglect is reportedly under-registered in England and Wales (Hallett and Birchall, 1992 cited in Tomison, 1995), and concerns have been expressed that ‘filtering’ out of children referred for emotional maltreatment and neglect concerns without receiving protective or support services has been particularly marked (Department of Health, 1995 cited in Department of Health, 2001, p.231).
Child protection registers are not a measure of the incidence of neglect but do give some indication of the scale of the problem. Neglect constitutes the largest category of registrations, and has increased over the last five years, whilst registrations for sexual abuse and physical injury fell.
Table A: Registrations to child protection registers in England during the years ending 31 March 1997 to 2001
|Year||Total number of registrations||Number of registrations for
|% of registrations||Total number of registrations for all cases of neglect||% of registrations|
Source: Department of Health (2001).
Appendix C -4
England – NSPCC
Child Homicides –
The untimely death of a child, through injury or other maltreatment, can be thought to represent the ultimate failure of child protection. This section deals with those child deaths either deliberately caused, or where there was a strong suspicion that they were not accidents.
5.1 Homicides – United Kingdom
The Home Office records the number of deaths in England and Wales which are classified by the police as homicide. These include murders, manslaughter deaths and deaths from infanticide. The Scottish Office and the Northern Ireland General Register Office do the same for their respective countries. The numbers and age breakdown of homicides are reported in Criminal Statistics. There are approximately 80 to 110 homicides of children aged between 0 and 16 years each year in the United Kingdom. If we are to protect future children from homicide we need a clear picture of the distinguishing characteristics of these deaths to assist in possible prevention. The fluctuations between years and the numbers in a particular year are too small to do this. Amalgamating the child homicide data over a five year period gives a better base for examining significant risk factors. Table 5.1 shows the number of homicides of children aged less than 16 years in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland between 1995 and 1999 as well as the number for the latest year.
|Child Homicides – United Kingdom (per 1m)|
|England and Wales*||397||98|
* Year April 1st – March 31st from 1998
(table excludes Dunblane killings)
This table shows that the majority of homicides in these five years were in England and Wales as is the majority of the child population. The period also included the tragic killing of 16 children by an armed man in their primary school at Dunblane in Scotland. Prior to Dunblane there were approximately eight child homicides a year in Scotland so the Dunblane killings tripled the rate of child homicides in Scotland that year.
Figure 5.1 compares the number of child homicides per million child population for England and Wales and Scotland, excluding the 16 killings in Dunblane. The number of child homicides in Northern Ireland is too small for comparison.
(See also Appendix C -1, above, where the data is broken down by age groups and Appendix H).
- NB. In the three years to December 31 2000 there were 476 cases of children being killed or severely injured by a parent or carer. – Det Insp Bacon, Sussex police force research. Nov 1st 2002, “Parents ‘getting away with murder” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2384527.stm
Findings About Partner Violence From the Dunedin
Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study.
Study by Terrie E. Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi
Published: National Institute of Justice, July 1999
Series: Research in Brief
References: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs
National Institute of Justice
National Institute of Justice Research in Brief
Available from the Web site or order a printed copy from NCJRS at 800-851-3420 (877-712-9279
Subject(s): Domestic violence, family strengthening, victim mental health (21 pages, 50,000 bytes)
Target audience: Mental health practitioners; emergency room and general practice medical professionals; victim advocates; juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and violence specialists and researchers; public health, juvenile justice, and criminal justice officials and practitioners;
Issues and Findings
Discussed in this Brief: Findings about partner violence from the longitudinal Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study of a representative birth cohort of 1,037 New Zealand men and women born between April 1, 1972, and March 31, 1973.
Key findings: Characteristics of cohort members who were involved in partner violence include the following:
- Although both partners in a relationship may not recall the same acts in precisely the same way, 70-80 percent of one partner’s report was in agreement with the other partner’s report on whether physical violence took place and on the extent of the abuse.
- Risk factors in childhood and adolescence for male perpetrators included poverty and low academic achievement. Female perpetrators showed risk factors of harsh family discipline and parental strife. Both male and female perpetrators also had histories of aggressive behavior.
- The strongest risk factor for both male and female perpetrators and victims was a record of physically aggressive delinquent offending before age 15. More than half the males convicted of a violent crime also physically abused their partners.
- About 27 percent of women and 34 percent of men among the Dunedin study members reported they had been physically abused by their partner. About 37 percent of women and 22 percent of men said they had perpetrated the violence.
- Domestic violence is most prevalent among cohabitating couples.
- Sixty-five percent of females who suffered serious physical abuse and 88 percent of male perpetrators had one or more mental disorders (as defined by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association [“DSM-III-R”]).
See over ….. / …..
How trustworthy are the data? Do partners’ reports about abuse
in their relationship agree ? 5
The scientific study of partner abuse is controversial in part because there are concerns about the accuracy of data. Abuse data are usually collected by asking respondents to “self-report” their experiences. The majority of studies usually interview only one member of each couple. Can these self-reports of abuse be trusted? To answer this question, the extent to which partners’ responses were in agreement was analyzed.
Exhibit 4. Rates of mental illness among Dunedin perpetrators and victims of severe physical abuse
Is physical abuse strongly linked with mental disorders? 10
In 1994, the American Psychiatric Association first recognized “physical abuse of an adult” as a “focus of clinical attention.” An analysis was conducted to determine whether physical abuse was often “comorbid” with mental disorders among Dunedin study members. (Comorbidity means that a patient suffers from two or more disorders or problematic conditions at once.) Comorbidity between abuse and mental disorders was examined because studies of comorbidity among mental disorders have shown that coexistence of multiple psychiatric problems predicts more severe life impairment, longer duration of the problems, and poorer response to treatment.11
Sixty-five percent of Dunedin women who were victims of severe physical abuse 12 met criteria for one or more disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (“DSM–III–R”).
“ …. In contrast, female perpetrators’ backgrounds include primarily disturbed family relationships, especially weak attachment, harsh discipline, and conflict between parents. Poverty and school failure were less important. Perpetrators of both sexes have a long history of aggressive behavior problems. For male and female perpetrators, the strongest risk factor is a record of physically aggressive delinquent offending before age 15. However, physically aggressive delinquent offending before age 15 is also the most significant risk factor for victims
Eighty-eight percent of Dunedin men who were perpetrators of severe physical abuse met DSM–III–R criteria (see exhibit 4).
Abused Dunedin women were three times more likely to suffer a mental illness than non-abused women. The male perpetrators were 13 times more likely to be mentally ill than non-perpetrators. The types of mental illnesses among perpetrators varied; they included anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol and drug dependence, antisocial personality disorder, and schizophrenia.
Rates of mental illness among female victims of severe physical abuse, female non-victims, male perpetrators of severe physical abuse, and male non-perpetrators.
The rate for female perpetrators was virtually identical to the rate for female victims, and the rate for male victims was nearly identical to the rate for male perpetrators.
See also :- Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, boyfriends, and Girlfriends (Bureau of Justice Statistics Fact book), by Lawrence A. Greenfeld, Michael R. Rand, Diane Craven, Patsy A. Klaus, Craig A. Perkins, Cheryl Ringel, Greg Warchol, Cathy Maston, and James Alan Fox.
Home Office Criminals Statistics.
“Maintaining discipline in prison is a vital but difficult task. In 1994, there were 2.3 offences committed and proved for every male prisoner and 3.3 for every female prisoner” (ie Table 9.22 shows women are around more 50% more violent then men).
Table 9.22 Offences Against Prison Discipline in GB (%) page 170. Rate per 100 prison population
1981 1991 1994
Disorder/Disrespect 75 100 111
Violence 8 21 24
Disorder/Disrespect 132 143 142
Violence 16 29 39
Source:- Home Office Criminal Statistics, and ‘Social Trends’.
BBC ‘Panorama’ – Women and violence
“Over the last few years there has been a 76% increase in the number of female prisoners. Politicians and pressure groups say it is unfair to imprison women.” (BBC Panorama, June 97).
Females now account for 4% of the total prison population. The cause, it is said, is the severe sentencing policy that women experience. Politicians and pressure groups say this is unfair to women and the Gov’t (Labour) is to look into the matter. (circa June 97).
Appendix F -1
- Mothers are perpetrators of abuse upon children at least equally with fathers”. – Senator Anne Cools (Canada) 1995.
- Child abuse morbidity – In a 1986 analysis of 100 children (covering the years 1973 – 1982) who suffered abuse and or neglect and who subsequently died found that mothers were the largest perpetrators. Mother’s accounts for 38 deaths, while 12 death were ascribed to “both parents” and 13 to fathers. – Dr. Cyril Greenland University of Toronto.
- Seven out of ten cases examined women were the abusers of children. – Bonnie & Sclare 1969
- “Physical abuse of children is the only form of family violence in which women are the perpetrators as often as men”. Brienes & Gordon, The Health and Welfare Canada Report 1989, Family Violence; a Review of Theoretical and Clinical literature
- 50 out of 57 cases women were found to be the child abuser. Steel & Pollock 1968.
- Evidence was found that mothers are more likely than fathers to be abusive. – Bell. 1986
- Mothers were identified in 38.7% of cases as the abuser and fathers 18.4% rising to 31% where cohabitation ie boyfriends step fathers were involved. – Benedict et al 1985
- In 1993 there were 46,683 child maltreatment investigations undertaken by all 54 Children’s Aid Societies. The study defined child maltreatment as any one of physical abuse, sexual abuse neglect or emotional maltreatment. The findings are as follows:
Total number of cases substantiated of child maltreatment showed that mothers were responsible for 49% of all cases and fathers 31% of the cases.
In the category of child neglect mothers perpetrated 85% of cases. In the category of physical abuse mothers perpetrated 39% of cases and biological fathers 40%.
In the category of emotional maltreatment mothers were found responsible for 79% of all substantiated cases.
Mothers were also highlighted as being heavily involved in physical abuse especially in the newly born (zero months) to three-year-old category.
Significantly, 59% of all cases regarded abuse to boy babies by their mothers. This bias continued through into the age group 4 – 11 where recordings were made that showed 55% of cases involved boy children. The largest single family group/style at 35% was the single mother unit. – Dr. Cyril Greenland, University of Toronto.
- Mothers and mother substitutes are suspected abusers in 44% of cases and fathers and father substitutes in 46.5% of cases. Dr. Susan Creighton 1979 (UK)
- 65% of child abuse is committed by women whereas only 8% of child abuse is committed by biological fathers i.e. REAL fathers. – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
- See also Appendix C -3 above
Appendix F -2
- 78% of all children are murdered by women. – Table 6-4, Page 6-11,. NIS-3 (1999).
- Child abusers are more likely to be Women. – Richard Gelles 1979 quoted in The Health and Welfare Canada Report 1989, Family Violence; a Review of Theoretical and Clinical literature.
- Study after study show that women are the majority of the initiators of domestic violence, and approx. 58% of physical altercations are initiated by the female.
- Approximately 60% of all female murderesses premeditate their murder. – Coramae Richey Mann, “Getting Even ? Women Who Kill in Domestic Encounters”. Justice Quarterly. March 1988.
- Mothers commit 55% of child murders and biological fathers commit 6%; the NIS-3 shows that Mother-only households are 3 times more fatal to children than father-only households, children are systematically removed from the natural fathers who are their most effective protectors and men are imprisoned at rate 20 times that of women. – US Bureau of Statistics.
- 96% of physical altercations resulting in injury to a spouse occurs after the date of separation.- Chadwick and Heaton, “Statistical Handbook of the American Family“.
NSPCC SHATTERS CHILD ABUSE MYTHS
Common stereotypes about child abuse are overturned in the NSPCC’s largest ever study of child maltreatment. – the NSPCC’s website.
Myth: the most common form of abuse suffered by children at home is sexual abuse.
Fact: children are 7 times more likely to be beaten badly by their parents than sexually abused by them.
Myth: most sexual abuse occurs between fathers and their daughters.
Fact: this type of incestuous relationship is rare, occurring in less than four in a thousand children. The most likely relative to abuse within the family is a brother or stepbrother.
Myth: adults are responsible for most sexual violence against children and young people outside the family.
Fact: children are most likely to be forced into unwanted sexual activity by other young people, must usually from someone described as a boyfriend. Less than three in a thousand of the young people reported sexual behaviour against their wishes with professionals working with children.
Myth: sexual attacks on children from strangers are common.
Fact: sexual assaults involving contact by strangers are very rare. Even with indecent exposure, only seven per cent of the young people reported ever having been flashed at, and just over a third of these said the person was a stranger.
Myth: most physical abuse is carried out by men, especially fathers.
Fact: violent acts towards children are more likely to be meted out by mothers than fathers (49% of the sample experienced this from mothers and 40% from fathers).
NSPCC Director, Mary Marsh stated, “Modern myths about child cruelty have emerged from the public attention given to horrific and frightening cases of child abuse by strangers. Other traditional stereotypes come from a historical wellspring of children’s stories about wicked adult bogey figures. These stereotypes have become part of popular culture. This report challenges us to re-examine preconceived ideas about child cruelty. In some cases it calls on policy-makers and professionals to overhaul thinking and reconsider how to approach different kinds of child maltreatment.”
Homicides – Relationship of victim to principal suspect (NSPCC)
England and Wales
The Home Office maintains data on the relationship of the homicide victim to the principal suspect. For those 98 homicide victims aged less than 16 in 2000/2001 Table 5.6 shows the relationship to the principal suspect.
|Son or daughter||76||(78)|
|Friend or acquaintance||5||(5)|
|Course of employment||1||(1)|
This shows that the majority of child homicide victims were killed by their parents. Unfortunately this table, in common with many others, suffers from a modern trend where the sex and age of the perpetuator is not revealed.
Source: Home Office
See also Appendix C -4
- NB. Regrettably, the data contained within child protection register figures is now limited. Age and sex of victims and perpetrators are not readily accessible. Sue Creighton’s statistics of the 1970s and 1980s were based on those registers held by the NSPCC. These were transferred to local authority control under the Children Act 1989, which took effect in 1991. The NSPCC standard registration form deliberately gathered as much information as possible, at least in part for the purposes of that research analysis.
In the last decade an increase in the term “both parents” in cases usually ascribable to one or other sex and has thus blurred culpability. Whilst the NSPCC certainly believes it desirable to know more about the circumstances of children currently under investigation, the collection of the data is therefore now a matter beyond their control.
Where shared parenting is allowed there is a substantial evidence to show a decline in convictions of child abuse, neglect, child destruction and other forms of maltreatment or delinquency that are directly detrimental to the child.
“Murder in Families”, US Dept of Justice, NCJ 143498, page 2
|Boys||Boys||Girls||Girls||Total||Ratio to Fathers|
|1-4 year old||5-14 year old||1-4 year old||5-14
|Suicide||– –||225||– –||77||302||9.4|
|Killed By Other Men||40||59||36||38||173||5.4|
|Killed By Fathers||7||9||9||7||32||1.0|
|Killed By Mothers||167||243||161||158||729||22.8|
Older children and young adults (US)
In 1996, of those under the age of 24:
- 19,389 died from accidents.
Researchers Identify Risk Factors For Infants
Most Likely to be Homicide Victims
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH , Wednesday, October 21, 1998
An infant’s chances of becoming a homicide victim during the first year of life are greatest if he or she is the second or later born child of a teenage mother, according to an analysis of birth and death certificates by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Homicide is the leading cause of infant death due to injury.
In the study appearing in the October 22 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, the authors also found that the likelihood of being killed was greatest for infants whose mothers were less than 15 years old, had less than 12 years of school, or did not have prenatal care. One half of the infants killed were dead by the fourth month of life.
The authors noted, however, that other studies of nonfatal child abuse suggest that a program to have home nurses visit expectant teenage mothers regularly could reduce the infant homicide rate.
“To a large extent, very young teens aren’t ready to be either pregnant or parents,” said the leader of the NICHD research team, Mary Overpeck, DrPH, a researcher with NICHD’s Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research. “Since these needless, tragic deaths occur early in a child’s life, the key to preventing them is to reach the mothers early in pregnancy, before the child is born.”
Other NICHD members of the research team were Ruth Brenner, MD, MPH, Ann C. Trumble, PhD, Lara B. Trifiletti, MA, and Heinz W. Berendes, MD, MPH.
Dr. Overpeck added that visiting home nurse programs that have reduced the incidence of child abuse have focused on helping teenage mothers gain behavioral skills and support.
“Most of these girls don’t feel as if they’re in control of their environment,” Dr. Overpeck said. “The visiting health care professionals can help the girls develop their options–to finish school and take care of themselves and their babies.”
In the article, Dr. Overpeck and her coauthors noted that a study of the most successful intervention to prevent child abuse was conducted in Elmira, New York, by researcher David Olds.
Dr. Overpeck explained that the intervention strategies used in the Olds study probably would reduce the infant homicide rate as well. Earlier studies, she said, have shown that more than 80 percent of infant homicides are due to abuse. The Olds study, of low-income, primarily white, unmarried, pregnant teenage girls, found that visits by trained nurses during the girls’ pregnancies and the first two years of the children’s lives reduced the incidence of child abuse and neglect among first born children. The girls who took part in the program also had fewer subsequent child births and were more likely to complete their education than were teenage mothers who did not take part in the study. Dr. Overpeck said this finding was extremely important, as the risk of infant homicide is higher for second or later born children of teenage mothers. A follow-up study of these girls, conducted 15 years later, showed that they were also less likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. She stressed, too, that since most infant homicides are committed by fathers or other males who are left to care for the infants, the resultant educational and behavior modifications learned by the girls may allow the infants to be cared for in a safer environment.
She added that 8 states account for about 50 percent of the total births to girls below the age of 17: California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Michigan. Visiting nurse programs targeted to these areas would probably reduce the infant homicide toll significantly.
In The New England Journal of Medicine article, the researchers compared birth certificate data from all 34,895,000 births that occurred in the U.S. from 1983 to 1991 to data from death certificates completed during the same period. After analyzing the data, they determined that 2,776 infants died from homicide. An additional 52 deaths, caused by neglect, abandonment, or exposure to severe weather (but not considered intentional) were not included in the analysis.
Over all, second or later children born to mothers younger than 19 were 10 times more likely to be killed than the first child of the oldest mothers. The risk of death to children born to mothers with less than 12 years of education was 8.4 times that of children born to mothers who had completed 16 years of education. The researchers added, however, that it was difficult to separate the risk of death to infants born to mothers younger than 17 from the risk to infants born to mothers with less than 12 years of education, because many mothers under 17 years of age have not had the time to complete 12 years of education.
Still, when the researchers excluded girls younger than 17 from their analysis, the risk of homicide among children born to mothers who were old enough to complete 12 years of education but had not done so was still greater than for mothers who had completed additional years of school. In fact, children whose mothers were older than 17 but had not completed 12 years of school had 8 times the risk of death as did infants born to mothers who had 16 years of education.
The researchers also found that 1 out of 4 homicides occurred by the second month of life, one half occurred by the fourth month, and two-thirds by the sixth month. The investigators noted that they were able to obtain little information from death certificates about the circumstances surrounding the death. For example, only 10 percent of the available certificates listed the relationship of the infant to the person identified with killing him or her. One third of the certificates listed the cause of death as “battering or other maltreatment.” About 28 percent listed the cause of death as “assault from unspecified means.”
The authors noted, however, that other studies have reported that most infant homicides are carried out by either parents or stepparents, and a slight majority are carried out by males. Other studies have also found that most homicides of children older than two years of age are carried out by someone who is unrelated to the child.
Still other studies, the authors added, have found that when the child is killed during the first week of life, the homicide was usually conducted by the mother. The authors also reported that 5 percent of infant homicides occurred during the first day of life; of these, 95 percent were not
Cont’d overleaf ….. / ……
born in a hospital. One explanation for these cases, the authors wrote, is that the mother committed the homicide to hide the pregnancy and birth.
The researchers also noted, however, that infant homicides are probably under reported. For example, some homicides committed on the day of the child’s birth may be so well hidden that they simply go undetected. In addition, other homicides may have been attributed to death due to accidental injury or some other cause. In fact, other studies have shown that from 7 to 27 percent of deaths attributed to unintentional injuries actually may have been due to child abuse or neglect.
To remedy this situation, the researchers recommended that reviews of child deaths be conducted not just from death certificates and records of medical examiners, but also abuse registries, crime reports, hospitals, and ambulatory care records. The researchers added that one such review of the records from several agencies indicated that the number of deaths from abuse and neglect for children up to four years of age were double the rate reported by medical examiners’ records.
The researchers also uncovered a disturbing trend: the number of homicides increased from 7.2 for every 100,000 births from
1983 to 1987, to 8.8 homicides for every 100,000 births from 1988 to 1991. The authors added that this increase is probably not due to better detection and reporting of infant homicide cases and most probably represents an increase in infant homicides. In fact, from 1988 through 1991, an average of 351 infant homicides were committed each year–almost one each day. Based on studies of the under reporting of infant homicides, the authors surmise that about twice the amount of infant homicides actually may have been committed during the same time period.
Dr. Overpeck said that no studies have been conducted to determine why the infant homicide rate has risen. She theorized, however, that the increase coincides with an increasing need for mothers to enter the work force, combined with a shortage of affordable child care for infants.
The NICHD is one of the Institutes of the National Institutes of Health, the world’s premier biomedical research organization, located in Bethesda, Maryland. NICHD supports and conducts basic, clinical, and epidemiological research on the reproductive, developmental, and behavioral processes that determine and maintain the health of children, adults, families, and populations.
Robert Bock, (301) 496-5133
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH National Institute of Child Healthand Human Development FOR RELEASE
* P. C. Hoffer & N.E.H. Hull “Murdering Mothers in England and New England, 1558 – 1803”, NY 1981
* K. Wrightson “Infantide in Earlier 17th Century England” Local Paper Studies 15, 1975, pp10 – 22
* W. A. Langer “Infanticide, a Historical Survey”, Hist of Childhood Quarterly 1, 1974 pp 353- 366
* Past and Present Journal
CDC report : Newborns Face Highest Murder Risk
Most infant victims born outside of hospitals, study finds (Oct 1998).
In the United States, you are 10 times more likely to die by homicide — to be murdered — on the day you are born than at any other time during your life, according to a study just released by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).
Even if you make through your first day, you still risk a better chance of being murdered during your first year of life than in any other year of childhood before you turn 17, according to the CDC.
In their analysis of the total 3,312 infant homicides reported between 1989-1998, CDC found homicide to be the 15th leading cause of infant death in the United States, with the most homicides occurring during the first four months of life.
Among homicides during the first week of life, 82.6 percent occurred on the day of birth, 9.2 percent on the second day, and 8.2 percent during the remainder of the week. Overall, 243 (7.3 percent) of all infant homicides occurred on the day of birth. Homicide rates on the first day of life are at least ten times greater than in later times of life, according to the report.
Among infants murdered on their day of birth, 89 percent were not born in a hospital, and 89 percent of known perpetrators were women, usually the mother. Additionally, CDC reports that mothers who kill their infants are more likely to be adolescents and have a history of mental illness.
After the first week of life, a second peak homicide risk period occurs during the 8th week and may, says the CDC, reflect the peak in the daily duration of crying among normal infants between 6 and 8 weeks of age.
As disturbing as these findings may be, CDC concluded that incidents of infant homicide are probably under-reported, with many more murders being incorrectly diagnosed as having resulted from unintentional injuries or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
CDC’s findings are backed up in a 1998 study by the National Institutes of Health finding homicide to be the leading cause infant death due to injury.
To reduce the number of infant homicides on the day of birth, CDC suggest development of programs to prevent out-of-hospital births, especially among high-risk mothers. CDC further suggests home visitation and parenting programs, especially those beginning during pregnancy, might help reduce child abuse during later periods of infancy.
Summary Findings: Homicide Risk Among Infants
- Homicide is the 15th leading cause of infant death in the United States. The risk of homicide is greater in infancy than in any other year of childhood before age 17.
- Infants are at greatest risk for homicide during the first week of infancy and the first day of life.
- Among homicides during the first week of life, 82.6% occurred on the day of birth.
- The homicide rate on the first day of life was more than ten times greater than the rate during any other time of life.
- Among homicides on the first day of life, previous work has shown that 95% of victims are not born in a hospital.
- The second highest peak in risk for infant homicide occurs during the eighth week of life and may be due to a caregiver’s reaction to an infant’s persistent crying. Infant crying duration peaks at six to eight weeks of age.
- Among homicides during the first week of life, 89% of perpetrators are female, usually the mother. Mothers who kill their infants are more likely to be adolescents and have a history of mental illness.
The report was published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“An infant’s chances of becoming a homicide victim during the first year of life are greatest if he or she is the second or later born child of a teenage mother, according to an analysis of birth and death certificates by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Homicide is the leading cause of infant death due to injury.” – NIH press release – Oct. 21, 1998.
1/. In the recently published book “The Violent Couple” by Anson Shupe, Lonnie Hazelwood, and
William Stacey (Praeger), the overall “injury index” (combined score of the percentages who have sustained a given type of injury) is 158 for men and 335 for women. This was based on case studies from the Family Violence Diversion Network in Austin, TX,
In particular, it found that 4% of men and 17% of women sustained broken teeth or bones (i.e., about 4 times as many women as men); 10% of men and 38% of women had a split lip; 4% of men and 21% of women had a black eye; and 10% of men and 47% of women had multiple bruises. Cuts were sustained by 22% of men and 31% of women; the same percentage of women and men — 4% had cuts requiring stitches. More men than women (53% compared to 49%) had scratches.
Overall, the differences are obviously there but they are not as pronounced
2/. Another aspect of female violence the mental-health professionals usually overlook is lesbian
partner abuse. Victims of female-against-female domestic violence–a widespread yet completely unacknowledged issue in the lesbian community–are frequently viewed as crazy. Susan L. Morrow, one of the authors of a 1989 article in the Journal of Counselling and Development, witnessed a therapist refer to a lesbian who had been abused by her partner as “borderline” and “paranoid.” The fact that the patient was a victim was completely ignored. Morrow and co-author Donna M. Hawxhurst found that several myths–that women are less aggressive than men and therefore don’t batter, and that women are incapable of inflicting serious harm–“have contributed to the secrecy surrounding the issue” of lesbian partner abuse.
3/. One piece of research which has managed not to see the light of day is that the worst form of
violence does not occur between men and women or even between men and men, but occurs between women and women. Lesbian violence is very violent and a source of great embarrassment to the radical feminist movement.
In a sample of 1,099 lesbians, Lie and Gentlewarrior (in press) found that 52% of the respondents have been abused by a female lover or partner. If women are so violent in their relationships with each other, how can the myth of men as the sole perpetrators of domestic violence hold up its head?
4/. Unfortunately, at this time the feminist movement — hungry for recognition and for funding -was
able to hi-jack the domestic violence movement and promptly set about disseminating dubious research material and disinformation. Tess Gill and Anna Coote, both prominent members of the women’s movement, in their book Sweet Freedom stated that ‘feminists saw domestic violence as an expression on the power that men wielded over women, in a society where female dependence was built into the structure of every day life.’ They concluded that ‘wife-battering was not the practice of a deviant few, but something which could emerge in the ‘normal’ course of marital relations.’ As the ‘politically correct’ arm of the women’s movement swung into action, to dare to suggest that women could be guilty of any acts of violence against men became ‘blaming the victim.’ All women, we were assured, were innocent victims of men’s violence. – Erin Pizzey 7/98
 “Marriage has existed for the benefit of men; and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women… We must work to destroy it. The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men… All of history must be re-written in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft.” (from “The Declaration of Feminism,” November 1971). [ see also footnote 24 ].
 Dutton has examined the patriarch theory and rejects it for the following reasons:
- Battering in lesbian couples is much more frequent than heterosexual battering, and lesbian relationships are significantly more violent than gay relationships.
- There is no direct correlation between how power is shared in a relationship and violence within couples.
- There is no direct relationship between structural patriarchy and wife assault.
Research to date indicates abuse and violence occurs in more than 50% of lesbian relationships compared to around 10% in other types of relationships. That would certainly not be true if domestic violence were in any way related to a patriarchal society. http://www.dvmen.org/dv-30.htm
 Father’s warnings of abuse ignored, The Times, June 7th 2002. “Three children suffered prolonged abuse and neglect because a local council refused to believe their fathers warnings about his former partner .. .. the case is profoundly disturbing …. the council staffs attitude inexcusable.- Local Government Ombudsman report.
 “ …. To the contrary, some of the highest rates of violence are found in the least orthodox partnerships — dating or cohabiting lovers”. Patricia Pearson “When She Was Bad …” (p. 132). See also HOS 191 and footnote 35.
 Murder is the extreme form of domestic violence. Nicola Harwin, a director of Women’s Aid, alluded to why the number of ‘reported’ murders of male spouses and cohabitees by females was so low when she said of domestic violence that even from jail perpetrators can get others to act for them (The Times, July18th 2002). (See also page X and footnote 8).
 Mrs. Virginia Chadwick (31) described at Manchester Crown Court as a vengeful wife paid two adolescents to beat her up so that she could have bruises to prove to the police her allegations that her ex‑husband had beaten her (Daily Telegraph, April 8th 1999). Mrs. Kim Galbraith (30) shot dead her husband at point blank range through the back of the head as he slept in bed. She later told police 2 masked burglars broke in, shot her husband and then raped her. (Daily Telegraph 05/06/99).
 “When Did You Last Beat your Wife ? ” By Erin Pizzey. The Observer, 03/07/98 [founder of the first women’s refuge].
 ManKind has published this data in booklet form ( “A – Z of DV” £1.00 + pp). All the studies listed survey both sexes about levels of violence. (cf. see footnote 9)
 Profs. Betsy Stanko (Counting the Cost, n = 129) and Lorraine Radford & Hester ‘(Domestic Violence And Access Arrangements For Children in Denmark & Britain’, 1992, n = 58) have both conducted surveys with this flaw (see also footnote 4, above). Cf. Centre for Research into Parenting and Children in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, based on the experiences of 17,000 children tracked since 1958. (Dr Ann Buchanan and Dr Eirini Flouri). See also National Center for Health Statistics, 1991 (US) sample size of 17,100.
 Merton Refuge’s Annual Report 2000/2001 – over 50,000 phone calls had been dealt with and over 10,000 letters written.
 ManKind made an application (Feb 2000) and made enquiries of those tenders that had been accepted.
 See particularly the work of Straus & Gelles ( “A – Z of DV”) plus References and attachments enclosed.
 “1 in 5 victims are men- Prof. Betsy Stanko”, The Times, March 5th 2002 [critique of Stanko research by Melanie Phillips in “The Sex Change Society”, p 139]. The ‘1 in 5’ is now officially accepted by police – see Police Review, Dec 2001.
 This corresponds to other data. “ … only 2% of women and men report violence with their present partner during the past year”, Donna Laframboise, National Post, Canada, August 1st 2000, Plus “The Courtship Dance of the Borderline”, by Anthony Walker, MD, ISBN: 0-595-19712-4, 2002. (Note 2%). See also “Silence of the Screams – Female Violence in intimate Relationships” by Yuri Joakimidis. Policy Monograph – Joint Parenting Association – Nov 1996. (2%) Australia.
 Similar claims could be made from extrapolations of injuries and deaths caused by gardening, or house painting
 Dr George, a lecturer in neuroscience at London University, argues in a paper that men have been abused by their wives since at least Elizabethan times. His research is backed by historical records, which show that men who were beaten by their wives were publicly humiliated in a ceremony called a “Skimmington procession”. The procession was named after the ladle used to skim milk during cheese making.
 De Niro was seeking an access order so his 3 year old son Elliot could stay overnight. – The Sun, July 12th 2002
 See footnote 11, and 12, 5, 6, 7, above, and enclosed emails.
 cf. Coramae Richey Mann, ‘Getting Even ? Women Who Kill in Domestic Encounters’. found that approximately 60% of all female murderesses premeditate their murder (see Justice Quarterly, March 1988).
 “Battered men – the full story”, By Armin Brott”, 18/10/1994. See also X on page X
 Cathy Young – newspaper columnist and the author of the forthcoming Gender Wars.
 U.S Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice; Research Brief Findings About Violence From the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, by Terrie E. Moffit and Avshalom Caspi, p. 5)]. http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/170018.pdf (Extract at Appendix D).
 “Straw pulls plug on counselling for wife-beaters”, By Martin Bright and Sarah Ryle, The Observer, 28 May 2000
 Gloria Steinem has asserted that “The patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself.” Feminist analysis thus states that a patriarchal society is a direct cause of domestic violence against women.
 Prof. Southall paediatrician at North Staffordshire Hospital Video-ed women attempting to kill their babies in hospital wards (34 out of 39 were later charged but none prosecuted) – BBC TV News & Channel 4 News. 28th Oct 1997 (See also Sir Roy Meadows – SIDS cot deaths, BBC News Feb 1999).
 I looked upon the rotting sea, And drew my eyes away; I looked upon the rotting deck, And there the dead men lay. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge. ’The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.
 “In the beginning was the myth that children were better off if their unhappy parents divorced. “It’s better to come from a broken home than to live in one,” they said. And millions of American parents separated. But after several decades had passed, researchers like Barbara Dafoe Whitehead and others showed that divorce was much worse for children than an unhappy home. …. It seems that another great myth is about to tumble – the myth that at least divorce makes unhappily married adults happier.” – Happy marriages and unhappy divorces, by Mona Charen, townhall.com , July 19, 2002 See also
 “Revealed: the truth about child sex abuse in Britain’s families” By Jeremy Laurance, The Independent, 19 Nov 2000
 “In the past the statistics have indicated that perhaps two to five percent of abusers are females. I think, based on the people who have contacted me, that that would probably be much higher, maybe as high as twenty five percent.” – Dr Michelle Elliott, psychologist and director of ‘Kidscape’ – BBC Panorama, “The Ultimate Taboo” (TX. 6.10.97).
 “Social factors ’cause’ ethnic schizophrenia” – http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_2057000/2057205.stm
 The l985 NFVS, of 2,994 women, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health found that women and men were physically abusing one another in roughly equal numbers. Wives reported that they were more often the aggressors. Using weapons to make up for physical disadvantage, they were not just fighting back. Wives committed half of spousal murders, a statistic that has been stable over time. While 1.8 million women annually suffered one or more assaults from a husband or boyfriend, 2 million men were assaulted by a wife or girlfriend, according to a l986 study on U. S. family violence (Journal of Marriage and Family). That study also found that 54 percent of all violence was termed “severe”. The results are supported by many other surveys.
 “Taking Stock”, Oct 98, Betsy Stanko, Brunel Uni. given control of £3.5million ESRC funded “research”. See “Violence Research Programme” (VRP). When she moved to Royal Holloway College, Surrey a larger grant was awarded in 2002.
 “Over the last few years there has been a 76% increase in the number of female prisoners. Politicians and pressure groups say it is unfair to imprison women.”. BBC Panorama, June ‘97. “Maintaining discipline in prison is a vital but difficult task. In 1994, there were 2.3 offences committed and proved for every male prisoner and 3.3 for every female prisoner”.- Home Office & Social Trends. See Table 9.22 Offences Against Prison Discipline in GB.(%) ‘women more violent then men’.
 “ I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes ? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions ? …. hurt with the same weapons, …… If you prick us, do we not bleed? ……. if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge ? ….” – Act Third, Scene One, The Merchant of Venice.
 “When She Was Bad – violent women and the myth of innocence”
 Canadian researchers are already acutely embarrassed by the politicisation of their national statistical service. If the above is also the case, then it should viewed as a major concern as to the accuracy and objectivity of statistics generated by those from overseas, which may include some from Britain, who may have received some of their training at StatCan during this “binge” period.