Female on Male Domestic Abuse through Cultural Lenses and Personal Theories

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I'm going to put a big freaking disclaimer up here just so this DOES NOT turn into one of those threads (it probably will anyway but I can say I tried): THE SUFFERING OF ONE VICTIM DOES NOT DECREASE THE SUFFERING OF ANOTHER. IN NO WAY AM I SUGGESTING THAT BECAUSE THIS HAPPENS MALE-ON-FEMALE IS SOMEHOW 'MORE OK'. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OK ABUSE. PLEASE DO NOT TURN THIS INTO A SHOUTING CONTEST ABOUT HOW BECAUSE ONE HAPPENS THE OTHER ONE ISN'T AS BAD. THANK YOU

The fact that I felt that I needed to put that there makes me very sad. And angry. Sangry, if you will.

So someone mentioned in the U of T thread that one of things that happens is rape is simply not reported, for several reasons. And I started to think about that, and about other comments regarding living in fear and such, and I realized, wait, men sort of DO know where you're coming from, sort of.

Let's talk about America in MY post, since I am American and thus have slightly more reason and ability to talk about it. But I'm curious as to how it might be handled in other countries.

http://www.batteredmen.com/

Here's a website that I found. I haven't actually read through it much, it's just sort of proof that such websites exist; content aside and all that.

Anyway! So in America, as far as I can tell, the reported rate for female-on-male abuse is drastically lower then male-on-female. Now the prevailing theories I've heard on this (prevailing meaning the most common ones I've run into, not necessarily the ones that are true, is that either the reasons is 1) It just doesn't happen as much as male-on-female, 2) Men don't report it as much or 3) It's not actually domestic abuse. Those are the MAIN ones I've run into; I'm sure there are many more and I'm curious as to what other theories people might have? You'll note that I haven't mentioned mine, not yet. Timing is everything, Mister Morgan.

In America, from my experiences and observation, female-on-male domestic abuse isn't treated with quite the same seriousness by certain people as is male-on-female. There's a huge support network out there for women who are fleeing or need help, but there doesn't seem to be that same support system for men. This is despite some of the stuff in this wikipedia article on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence#Violence_against_men

According to a lot of studies and such, from what I can tell anyway in that article, is that the rate of violence is about parallel. That is, you get as many female abusers as you do male, but the rate of reporting is far different. That's my real question

Now I'm sure we've all seen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlFAd4YdQks . If you haven't feel free to watch it. It's a little different, not exactly scientific I suppose, but interesting to watch. Horrible to watch, but interesting.

To boil it down, two questions with a bonus question:
1. Do you believe that there is an issue with female-on-male violence in your country? Do you feel it's treated the same both ways?
2. Are there support networks for this in your country? What are the differences in the support networks that exist? What are the differences in the support networks that need to exist?

Bonus Question: Tell us what you really feel about this. Tap into your emotional center and throw logic aside for a few moments and live in the Id. Throw aside political correctness, throw aside your worry you will be judged harshly, and just say what you feel. Don't try to fine tune your response not to offend other people. We want to know what people think; that's why we come here after all. Even if we disagree with someone, hate them for their view points, argue with them over it, we come to hear it first (I hope) so really give it your all.

Within the rules of the forum, of course.

Bonus Bonus Question: Whatever the hell you want to add to the discussion! Really, I've found the best ones are the ones that meander on the road but never leave it. See the U of T thread for a good example of that.

1. Do you believe that there is an issue with female-on-male violence in your country? Do you feel it's treated the same both ways?
Any violence is an issue. So yes, statistically speaking there is an issue with female-on-male violence in my country.
Of course it isn't treated the same in both ways, you have the stigma of being abused by a female, and as I will get to in the next question, support may be difficult to find.

2. Are there support networks for this in your country? What are the differences in the support networks that exist? What are the differences in the support networks that need to exist?
Not to my knowledge. I mean, there may be one, but I've never heard of it, whereas I had most certainly heard about the woman's safehouses and such.

3. Tell us what you really feel about this. Tap into your emotional center and throw logic aside for a few moments and live in the Id.
This doesn't really come from a place of emotion, but I am absolutely sick of the rampant sexism on both sides of any argument involving men and women. Men are, rather ironically, targeted as weak more easily because they are 'supposed' to be strong. Whereas if you are a woman and weak it's all 'poor you' and 'it's a man's fault'. Note I'm not saying that's bad, but the difference between how the sexes are treated is.

That's about all I have to add to this discussion, to my knowledge.

1: I think so, yes. But, I view it more as an issue with domestic violence in general, which tends to be sadly pervasive.
2: Not that I know of, but I have not really researched it.

Bonus: It is a very crappy situation, and it really helps to illustrate the misogyny and misandry that is still very much pervasive in our culture. I really hope our culture will be able to escape this crap eventually, but I don't hold out too much hope.

Yes, I'm also in the US and of course female-on-male violence is a problem. The thing about support networks and safehouses, though, is that they were built slowly by women for women, often at the cost of a lot of resistance. If men need something like this, and yes, I agree there's a need, men *need to build it* just like we women did. It doesn't happen, though, for a lot of the same reasons female-on-male abuse, rape, and violence is underreported-- because men don't want to hear about it, because they feel that it's shameful and makes the abused men in question look "weak" (where "weak"="like a woman").

The overculture currently in place harms both men and women. Misogyny, actually, harms both men and women. It's not just *women* this culture disdains, it's anything it sorts as "woman-like" or "feminine". "Weakness" is sorted as "feminine", and there's an expectation of a certain kind of masculinity for men. I may get some shit for this, but this isn't a separate problem from what in the overculture (some would say "kyriarchy", because "patriarchy" misses a lot of linked oppressions) does to women and what feminism exists to combat. Hard gender norms are harmful. Rape culture, normalization of rape and victim-blaming, is harmful. Across-the-board harmful, not just harmful to women.

I've said a few things on here and elsewhere related to the recent shootings that mental health issues carry stigma in the US, and I think mental health treatment is especially stigmatized for men. "Mental health treatment" includes seeking support and counseling for rape and abuse. I'm not going to say this is a male problem, but it's a problem best tackled by men, because men listen to other men. How can men help each other to deal with violence, abuse, rape, and mental illness? How can men help destigmatize these things for other men? Some of this is building support structures and funding them, but a lot of this can slowly change through casual conversation and how men model behavior to boys, both their own sons and other people's children. Yes, as a feminist, I am concerned about this subject, I just think the focus of the change has to be amongst men.

1. I don't think there's an -actual- issue in my country (Netherlands) with it, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. I just think that it doesn't happen often enough or hits the news that it's a big problem. I'm actually not sure how both are treated lawfully, but socially it's pretty much as you described.

2. - Don't know

3. Honestly, I think it's a man and woman's own responsibility to decide whether they decide to live with the abuse or not. It's about showing your boundaries and in my opinion, if your husband or wife or girlfriend or boyfriend beats you, you need to be physical back (I'm not saying to go brawling, I'm just saying physical response, a shove, whatever) to show that a line has been crossed. If the problem continues, leave.

That's just the biggest thing. Why can't you leave after you've been abused?

It's not that easy, I know, but why isn't it?

Anyway, I think the problem lies with not showing where your boundaries are.
Me and my ex used to 'fight' all the time and eventhough it was friendly, I noticed that she got more and more aggresive and her actions were more meant to hurt me than to have fun. One time I caught an elbow to the side of the head and that crossed a line with me. I kind of snapped and shoved her into a wall. I didn't feel good at the time, eventhough I doubt I really hurt her, but the point is, my boundaries were clear. After that we didn't have that problem anymore. We broke up anyways, but that doesn't change my point.

Giving in to domestic abuse is, I think, a form of self-taught dependancy on that person. You're afraid to lose him or her and that is why you allow it to happen. It's about a lack of self-worth/esteem which you bind to your partner and it probably springs forth from the same sort of feeling that your partner has. After all, if you are a low self-esteem person, you'll most-likely attract low self-esteem people.

The abusing partner is probably just as afraid to lose you as you are to lose him/her.

1) Well when I was in high school i did some digging into this as a distraction. when my school gave us all the passwords to get into several online databases I got distracted from my essay topic (video games and violence)and ended up in the Domestic Violence section. and I got interested and did a little digging. of course i have no clue how to get into those data bases anymore so i can't really cite them. but what I remember is that the DM rates were a lot closer to a 50/50 split than usually reported and that men were WAY more unlikely to report it than women. another thing was that of the total violent relationships men were actually less likely the be the sole violent one. what I mean is that most of he DM cases had both partners being equally violent towards each other and the cases of only one partner being the violent one women were more likely to be the violent ones.

2) I don't know of any, never looked into it.

bonus: here's some interesting things I CAN give
tvtropes ( don't lie you know it points out some interesting things)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DoubleStandard
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale

1. Any amount of violence is a problem, not sure about how much there is though. And no, but i don't really know much about it.
2. Not to my knowlage.

Bonus: This is just one of the problems caused by our semi-postpatriatical society.

In before:

- "This is a smokescreen for the TRUE issue, male oppression of women!"
- "This doesn't happen! A woman DEFENDING herself against a man doesn't count as abuse!"
- "WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ lololol"

*ahem*

1) I've never personally encountered female-on-male domestic violence, either myself or friends. Actually I could say the same about m-on-f, so I suppose I'm fairly lucky. My gut feeling is that there's a huge disparity in the way these two are perceived, reported and punished.

2) Don't know.

3) Violence sucks. However - and I'm shooting myself in the foot here - I feel that male-on-female violence probably IS more severe, widespread, and in need of addressing, either alongside female-on-male or given priority. We live in a world where a battered husband still has more freedom to leave a violent bitch of a wife than vice-versa - usually the man will have the job (or the higher-paying job), usually a single or divorced man will find society more accepting of him and find it easier to get back into relationships, especially in middle age and later. And, when it comes to it, men are usually in a better position to physically defend themselves. Not that I mean to belittle the effects of an abusive wife psychologically torturing her husband - after all, some of the most effective bullying is completely nonphysical.

Polarity27:
Yes, I'm also in the US and of course female-on-male violence is a problem. The thing about support networks and safehouses, though, is that they were built slowly by women for women, often at the cost of a lot of resistance. If men need something like this, and yes, I agree there's a need, men *need to build it* just like we women did. It doesn't happen, though, for a lot of the same reasons female-on-male abuse, rape, and violence is underreported-- because men don't want to hear about it, because they feel that it's shameful and makes the abused men in question look "weak" (where "weak"="like a woman")... Yes, as a feminist, I am concerned about this subject, I just think the focus of the change has to be amongst men.

Fine, in that case I refuse to support women's issues as "the change needs to come from women". Clearly rape is under-reported because women don't want to hear about it - so, until that aspect of social perception is fixed, let's ignore the root causes of rape, eh. (In the meanwhile, I'm sponsoring a campaign to get big, patronising posters set up on college campuses saying "Women - don't beat men". Nothing like demonising an entire gender to ensure equality, eh?)

Don't you see the double-standards here? Feminists tell us until they're blue in the face that sexual equality is everyone's responsibility and "the patriarchy hurts men too!". But when a men's issue comes up, you shrug theatrically and say "huh, that sucks, you men had better get working on changing that".

Perhaps that's not what you meant, but that's rather how it came across.

Captcha: vocal minority. F**k off!

I love your username.

I have never had the misfortune to meet a woman who physically, emotionally or mentally abused me. I have probably emotionally abused a few women, but I've apologized for those instances that are within my power to apologize to (as a globe-trotter I don't get many chances to go to old haunts and track down old flames)

I think the reason for the gulf in reporting and public perception of either action - male-on-female or female-on-male - is pretty clear and as far as I'm concerned not taboo; men have been considered stronger than women since time immemorial (with the exception of occasional matriarchal societies - but even then one might think that men were occasionally considered stronger, if not smarter)

It follows pretty clearly that men would have a primal - one might even say racial (racial memory, nothing to do with 'skin' race, which is a fallacy) - discomfort when it comes to admitting that women have a physical dominion over them. It's not surprising to me in the slightest; the straightest of straight men might equate, out of ignorance, his situation to one of a gay man, he might think admitting abuse is akin to 'coming out' or spitting in the face of their fathers.

I don't think there's any two ways about it; abuse of males by females in the US, or really around most of the world, is at least half a century away from being equitable in the eyes of the public to the abuse of females by males.

As a final observation; it seems to me that we are currently riding the quest of a feminist wave, I don't think this subject will gain much widespread momentum until that wave has level'd off a bit.

I am sure it exists, but have not ever personally known anyone that had an issue that I would consider in the same catagory of violence inflicted upon them as you do in male on female violence. I have known cases where a woman hits a man, but not really inflicting " damage", but have known Numerous cases where men have beaten women to the point of hospitalization and where women feared for their life, including myself. I have put my own sister in a safe house, and sent my ex to prison after he tried to kill me, then stalked me and stabbed my neighbor who saved my life when he found me and tried to kill me again. I think an issue as to why it isn't being addressed more is the frequency and severity of the incidences that are taking place. My brother's ex did run over his foot in the driveway when he tried to stop her from leaving, but I am not sure if that was on his part or hers because he attempted to stop a moving vehicle, so I am not sure if I would consider that " female on male violence" when he should not have tried to get on her hood in the first place.

I would think there is an issue with it, considering the sheer amount of overall violence in this nation, but do not think it is reported in the media as much due to the frequency of severity, and not reported as a crime overall for the same reason women do not report rape. Women do not report rape because they are embarrassed by it. They feel shame over having it happen to them and I think men may also feel embarrassed if they report they were " beat up by a girl" in their minds. I think men would feel as if other men would look down on them for it, and that would prevent them from wanting to talk about it. I think the way men and women view each other is a huge part of the problem as well. When a guy gets beat up by a girl both men and women jump to reactions such as " you are bigger than her, toughen up you sissy!" When that is actually another form of victim blaming. The same that happens to women in rape when people say " you should have known better than to be alone or dress a certain way" It is wrong to blame the victim, and the only way to truly change these things is to change society itself to be more supportive of one another.and more respectful to others.

I am not aware of " support networks" simliar to " safe neworks" that allow for women to disappear, so their attackers cannot harm them or their children, but even for women this is very lacking and charity based. These groups for women here are run by volunteers and donations, and are still not effective, if the men have enough money and resources, they can still find them even within the safe networks. It is very difficult on the victims end in this country male or female, because the laws do not actually protect the victims. It is very hard to get a restraining order, harrassment charges due to how you have to build a case and expose yourself to immediate danger in order to do so. It is also very hard to get convictions on rape, and violence against you, even when you are hospitalized from their actions. If it is this hard to keep women safe, I can only imagine it would be even harder for men given their treatment by society as a whole in regards to this issue.

Bentusi16:
In America, from my experiences and observation, female-on-male domestic abuse isn't treated with quite the same seriousness by certain people as is male-on-female.

Sure. Because in the wider picture woman-on-man domestic abuse is a less serious problem. Why? Well...

It is often demonstrated that actual (as opposed to reported) domestic violence offences are roughly equal by gender, as you point out. However, this is all domestic abuse, from mild to severe. If we then start factoring in severity as well, the more severe it gets the more it generally becomes lopsided: the number of women requiring a funeral or major hospitalisation is several times higher than men. As objectionable as any domestic violence is, in practice much of the mild stuff will not be part of a sustained campaign of abuse, nor seen by the victim as reason to involve the police or terminate the relationship.

There is another issue which may increase the vulnerability of women which is perhaps more historical and may be dying out. Wives in the past were much more economically and socially dependent on their husbands: leaving a husband was (and perhaps still is, although I imagine to a much lesser extent) hence extremely difficult for them.

This may explain much of why many societal resources exist for men than women: because more women have needed them, and needed them more. Another obvious reason is that women have got together and organised to construct these sorts of networks and resources.

No matter what, encouraging society to take men being victims of domestic violence more seriously is a plus.

Batou667:

Polarity27:
Yes, I'm also in the US and of course female-on-male violence is a problem. The thing about support networks and safehouses, though, is that they were built slowly by women for women, often at the cost of a lot of resistance. If men need something like this, and yes, I agree there's a need, men *need to build it* just like we women did. It doesn't happen, though, for a lot of the same reasons female-on-male abuse, rape, and violence is underreported-- because men don't want to hear about it, because they feel that it's shameful and makes the abused men in question look "weak" (where "weak"="like a woman")... Yes, as a feminist, I am concerned about this subject, I just think the focus of the change has to be amongst men.

Fine, in that case I refuse to support women's issues as "the change needs to come from women". Clearly rape is under-reported because women don't want to hear about it - so, until that aspect of social perception is fixed, let's ignore the root causes of rape, eh. (In the meanwhile, I'm sponsoring a campaign to get big, patronising posters set up on college campuses saying "Women - don't beat men". Nothing like demonising an entire gender to ensure equality, eh?)

Don't you see the double-standards here? Feminists tell us until they're blue in the face that sexual equality is everyone's responsibility and "the patriarchy hurts men too!". But when a men's issue comes up, you shrug theatrically and say "huh, that sucks, you men had better get working on changing that".

I'm not responsible for what you wanted to read in my post. I said that men are best placed to be the change they want to see because men have privilege and authority. Men are far more interested in listening to anything explained by another man than they are in hearing it from a woman. That's not me "shrugging theatrically" (oh, for fuck's sake, read what I actually said!), that's simply reality. Incidentally, women listen more when a man is explaining something than when a woman is, too. Many feminists practically fellate feminist men posting the same shit they've heard a hundred times from other women, because men have privilege and are seen as authoritative. Ditto for anti-racist white men-- Tim Wise is recced over and above black bloggers who say the same thing. That's the way privilege functions. As men, you have an advantage over women when it comes to convincing other men that the status quo is wrong, you are more likely to be heard and less likely to be dismissed than I would be.

And actually rape *is* under-reported because nobody wants to hear about it. If I had a dime for the number of times a woman has told another woman, a friend, a mother, a sister, that she was raped, and got told that it wasn't rape, it was just bad sex/you kind of led him on, you know/he's a good guy, I don't believe he'd do that!/he's also my friend, and you're forcing me to choose or some other victim-blaming, discouraging bullshit, I'd be rich. I'm not going to say men have it better or worse, it's just somewhat different, it threatens the dominant narrative about masculinity. And that *is* something that needs to be addressed by other men. Yes, women can and do tell each other that it happens to men, too, and stop people from making jokes about wife-on-husband abuse. But challenging and toppling the narrative of masculinity, that's your domain to do.

So, with that in mind, isn't the old and tired argument that 'men just don't understand it' sort of false and provably false?

Ok, on rape, probably not. No. But domestic abuse wise? All signs point to it being pretty evenly split. So that in a strange sort of way it might bring the genders closer together on an issue that's largely been purely a 'womans issue' for a long time, sort of thing?

1. The wording of "an issue" is a strange choice. Like, does it happen? Absolutely. Is it bad? Always. Is there an epidemic of it? Is it representing a substantial societal detriment on par with male-on-female abuse? I don't think so. That doesn't make it okay. It just puts it in perspective.

2. I'm not personally aware of any support networks for abused men. Supply and demand, I suppose; it just doesn't happen enough for there to be widespread, well-known networks. I seriously doubt it's due, instead, to some kind of societal lack of caring. But that's no consolation for the men who need them and can't find them.

itsthesheppy:
1. The wording of "an issue" is a strange choice. Like, does it happen? Absolutely. Is it bad? Always. Is there an epidemic of it? Is it representing a substantial societal detriment on par with male-on-female abuse? I don't think so. That doesn't make it okay. It just puts it in perspective.

2. I'm not personally aware of any support networks for abused men. Supply and demand, I suppose; it just doesn't happen enough for there to be widespread, well-known networks. I seriously doubt it's due, instead, to some kind of societal lack of caring. But that's no consolation for the men who need them and can't find them.

So what about all that data cited in the wikipedia article (and it is cited) that says that the actual rate of domestic violence and abuse, from samples done and all that, science basically, is probably about 50/50? It just has a much lower reporting rate on the male side.

Bentusi16:
So, with that in mind, isn't the old and tired argument that 'men just don't understand it' sort of false and provably false?

Oh, I don't think it's that men don't understand it.

I think people, non-gender specifically, can have trouble understanding what they have no experience of. Frankly, at an instinctive level it seems very silly to me that anyone would stay with an abusive partner, but I am at least self-ware enough to realise that is saying "I have no experience to say what I would do in those circumstances but at that safe distance I do not think I would stay". Which is a kind of way of saying "I can only speak for me, and even then I don't actually know". However, it is that basis of understanding neither the situation nor the people involved that most people opine or, worse, judge others.

We of course can find out about it all: we can ask abuse victims. Or, more tactfully, we could read psychology studies on abuse victims or ask experts. Studies can hardly be in short supply, after all. We can then find out whether people understand abuse or not by matching their opinions to those established by more rigorous investigation.

And I say again - the experiences of someone once slapped by their partner in an angry moment are a world away from someone who is regularly abused and threatened. That you have experienced the former is no guarantee of understanding the latter.

Agema:

Bentusi16:
So, with that in mind, isn't the old and tired argument that 'men just don't understand it' sort of false and provably false?

Oh, I don't think it's that men don't understand it.

I think people, non-gender specifically, can have trouble understanding what they have no experience of. Frankly, at an instinctive level it seems very silly to me that anyone would stay with an abusive partner, but I am at least self-ware enough to realise that is saying "I have no experience to say what I would do in those circumstances but at that safe distance I do not think I would stay". Which is a kind of way of saying "I can only speak for me, and even then I don't actually know". However, it is that basis of understanding neither the situation nor the people involved that most people opine or, worse, judge others.

We of course can find out about it all: we can ask abuse victims. Or, more tactfully, we could read psychology studies on abuse victims or ask experts. Studies can hardly be in short supply, after all. We can then find out whether people understand abuse or not by matching their opinions to those established by more rigorous investigation.

And I say again - the experiences of someone once slapped by their partner in an angry moment are a world away from someone who is regularly abused and threatened. That you have experienced the former is no guarantee of understanding the latter.

So a woman hit once by her partner has the same amount of experience right? I just want to make sure we're being fair.

I've been in a truly abusive relationship, it was my only relationship, and maybe later we'll have STORY TIME so I can tell everyone about it, but I'm just making sure we are measuring both sides with the same stick.

And I mean, what do you mean when you say 'judge others'. Do you judge an abusive husband badly? Or do you try not to judge at all. Just curious.

In the UK right now one of the 3 main Soap-Operas is covering the story of a female on male domestic abuse storyline and seems to be covering it quite well. The Characters fit the idea of each partner, with the woman being apologetic and repentant after and the man refusing to let anyone know what's happening to him because of the shame.

1. Of course there's a problem but until the stigma of FtM abuse is gone we're never going to know how big it is.

2. More than likely but they're not publicly well known. Problems include men being unable to escape to shelters as men aren't allowed into most due to the obvious problems that would cause female victims. Then there are things like the 'underground railroad' for female victims, it's doubtful anything like that could ever really exist for men.

Bentusi16:

itsthesheppy:
1. The wording of "an issue" is a strange choice. Like, does it happen? Absolutely. Is it bad? Always. Is there an epidemic of it? Is it representing a substantial societal detriment on par with male-on-female abuse? I don't think so. That doesn't make it okay. It just puts it in perspective.

2. I'm not personally aware of any support networks for abused men. Supply and demand, I suppose; it just doesn't happen enough for there to be widespread, well-known networks. I seriously doubt it's due, instead, to some kind of societal lack of caring. But that's no consolation for the men who need them and can't find them.

So what about all that data cited in the wikipedia article (and it is cited) that says that the actual rate of domestic violence and abuse, from samples done and all that, science basically, is probably about 50/50? It just has a much lower reporting rate on the male side.

As I am with any study that shows a trend that conflicts with contemporary experience, I find myself somewhat skeptical about the results. While the rates reported in the data you've offered are indeed higher than I thought they would be, I'm not seeing a 50/50 split. More like 60/40 at best, with men still in the lead. Also, the data you supplied was careful to point out that male-on-female abuse was more likely to cause serious damage and lead to hospitalization.

Viz my skepticism, notable are the following two paragraphs from your source:

Martin S. Fiebert of the Department of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach, has compiled an annotated bibliography of research relating to spousal abuse by women on men. This bibliography examines 275 scholarly investigations: 214 empirical studies and 61 reviews and/or analyses that appear to demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 365,000.[152] In a Los Angeles Times article about male victims of domestic violence, Fiebert suggests that "...consensus in the field is that women are as likely as men to strike their partner but that-as expected-women are more likely to be injured than men."[121] However, he noted, men are seriously injured in 38% of the cases in which "extreme aggression" is used. Fiebert additionally noted that his work was not meant to minimize the serious effects of men who abuse women.

In a 2002 review of the research however Michael Kimmel found that violence is instrumental in maintaining control and that more than 90% of "systematic, persistent, and injurious" violence is perpetrated by men. He points out that most of the empirical studies that Fiebert reviewed used the same empirical measure of family conflict, i.e., the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) as the sole measure of domestic violence and that many of the studies noted by Fiebert discussed samples composed entirely of single people younger than 30, not married couples.[153] Kimmel argues that among various other flaws, the CTS is particularly vulnerable to reporting bias because it depends on asking people to accurately remember and report what happened during the past year. Men tend to underestimate their use of violence, while women tend to overestimate their use of violence. Simultaneously men tend to overestimate their partner's use of violence while women tend to underestimate their partner's use of violence. Thus, men will likely overestimate their victimization, while women tend to underestimate theirs.[154]

This is why I find studies that go against contemporary experience somewhat dubious. In your own source material there appears to be disagreement (as expected) about whether or not the methods used are returning reliable results. Now Kimmel's findings may be more palatable to me simply because they fit more squarely with my already-accepted view of the world. but I only accept that view of the world because that evidence is readily apparent and not challenged by equal amounts of evidence from the 'other side' that would suggest that Fiebert's findings are more accurate.

So I have to say that given your sources, I'm not terribly shaken from my impressions that the sort of domestic abuse we think about when the subject comes up - systematic, damaging, bruises-and-black-eyes, controlling-through-threat-of-violence - we tend to think of men. Kimmel's study supports that.

I just feel like if it really was a 50/50 split, the first place I'd be hearing about it wouldn't be the R&P section of the Escapist forums, quoted from the guts of some wikipedia article. I feel like, in this age of instant information, the general consensus of opinion would have shifted to adopt itself with reality, if that really was the reality; largely, it has not.

itsthesheppy:
-

Ah, but isn't one of the points that the cultural 'contemporary experience' is in fact a bi-product of social pressures and situations? You don't hear about it, not because it's not there to hear about, but because it's not done to atlk about it. Sort of like who rape and sexual assault an domestic violence towards women in the fifties was probably still happening but, who the hell was going to talk about it? I'm sure the reported numbers back then were vastly below the numbers today.

Isn't this sort of thinking exactly the kind of thinking feminist have been laboring against for years and years?

Bentusi16:

itsthesheppy:
-

Ah, but isn't one of the points that the cultural 'contemporary experience' is in fact a bi-product of social pressures and situations? You don't hear about it, not because it's not there to hear about, but because it's not done to atlk about it. Sort of like who rape and sexual assault an domestic violence towards women in the fifties was probably still happening but, who the hell was going to talk about it? I'm sure the reported numbers back then were vastly below the numbers today.

Isn't this sort of thinking exactly the kind of thinking feminist have been laboring against for years and years?

Right. And if this were the fifties, when people didn't have immediate widespread access to information or have the ability to communicate instantly with the entire planet anonymously, you'd have a point. But it isn't the fifties anymore. There really isn't a whole lot of societal suppression in the west any longer. We're legalizing gay marriage and weed. If a high school sports radio broadcaster in Boise makes a bad joke about a black athlete we hear about it within minutes. People can't get away with stuff anymore.

If I had to pick a few things that have yet to fully culturally permeate the public consciousness, it would be a) the inherent dangers of the violent gun-obsessed american culture, b) the omnipresent threat of rape for woman, and c) to what extent Citizens United has demolished the ability of the individual citizen to have any control at all over their government. It would not be a rampant, much-more-intense-than-previously-thought trend of female-on-male domestic violence that we are only just now becoming aware of. Even your own source, at its most beneficial to your position, acknowledges that men are more likely to cause serious damage and hospitalizations than women. Your own source erodes the legitimacy of its findings by citing studies that criticize and contradict those statistics and the methods that came to them.

Now there is definitely something to the idea that abuse of men goes widely unreported and not taken very seriously; I've seen plenty of evidence to support that our society doesn't react the same way to it that we do to male-on-female abuse. But a part of that is because it's just not as common, nor does it represent as pressing a threat. Your sources acknowledge that physically damaging abuse, that lead to hospitalizations and deaths, are predominantly a male-on-female problem, and not the other way around.

Nobody is saying it doesn't happen. I'm not even saying it's particularly rare. What I'm saying is that it doesn't get the attention you might like it to, because the male-on-female abuse eclipses it in terms of both severity and frequency, and we only have so much bandwidth, as mortal creatures, to focus on a few things at a time. So we tend to focus on the bigger problems first. Good on you for having a passion and blowing the trumpet. Your cause is just. But don't lose sight of the fact that your cause isn't as big or immediately pressing as other causes. It's a sad reality of the world we live in, but it's what we've got.

Polarity27:
snip

Perhaps I'm being thick here (and not intentionally so), but aren't you putting your edifice of Privilege and Patriarchy and so on before the issue that's to hand? Some women are physically abusing their spouses; to solve this problem we don't need to go on a grand deconstruction of gender roles or a thesis on the fragile male ego, we just need those women in question to stop it. I would have thought the analogy would be clear: rape prevention, as Feminists are quick to remind us, is as simple as men choosing not to rape. Well, here's the flip side of the coin: solving the problem of battered husbands is as simple as putting down the rolling pin - no need to chalk this one up to The Patriarchy, surely.

Please, agree with me on this one. I want to believe that Feminism isn't Fem-superiority by another name, but casual double-standards like this make me wonder.

itsthesheppy:

Bentusi16:

itsthesheppy:
-

Ah, but isn't one of the points that the cultural 'contemporary experience' is in fact a bi-product of social pressures and situations? You don't hear about it, not because it's not there to hear about, but because it's not done to atlk about it. Sort of like who rape and sexual assault an domestic violence towards women in the fifties was probably still happening but, who the hell was going to talk about it? I'm sure the reported numbers back then were vastly below the numbers today.

Isn't this sort of thinking exactly the kind of thinking feminist have been laboring against for years and years?

If I had to pick a few things that have yet to fully culturally permeate the public consciousness, it would be a) the inherent dangers of the violent gun-obsessed american culture, b) the omnipresent threat of rape for woman, and c) to what extent Citizens United has demolished the ability of the individual citizen to have any control at all over their government. It would not be a rampant, much-more-intense-than-previously-thought trend of female-on-male domestic violence that we are only just now becoming aware of. Even your own source, at its most beneficial to your position, acknowledges that men are more likely to cause serious damage and hospitalizations than women. Your own source erodes the legitimacy of its findings by citing studies that criticize and contradict those statistics and the methods that came to them.

Now there is definitely something to the idea that abuse of men goes widely unreported and not taken very seriously; I've seen plenty of evidence to support that our society doesn't react the same way to it that we do to male-on-female abuse. But a part of that is because it's just not as common, nor does it represent as pressing a threat. Your sources acknowledge that physically damaging abuse, that lead to hospitalizations and deaths, are predominantly a male-on-female problem, and not the other way around.

Nobody is saying it doesn't happen. I'm not even saying it's particularly rare. What I'm saying is that it doesn't get the attention you might like it to, because the male-on-female abuse eclipses it in terms of both severity and frequency, and we only have so much bandwidth, as mortal creatures, to focus on a few things at a time. So we tend to focus on the bigger problems first. Good on you for having a passion and blowing the trumpet. Your cause is just. But don't lose sight of the fact that your cause isn't as big or immediately pressing as other causes. It's a sad reality of the world we live in, but it's what we've got.

the first bold sounds suspiciously like the whole any man can be a rapist stuff a few years back.
image

and then there is this. it seems women are more likely to use a weapon than a man is, look at that dude. holy crap.

Bentusi16:

To boil it down, two questions with a bonus question:
1. Do you believe that there is an issue with female-on-male violence in your country? Do you feel it's treated the same both ways?
2. Are there support networks for this in your country? What are the differences in the support networks that exist? What are the differences in the support networks that need to exist?

Bonus Question: Tell us what you really feel about this.

Bonus Bonus Question: Whatever the hell you want to add to the discussion! Really, I've found the best ones are the ones that meander on the road but never leave it. See the U of T thread for a good example of that.

image

I'm kidding. I don't know why there's so much hassle over this. Although it was wise to put the disclaimer.

1) I don't know. I know of some cases, although it's definitely not treated the same ways. That's a bit unfortunate.

2) http://www.counsellinginfrance.com/whereto/violence.htm

I was able to find a whole list. There must a network here somewhere.

The Forbidden question:
Ugh. Look at the walls of text. Can't we just agree that being abusive is bad? Women have the same capacity of being abusive as Man.

It's unfair to put one side above the other in their ability to suffer.

dystopiaINC:
-snip-

Showing me one quote from one person with whom you (and I) disagree, and one video showing one guy who was brutally attacked, is supposed to change my opinion based on all the points I made above how exactly? I don't recall ever saying that "no feminist activist has ever said anything questionable", nor do I recall saying "men are never attacked by women, and especially not with weapons, I dare you to find one example". Shadowboxing is both easy and boring.

No, what I said was going by the source alone, my feeling that male-on-female abuse is not only more prevalent but also a more immediate crisis (it is more frequent, statistically, and more damaging, statistically). Those statements go unchallenged in your reply.[1]

Edited due to a misreading.

[1] Also, the fact that most women are physically weaker than men makes their higher rate of weapon use unsurprising. It's one of those "Well no duh" sorta things.

Batou667:

Polarity27:
snip

Perhaps I'm being thick here (and not intentionally so), but aren't you putting your edifice of Privilege and Patriarchy and so on before the issue that's to hand? Some women are physically abusing their spouses; to solve this problem we don't need to go on a grand deconstruction of gender roles or a thesis on the fragile male ego, we just need those women in question to stop it. I would have thought the analogy would be clear: rape prevention, as Feminists are quick to remind us, is as simple as men choosing not to rape. Well, here's the flip side of the coin: solving the problem of battered husbands is as simple as putting down the rolling pin - no need to chalk this one up to The Patriarchy, surely.

Please, agree with me on this one. I want to believe that Feminism isn't Fem-superiority by another name, but casual double-standards like this make me wonder.

Because I was answering the questions of how is the issue treated by the country at large, why is it underreported, and why is there a comparative lack of support systems for male victims. Yes, DON'T BEAT YOUR PARTNER, JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! is pretty elementary, but questions involving reporting rates and treatment are more complicated. And it's not a "thesis on the fragile male ego", you're projecting again. People don't report rape and abuse when they feel there will be an unbearable social cost for doing so. What that cost is and how it's felt, though, is something that *does* differ by who the victim is and does have a lot to do with those things you think are an "edifice". Here's another vastly underreported victim population for you: female victims of domestic violence by their female partners. Do you think bi, queer, and lesbian women choose not to report for the exact same reasons men do?

The post was framed as something of a public health question. I read probably more articles on public health and health psychology than any other subject as part of my work, and "who is the population and what are their *specific* needs" is Question #1 for any public health issue. BTW, everyone else seems to have focused their answer on "why is it underreported and why is there less support" too, so it's interesting that you've only got a problem with me doing so.

itsthesheppy:

Right. And if this were the fifties, when people didn't have immediate widespread access to information or have the ability to communicate instantly with the entire planet anonymously, you'd have a point. But it isn't the fifties anymore. There really isn't a whole lot of societal suppression in the west any longer. We're legalizing gay marriage and weed. If a high school sports radio broadcaster in Boise makes a bad joke about a black athlete we hear about it within minutes. People can't get away with stuff anymore.

Bull. Lack of "immediate widespread access to information" wasn't the problem in the '50s. And people still get away with TONS of things, and there is indeed a whole lot of societal suppression in the west still. But it's a Just World, man, because a couple of US states have legalized marriage equality and pot, it must be true that people aren't actually afraid to say they've been beaten, molested, or raped anymore, and all people who do these things are prosecuted and shamed by their community. Oh, wait, they are and they're not.

Now there is definitely something to the idea that abuse of men goes widely unreported and not taken very seriously; I've seen plenty of evidence to support that our society doesn't react the same way to it that we do to male-on-female abuse. But a part of that is because it's just not as common, nor does it represent as pressing a threat. Your sources acknowledge that physically damaging abuse, that lead to hospitalizations and deaths, are predominantly a male-on-female problem, and not the other way around.

Female abuse of men is common, it's just that it's more often verbal/emotional than physical, and quite honestly, verbal and emotional abuse is more often than not treated as less important-- if not plain dismissed as "it's just words". It's a fact that we, as a culture, are incredibly unfriendly to people who have been abused. In general. Yes, I think that the support structures that have been built by and for women come from the kind of threat man-on-woman violence represents, the sheer physicality and threat to loss of life, as well as how comparatively difficult it is for women to break free of men if men control the household income and the credit. I even understand the "limited bandwidth" thing to a point, but only to a point-- things that damage people, especially things that people cannot get support for, have a radiating effect to the society around them, and our society is carrying a lot of deeply wounded, deeply damaged people; if you think that affects only them, you're wrong.

Polarity27:

itsthesheppy:

Right. And if this were the fifties, when people didn't have immediate widespread access to information or have the ability to communicate instantly with the entire planet anonymously, you'd have a point. But it isn't the fifties anymore. There really isn't a whole lot of societal suppression in the west any longer. We're legalizing gay marriage and weed. If a high school sports radio broadcaster in Boise makes a bad joke about a black athlete we hear about it within minutes. People can't get away with stuff anymore.

Bull. Lack of "immediate widespread access to information" wasn't the problem in the '50s. And people still get away with TONS of things, and there is indeed a whole lot of societal suppression in the west still. But it's a Just World, man, because a couple of US states have legalized marriage equality and pot, it must be true that people aren't actually afraid to say they've been beaten, molested, or raped anymore, and all people who do these things are prosecuted and shamed by their community. Oh, wait, they are and they're not.

You misunderstood my point. I'm saying that given modern connectivity and access to information, if the split of domestic abuse really was 50/50, we'd know about it. I wouldn't be just now learning about it on the Escapist forums. And given the source material the OP is using, it's not 50/50. Once again, would all of you please stop desperately trying to link me to some kind of point I'm not making? It's tiresome, especially given the fact that I'm not your enemy.

...things that damage people, especially things that people cannot get support for, have a radiating effect to the society around them, and our society is carrying a lot of deeply wounded, deeply damaged people; if you think that affects only them, you're wrong.

Thank goodness I don't think that, nor have I ever said that. One can only imagine why you're saying that to me, unprovoked.

I'm not sure how "common" female-on-male abuse is. But it's not insignificant to say that however common it is, male-on-female abuse is more common and more physically damaging and leads to more hospitalizations and fatalities. This is (one of the reasons) why it gets more attention.

Polarity27:
The post was framed as something of a public health question. I read probably more articles on public health and health psychology than any other subject as part of my work, and "who is the population and what are their *specific* needs" is Question #1 for any public health issue.

Ok, fair enough. If, as you say, this kind of subject matter is already very familiar to you then I can understand why you'd be inclined to dive straight into an analysis rather than feigning shock or shedding a couple of tears for the benefit of decorum.

I still couldn't help but sense a bit of bias in your response though, reading between the lines. Here:

(1)The thing about support networks and safehouses, though, is that they were built slowly by women for women, often at the cost of a lot of resistance. If men need something like this, and yes, I agree there's a need, men *need to build it* just like we women did. ... (2)The overculture currently in place harms both men and women. Misogyny, actually, harms both men and women. It's not just *women* this culture disdains, it's anything it sorts as "woman-like" or "feminine". "Weakness" is sorted as "feminine", and there's an expectation of a certain kind of masculinity for men. I may get some shit for this, but this isn't a separate problem from what in the overculture (some would say "kyriarchy", because "patriarchy" misses a lot of linked oppressions) does to women and what feminism exists to combat. ... (3)I am concerned about this subject, I just think the focus of the change has to be amongst men.

To the untrained peon (me) that looked rather like:
1) Men shouldn't use the support structures already in place, they ought to sweat and struggle from scratch, like us women had to.
2) You know what causes this? The Patriarchy. See, men are actually the root cause.
3) Men had better get working on a solution, because us women have no damn obligation to (even though it's members of our gender who are doing the battering).

Am I wrong? Maybe. Hell, probably. All I know is that if we took your initial posts, switched the genders so it was about male obligation to help reduce male-on-female violence, and suddenly it would look uncaring and misogynistic. Just sayin'.

Polarity27:
BTW, everyone else seems to have focused their answer on "why is it underreported and why is there less support" too, so it's interesting that you've only got a problem with me doing so.

Consider it a bit of a backhanded compliment. Out of almost everyone in this thread you seem least likely to be basing your argument on just personal experience and gut feeling. Also, your posts perhaps embodied the "opposition" to my point of view most strongly, so it's natural I'd address those points first. [edit] Also, you were the first to bring up my trigger-word of "patriarchy", so you were guaranteed a reply from me.

Just like to point out that Fiebert is a complete hack. Beyond the criticism raised in the wikipedia article quoted by itsthesheppy, his annotated bibliography is a complete joke.

There are literally studies in there which show men are as or more violent then women, but he'll quote some slightly ambiguous or out of context phrase in it to make it appear like the report says women are more violent then men. There's also studies in there which have nothing to do with measuring the difference in domestic violence based on gender, but he just randomly throws them in and pretends they are meaningful anyway.

To answer the questions, yes there's an issue with domestic violence in my country as there is in any country and it is treated differently depending on the gender. We do have support networks for men who are the victims of domestic abuse as well as campaigns to raise awareness of it. It is a serious issue.

That said, anyone who brings up Fiebert as anything other than an example of a gigantic idiot is kidding themselves.

Overhead:
Just like to point out that Fiebert is a complete hack. Beyond the criticism raised in the wikipedia article quoted by itsthesheppy, his annotated bibliography is a complete joke.

There are literally studies in there which show men are as or more violent then women, but he'll quote some slightly ambiguous or out of context phrase in it to make it appear like the report says women are more violent then men. There's also studies in there which have nothing to do with measuring the difference in domestic violence based on gender, but he just randomly throws them in and pretends they are meaningful anyway.

To answer the questions, yes there's an issue with domestic violence in my country as there is in any country and it is treated differently depending on the gender. We do have support networks for men who are the victims of domestic abuse as well as campaigns to raise awareness of it. It is a serious issue.

That said, anyone who brings up Fiebert as anything other than an example of a gigantic idiot is kidding themselves.

I would have to say, from what I have experienced in my lifetime, and from what I have seen at the hospitals, that anyone quoting stats claiming it is 60/40 men in the lead as being abused by women is full of crap. It is not possible given the sheer amount of abuse that is inflicted upon women vs men both in public and in private. Now with that said, I do think that men do get abused, just no where near as frequently nor as severe as women. The amount of violence overall needs to be greatly reduced, and it can only be reduced by making big changes in society in regards to respect for one another.

All you have to do is go to any public hospital in the city on a Friday night and it is more than apparant that men are far more violent than women. I can only recall one time where we had to sedate a woman coming into the ER for being violent, but this happens repeatedly throughout the night on any friday night in regards to men. Don't get me wrong, the abuse on men needs to stop. It is that these figures are no where near the reality of the situation.

So what I've gotten so far from the overarching post:

1. It happens but isn't widely reported.
2. Physical abuse doesn't happen as often, and this is obvious because it's not reported as much
3. Women are abused more often, and more physically, then men.
4. Women deserve more attention then men when it comes to abuse because physical abuse rates are higher. It is the 'bigger' issue and therefore 'more important'
5. The statistics talking about it are wrong.
6. Emotional abuse is easily identifiable in male victims, as easily as physical, and since you don't see much emotional abuse it doesn't happen as often.
7. There are support networks online in most countries.

That's what I've drawn from the various comments here anyway.

Bentusi16:

So a woman hit once by her partner has the same amount of experience right? I just want to make sure we're being fair.

Yes, assuming similarity of other experiences.

It is actually not that unusual for women to be unsympathetic towards battered wives or rape victims.

And I mean, what do you mean when you say 'judge others'. Do you judge an abusive husband badly? Or do you try not to judge at all. Just curious.

I guess when I say "judge others", I mean "judge others with minimal, open-minded consideration of their circumstances." It just makes you likely to be wrong, and worse, unfairly harms the reputation of the judged too.

I sometimes reflexively judge others, of course. I just try not to.

Bentusi16:
So what I've gotten so far from the overarching post:

1. It happens but isn't widely reported.
2. Physical abuse doesn't happen as often, and this is obvious because it's not reported as much
3. Women are abused more often, and more physically, then men.
4. Women deserve more attention then men when it comes to abuse because physical abuse rates are higher. It is the 'bigger' issue and therefore 'more important'
5. The statistics talking about it are wrong.
6. Emotional abuse is easily identifiable in male victims, as easily as physical, and since you don't see much emotional abuse it doesn't happen as often.
7. There are support networks online in most countries.

That's what I've drawn from the various comments here anyway.

Uh, is this true? What people are saying about the fourth one that is. Damn, I have to re-read everything. All I have to say is that you're pretty damn sexist if you think one gender can suffer more than another.

Let's just try to keep sexual stereotypes to a minimum okay?

Bentusi16:
So what I've gotten so far from the overarching post:

1. It happens but isn't widely reported.
2. Physical abuse doesn't happen as often, and this is obvious because it's not reported as much
3. Women are abused more often, and more physically, then men.
4. Women deserve more attention then men when it comes to abuse because physical abuse rates are higher. It is the 'bigger' issue and therefore 'more important'
5. The statistics talking about it are wrong.
6. Emotional abuse is easily identifiable in male victims, as easily as physical, and since you don't see much emotional abuse it doesn't happen as often.
7. There are support networks online in most countries.

That's what I've drawn from the various comments here anyway.

Someone actually said emotional abuse is easily indentifiable in male victims? That is incorrect. it is not easily identifiable in either male or female, so I am not sure how anyone could draw that conclusion. I was under the impression we were discussing physical abuse here, which is what I have been addressing. Emotional abuse is a sparate matter, and I would say in regards to emotional abuse it would be much higher all around for both genders, as emotional abuse is not even considered a crime here.

Yes, Physical abuse is a more important issue considering it is so extreme it often results in murder. When you start looking at the history of emotional abuse in women, and how they are often held in captitvity to the extreme, literally never allowed to leave their homes, not allowed to speak to anyone, I would have to say that the record on that for women is also more severe by the sheer numbers of women involved.

I am not discounting that there are men that are both physically and emotionally abused, there is no excuse for it and it should be addressed. I am stating, however, that when you compare the sheer volume of it the extent of abuse that takes place, and the acceptance of society and religions of this abuse, it is clear that women do have it worse overall than men. Yes, those stats do appear to be incorrect, but that does not discount that it is happening.

I think that is what makes it more difficult for men to be able to seek the help they need when they are in a bad situation as well though. Men often have the pressures on them that they should be able to handle it, and it being " less manly" to get help for these things. If a guy has a stalker psycho ex girlfriend trying to kill him, I can understand his distress, because I have been in that exact situation gender reversed myself, and the police won;t do anything. My parents, neighbors, and employer all had a restraining order against him, and he still tried to break into my home while I was sleeping and my neighbor saw him and confronted him and was stabbed. The Police would not do anything until he stabbed my neighbor. That could have been me in my sleep. The issue I think tht needs to be addressed here overall is " victim protection" because in the US there isn't any for either males or females.

Polarity27:
Yes, I'm also in the US and of course female-on-male violence is a problem. The thing about support networks and safehouses, though, is that they were built slowly by women for women, often at the cost of a lot of resistance. If men need something like this, and yes, I agree there's a need, men *need to build it* just like we women did. It doesn't happen, though, for a lot of the same reasons female-on-male abuse, rape, and violence is underreported-- because men don't want to hear about it, because they feel that it's shameful and makes the abused men in question look "weak" (where "weak"="like a woman").

Not familiar with the history surrounding Erin Pizzey are you? There's so much wrong in here I simply don't have the patience to get into it. Please do some brief reading about her and her work; it will surprise you.

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