Domestic Violence research and the effective misuse
The issue of domestic violence is a tool used
throughout the Western World according to many to give the
mother an advantage in divorce/ custody proceedings. The misuse
of research to inform Government policies certainly seems
to fulfil the reasoning given.
In the UK there is the new domestic violence
bill portrayed by Harriet Harman as a bill to stop men abusing
women, yet she makes the gender difference in the media in
order to make the public and the ‘professionals’
aware of her stance e.g.
Whilst the research carried out in a non-gender
biased way and randomly shows virtually 50/ 50 male to female
violence and vice versa, the women’s aid and others
are organised for a gender biased on-slaught.
Relevant research from the UK:
NSPCC report shows that fathers are 'less violent'
than mothers in their disciplining of children. 'Child Maltreatment
in the United Kingdom', published in November 2000 by the
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Summary of Family Abuse ( ref. British Crime
Survey 1996 ) 4.2% of Women and 4.2% of Men said they had
been physically assaulted by a current or former partner in
the last year.5.9% of Women and 4.9% of Men had experienced
physical assault and/or frightening threats. 23% of Women
and 15% of Men aged 16 to 59 said they had been physically
assaulted by a current or former partner at some time. The
inclusion of frightening threats increased these figures to
26% (1:4) and 17% (1:6) respectively.
The assaults included pushing, shoving and grabbing
but also included kicking, slapping and hitting with fists
which took place in nearly half the incidents. The victim
was injured in 41% of the incidents with Women being injured
47%to Men being injured 31%. Violence was at its peak in the
16 to 24 age range. 16 - 19 was 10.1% Women and 7.0% Men:
20 - 24 9.2% for both sexes. Thereafter Men tend to be on
the receiving end.
Married couples - married couples were
at the lowest risk being 2% for Women and 3% for Men. Co-habiting
Men were at greater risk being 8% whilst Women were 3%. Divorced
figures were 6% for Women and 5% for Men (source:
Home Office Research Study 191
This report presents the findings of a
new computerised self-completion component on domestic violence,
included as part of the 1996 British Crime Survey. The questionnaire
was designed to maximise victims’ willingness to report
domestic assaults and threats to the survey. It therefore
provides the most reliable findings to date on the extent
of domestic violence in England and Wales, and shows it to
The 1996 British Crime Survey included a new computerised
self-completion questionnaire designed to give the most reliable
findings to date on the extent of domestic violence in England
and Wales. The self-completion questionnaire increased respondents’
willingness to report incidents by maximising anonymity and
confidentiality. It also encouraged reporting of incidents
victims did not define as ‘crimes’. The questionnaire
covered physical assaults and frightening threats committed
by current and former partners against men and women aged
16 to 59.
Current levels of domestic violence
• 4.2% of women and 4.2% of men said
they had been physically assaulted by a current or former
partner in the last year. 4.9% of men and 5.9% of women had
experienced physical assault and/or frightening threats. These
levels are considerably higher than figures from other BCS
• Women were twice as likely as men to have been injured
by a partner in the last year, and three times as likely to
have suffered frightening threats. They were also more likely
to have been assaulted three or more times.
• In total it is estimated that there were about 6.6
million incidents of domestic physical assault in 1995. 2.9
million of these involved injury. In addition, there were
about 7 million frightening threats.
• Women were far more likely to say
they had experienced domestic assault at some time in their
lives: 23% of women and 15% of men aged 16 to 59 said they
had been physically assaulted by a current or former partner
at some time. The inclusion of frightening threats increases
these figures to 26% and 17% respectively.
• At least 12% of women and 5% of men had been assaulted
on three or more occasions. They were termed chronic victims.
• Young women aged 20 to 24 reported the highest levels
of domestic violence to the survey: 28% said that they had
been assaulted by a partner at some time, and 34% had been
threatened or assaulted.
Although the higher risk for young people tends
to suggest domestic violence is increasing, it may also reflect
a greater reluctance on the part of older victims to mention
domestic assaults to the survey, or that incidents longer
ago are less likely to be recalled in the survey context.
• Amongst women, risks of physical
assault in 1995 were highest for those who were: aged 16 to
24; separated from their spouse; council tenants; in poor
health; and/or, in financial difficulties.
• Amongst men, victimisation levels were highest for
16- to 24-yearolds; cohabiters; the unemployed; and again
those in financial difficulties.
• Pushing, shoving and grabbing are
the most common type of assault. But kicking, slapping and
hitting with fists took place in nearly half of incidents.
• The victim was injured in 41% of incidents. Women
were more likely to be injured (47%) than men 31%). Although
injury was usually restricted to bruising, 9% of incidents
resulted in cuts and 2% in broken bones.
• Nearly all victims admitted they were upset by the
experience, with women more likely to say so than men. The
majority of female victims said they had been very frightened,
compared to a minority of men.
• Of victims who had children in the household, about
a third said the children had been aware of the last assault
they had experienced.
• Chronic victims experienced more serious types of
attack: they were more likely to be physically injured and
were more emotionally affected by their experience. Three-quarters
of the chronic victims were women.
• Virtually all incidents against
women reported to the survey were committed by men (99%).
95% of those against men were committed by women.
• The assailant was said to be under the influence of
alcohol in 32% of incidents, and of drugs in 5%.
• Half of life-time incidents were committed by a current
or former spouse compared to 43% of last-year incidents, probably
lower rates of marriage amongst the younger age groups.
• The majority of life-time victims were living with
their assailant at the time of the most recent assault: older
victims more often so than younger ones.
• A half of those who were living with their assailant
were still doing so at the time of the BCS interview. Women
were less likely to still be living with their assailant than
men, and chronic victims less likely than intermittent.
Victims’ perceptions of their
• Although the questions asked about
incidents that would meet the legal definition of an assault,
only 17% of incidents counted by the survey were considered
to be crimes by their victims. Virtually no male victims defined
their experience as a crime, while only four in ten chronic
female victims did so.
• Victims were more likely to agree their experience
made them “a victim of domestic violence” than
a victim of a crime - overall, one third did so. Women, and
in particular chronic female victims, were much more likely
to say so than men.
Defining domestic violence
The term ‘domestic violence’
can encompass a wide range of experiences. The measures used
in research vary considerably as to the type of relationship
they count as ‘domestic’ and the types of experience
that are deemed ‘violence’.
What is ‘domestic’?
Clearly, the wider the definition of domestic
relationships, the higher are the estimates of domestic violence.
The narrowest definition restricts domestic violence to that
between people currently living together as couples, and often
only as heterosexual couples. Estimates can vary on whether
they classify incidents as ‘domestic’ that occur
between people in the early stages of a relationship who do
not know each other well, and those where there is no longer
an intimate relationship but there has been at sometime in
the past. The definition used in the CASI questionnaire encompasses
all intimate relationships, whether or not there is, or has
been, co-habitation. The police, however, tend to take somewhat
broader criteria, describing incidents as ‘domestic’
that involve people who are related in any way or who live
in the same household. This might include assaults on children
by parents and vice versa.
What is ‘violence’?
Deciding what constitutes violence is not
straightforward either. One option is to include all forms
of physical assault and attempted assault, however minor and
for whatever reason they were committed. Some commentators,
though, suggest violent acts are only those where there is
an intent to cause some harm, in particular pain or injury
(Gelles, 1997).1 By only questioning victims, though, it is
not possible to know for sure the intention of the assailant.
The victim’s judgement of whether the force used is
acceptable may also be relevant. However, it would be dangerous
to assume that just because the recipient judges the behaviour
as normal and acceptable, society would generally agree.
Physical violence is not the only way to inflict
harm against a partner. A wider definition of violence would
include bullying, psychologically controlling and emotionally
abusive behaviour. The effects of these can be as great, if
not greater (Straus and Sweet, 1992).
Presently, Domestic violence has been extended
to include all acts which many would not consider as violent.
It may soon be ‘One shout and you’re out.’
Martin Fiebert, PhD: (source)
compiled the largest ever study on domestic violence on 107,000
people and there are 149 scholarly investigations: 121 empirical
studies and 28 reviews and/or analyses that I can send you,
which all demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive,
or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their
spouses or male partner.
So why are men being targeted by the Domestic
violence industry at the expense of the proper research? As
Kevin Browne Professor of family and forensic psychology at
Birmingham University has shown current methodology are promulgating
inter-generational abuse. This may explain this recent article
The gender abuse of the system and the
facts may be found within www.un.org.
An incident of domestic violence takes place
in the UK every 6 to 20 seconds. This would mean that between
one in 20 and one in 38 are victims of DV per year, yet how
many do you know?
Please note the industry is self-serving
and biased in its approach to domestic violence www.homeoffice.gov.uk
A Violence against Women initiative is
part of the £250 million Crime Reduction Programme.
• in any given police service, from 1.1
to 4.9 percent of ALL calls to police for assistance by the
public are for domestic violence 10
• this is an average of just under 3% of ALL calls to
police for assistance.
Yet we are currently being told in the media that up to 25%
of all crime is domestic violence! The Women’s groups
have even linked Domestic violence to contact arrangements
and in divorce proceedings example
1 and example
Such is the concern from the women’s
groups and the Government against all the facts that even
if found innocent men will be treated as if guilty, see
How many of these are false allegations to get
advantage in divorce proceedings or to control the fathers
contact, to punish him or even facets of personality disorders/
manic depressive disorder etc?
Finally unless the research distinguishes between
married, co-habitating, lesbian, gay, and ex-partner with
only evidenced domestic violence or large-scale independent
empirical surveys then the facts and figures are simply not
worth the paper they are printed on. These are the views of
the Author and not necessarily those of FLINT.