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Domestic Violence

January 11, 2009

male victimsNO LESS than 35% of domestic violence victims are male victims. So why do virtually all government, corporate, nonprofit, and private donation money for  domestic violence money go to women?

Male victims of domestic violence have been seriously neglected in public policy, outreach and services. But they are not rare at all. They’re just less likely to report it, which makes crime statistics unreliable especially for men.

Prevalence and Injuries of male victims of domestic violence

The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) very recent domestic violence study (released Nov. 2011) found: “More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime” and “About 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner (e.g., hit with a fist or something hard, beaten, slammed against something) at some point in their lifetime.”  See executive summary at

Not surprisingly, the Associated Press only mentioned the female victims, leaving male victims invisible as usual.

The CDC figures are more reliable than the oft-cited Department of Justice (DoJ) figures because the CDC does not use crime-based language in its surveys like the DoJ does.  Numerous experts explain that crime language biases the results because both men and women are less likely to consider it a “crime” when its female-on-male than the reverse.  Non-crime based, sociological surveys consistently confirm that “women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, as men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners (and that men account for 1/3 of physical DV injuries).  Almost 300 of these studies, using various methodologies, are summarized

For example, this 32-nation study by the University of New Hampshire found women are as violent and controlling as men in relationships worldwide.

For another example, a major study funded by the Centers for Disease Control recently examined heterosexual relationships throughout the U.S. and found: “Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence,and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent.  In nonreciprocallyviolent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.”

This Canadian government report also recognizes the above data.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year there are 4.8 million incidents of intimate partner assaults and rapes against women and 2.9 against men, with 25% of the deaths being men.

The self defense myth

Feminists often claim the studies showing women initiate domestic violence as often as men are based on the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) which, they say, is not contextual enough and does not account for self-defense. At the outset, this is a hypocritical argument because these same critics have used CTS-based studies for decades to cite figures on female victims and they only criticize CTS when it applies to male victims. Even the DoJ, which most feminist groups cite, uses CTS. It is the most common methodology used in science to measure abuse.

The criticism is also wrong on its face. In 1985 researchers updated the CTS to ask who initiated the violence, and they found the same results. Feminists then claimed one can “initiate” violence in self-defense. But to the extent this is true, it

male victims

NO LESS than 35% of domestic violence victims are men. So why does virtually all domestic violence industry money go to women?

is true of both sexes. And, as Dr. Richard Gelles explains:

“Contrary to the claim that women only hit in self-defense, we found that women were as likely to initiate the violence as were men. In order to correct for a possible bias in reporting, we reexamined our data looking only at the self-reports of women. The women reported similar rates of female-to-male violence compared to male-to-female, and women also reported they were as likely to initiate the violence as were men.”

“The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence; Male Victims,” 1999, The Women’s Quarterly, re-printed with the author’s permission at the National Coalition For Men Los Angeles Chapter blog.

Professor John Archer further explains:

“It has often been claimed that the reason CTS studies have found as many women as men to be physically aggressive is because women are defending themselves against attack. A number of studies have addressed this issue and found that when asked, more women than men report initiating the attack. (Bland & Orn. 1986; DeMaris, 1992; Gryl & Bird. 1989. cited in Straus. 1997) or that the proportions are equivalent in the two sexes (Straus, 1997). Two large-scale studies found that a substantial proportion of both women and men report using physical aggression when the partner did not (Brush, 1990; Straus & Gelles, 1988). This evidence does not support the view that the CTS is only measuring women’s self-defense.”

“Sex Differences in Aggression Between Heterosexual Partners: A Meta-Analytic Review, Psychological Bulletin,” Sept. 2000. v. 126, n. 5, p. 651, 664.

Subsequent research asked about motives and self-defense and found self-defense is only a small percentage of the violence by either sex. For example, one of the largest studies ever done in England found not only equal perpetration by gender but that men and women assaulted their partners for the same reasons, most often “to get through to them,” while self-defense was one of the least common motives for both sexes and men were hitting in self-defense slightly more often than women were. Carrado, “Aggression in British Heterosexual Relationships: A Descriptive Analysis, Aggressive Behavior,” 1996, 22: 401-415.

California State University surveyed 1,000 college women: 30% admitted they assaulted a male partner. Their most common reasons: (1) my partner wasn’t listening to me; (2) my partner wasn’t being sensitive to my needs; and (3) I wished to gain my partner’s attention. Martin Fiebert, Ph.D., Denise Gonzalez, Ph.D., “Why Women Assault; College Women Who Initiate Assaults on their Male Partners and the Reasons Offered for Such Behavior,” 1997, Psychological Reports, 80, 583-590.

A 32-nation study of domestic violence by the University of New Hampshire in 2006 found women’s violence in dating relationships was just as controlling as men’s.

Professor Don Dutton further refutes the self-defense myth. See Dutton, D., & Corvo, K., “Transforming a flawed policy: A call to revive psychology and science in domestic violence research and practice,” (11) 2006, 457-483

male victims

Discrimination Against Men

Many government-funded domestic violence programs still explicitly discriminate against male victims. In Australia and the UK, the government had to revoke funding from domestic violence shelters for refusing to help male victims as shown in these articles:

Domestic violence support team pulls plug.

Women Refuge Told They Must Admit Men.

Study Examines Domestic Violence

Others, like in Holland, Serbia, and Switzerland, have set aside funds for battered men shelters, even though they are scare and underfunded compared to battered women shelters in those countries.

But in many countries, battered men’s shelters remain without any public funds.

In October 2008, the National Coalition For Men won a landmark appellate case in California that held it is unconstitutional to exclude male victims of domestic violence from the statutory funding provisions or from state-funded services. Woods v Shewry published decision.

Most programs claiming to help men just refer them to a far-away program that actually does help men.

The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) explicitly excludes American Indian men from its provisions on Native American. It is also implemented in a discriminatory manner nationwide and funds educational programs that spread one-sided misinformation about domestic violence. See Dr. Richard Gelles, “Male Victims: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence.”

The very title of VAWA discriminates and stigmatizes male victims by leaving them invisible and downplaying the seriousness of male victimization, making them an afterthought at very best. We don’t have a Men’s Occupational Safety and Health Act” just because 92% of occupational deaths happen to men.(Interestingly after 2002 it appears the Bureau of Labor Statistics stopped reporting occupational deaths by gender.)

Here’s the sworn testimony from Patricia Swanson-Overberg who fought hard to help abused men and their children. Her testimony reveals a great deal about DV Industry Operatives and their wall of silence about abused men: 021101 NCFM ltr from Patricia Overberg

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104 Responses to Domestic Violence

  1. Alberto Monetti on November 27, 2023 at 9:38 AM

    I am falsely accused for domestic violence. My exwife accused me for an incident that actually she attacked me that leads off an abrupt separation after 5 months of marriage. She is not American citizen. Luckily, all charges dismissed after three years of legal fights for both criminal cases and divorce cases and finally divorced happened. From the depositions we know that she applied for VAWA. She falsely accused me to violate the restraining order two times. I am in a constant fear that she will accuse me again by lying the judges that I violated the restraining order. I need advice and help to learn what I can do to protect myself in the future. She is still coming to places next to my apartment that’s why I am expecting more moves from her that she wants to use them in her VAWA case.

    • NCFM on November 27, 2023 at 12:50 PM

      Alberto, you might consider those things you and I discussed after talking to your attorney.

  2. ST on November 11, 2023 at 7:39 AM

    There is petition on to persecute false DV allegations:

    Currently most of the false DV allegations are not persecuted due to the “chilling effect” (supposedly it will stop the actual victims from reporting it, when false allegations will be persecuted).
    We need to stop this injustice, when false DV allegations are used as weapon where if the this no consequences of being caught lying. Only mens lives can be ruined if the false allegations are believed by the judge and/or the jury. And narcissists are really good at appearing believable.

    Sign it and help to make a positive change

  3. […] â€ş 2009 › 01 › news › issues › domestic-violenceDomestic Violence | National Coalition For Men (NCFM)Even the DoJ, which most feminist groups cite, uses CTS. … appears the Bureau of Labor Statistics stopped reporting occupational deaths by gender.) […]

  4. Myths about domestic violence – Douglas Milnes on February 11, 2020 at 11:41 PM

    […] The National Coalition for Men, USA […]

  5. […] The National Coalition for Men, USA […]

  6. Larry Jackson on August 1, 2019 at 3:52 PM

    On July 24th, I received a text from my wife that she was leaving me, because of too much abuse. Her, my son and his girlfriend, packed up everything we had, and left me broke, and with come until I get my social security on August 3rd. She changed an over $500.00 cable bill into my name, due on August 1st, $1100.00 rent also due on August 1st, a $156.00 Edison bill, as well, and a $40.00 gas bill due on August 5th. I get a $688.00 deposit every 3rd of the month. I am facing certain eviction by the of this month. Is there anything you can due to help me.

  7. Randy on March 13, 2019 at 3:55 AM

    Rates of Violence Against Women Is The Same As Men

    If you look at data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics via the National Crime Survey, you will see increasing rates of female victimization to the point that, in some years, they exceed those of men. Traditionally, women had considerably lower rates of victimization. I’m unaware of mainstream media coverage of the topic, Crime in America.

    Prevalence of violent crime against females increased from 0.98% in 2016 to 1.11% in 2017. In 2017, an estimated 1.17% of males and 1.11% of females (1.6 million each) had experienced one or more violent victimizations in the prior 6 months. From 2016 to 2017, the prevalence of violent victimization against females increased from 0.98% to 1.11%, while there was no statistically significant change in the prevalence rate for males, Criminal Victimization-Bureau of Justice Statistics.

  8. Randy on March 12, 2019 at 7:47 PM

    The first ever “Female Majority” Nevada state lawmakers are rocking on the new laws…everything from civil commitments to new “Rape Shield” additions into Domestic violence restraining orders…sad. Nothing Bi-partisan. Nothing to help our young boys suceed better in school…just more anti-male laws, now it’s for Nevadans.

    “A hearing is held on the petition.374.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any hearing 38on a petition for an extended order pursuant to this section:39(a)Testimony as to the reputation or an opinion of the 40petitioner concerning his or her previous sexual conduct is 41inadmissible.42(b)If the adverse party desires to present evidence of any43specific instance ofprevious sexual conduct of the petitioner, the 44court must first determine that such evidence is relevanttowards 45
    –13–*AB19*the issue of the credibilityof the petitioneror it is material to a fact 1at issue and the probative value outweighs any prejudicial effect.2If the court makessuch a determination, itmay admit evidence of3the specific instance ofprevious sexual conduct of the petitioner 4for the purpose of proving:5(1)Consensual sexual conduct with the adverse party;6(2)The origin ofsemen, pregnancy or disease; or7(3)False allegations made by the petitioner in support of a8previouspetition for an order for protection against the adverse 9party.105.If an extended order is issued by a justice court, an 11interlocutory appeal lies to the district court, which may…”

  9. […] suggests that the silence of men about domestic/dating violence infers that most men do condone domestic/dating violence against women (Harbert, 2006, p. […]

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  12. robert k. souther on February 18, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    the life changing effects of being falsely accused of CDV should most definitely be looked at by our legislators and judges. I am a gun collector and enthusiast. I have never harmed anyone with or without a gun, yet I am restricted from owning or possessing a firearm because of a lie. I will do everything in my power to change these unfair laws forced on my 2nd amendment rights by a lying thief of a woman. She should be in prison for the crimes she committed ( giving false information to police) but no one will start the process. WHERE IS OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM ????????????????????????????????
    In my opinion they have become simple money collectors from whomever they can coral into their domain. I am seriously harmed and defamed by this case and no one will help the hard working innocent male in this system.

    • vinny on October 24, 2016 at 2:02 PM

      i agree

  13. Roy Acuff on June 7, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Are there any non-profit lawyers to defend males falsely accused of domestic violence

    • william on June 7, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      I was falsely accused by a mean drunk I should of left years ago. I won in the criminal trial, the jury didn’t have to deliberate but an hour. I lost the civil trial because of bad representation. I had to do subsequent action alone because of no money for lawyers. I wasn’t very good at it. I’ve had a permenent headache and neckache for 15 years that makes life difficult, meanwhile pro bono lawyers come out of the wood work to help “her” but I am on my own and got realyy screwed by a system that is clearly biased in favor of women.

  14. greg jenkinson on April 24, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    The truth is on the national news all the time, women drowning their children,driving into the ocean and yet we men are always the guilty ones,but the lawyers make out like fat bandits.Then to keep it simple they tell you to plead guilty instead of going to trial and having a 50/50 chance of the jury believing her lies and you go to jail. Yea that’s fair.

  15. Bill on March 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Anyone should see that issues like equal pay for equal work and a womans right to control her body is a non-issue. It should be a given in the 21st century that we All support this and more. But hte violence against women act just swings the power the other way, for women, and is NOT equality. It bashes men and puts women in a protected class where they don’t have to be repsonsible for their actions in a relationship. Do they want to be put on pedistals (like “ladies”) or do they truely want equality? Men are getting screwed by the VAW act. Plain and simple

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