Women Can Be as Violent as Men

screamer IIYou may have heard of a Perth-based family counsellor who was forced to resign from Relationships Australia WA (RAWA) after posting on his private Facebook page an article social commentator Bettina Arndt wrote a few years ago for the Weekend Australian.[1] The article summarised the latest official statistics and research on domestic violence, providing evidence that most domestic violence is two-way, involving women as well as men.[2] This was regarded as a breach of policy, because, on its own website, RAWA says its domestic violence policy “is historically framed by a feminist analysis of gendered power relations” which, contrary to the international evidence, denies women’s role in domestic violence.[3]

By endorsing a feminist policy that is so morally bankrupt (and punishing a well-respected counsellor for refusing to do so)[4], this government-funded institution displays a disturbing lack of compassion for the wellbeing of all the male victims of domestic violence. RAWA’s policy is based on a discredited approach that perpetuates the false assumption that domestic violence is always perpetrated by men against women. And yet, data keeps mounting which indicate that domestic violence may be perpetrated by both men and women against their partners. A decade ago an official letter by the Harvard Medical School declared that “the problem is often more complicated, and may involve both women and men as perpetrators”. Based on the findings of an analysis of more than 11,000 American men and women aged eighteen to twenty-eight, the letter concluded:

When the violence is one-sided … women were the perpetrators about 70% of the time. Men were more likely to be injured in reciprocally violent relationships (25%) than were women when the violence was one-sided (20%). That means both men and women agreed that men were not more responsible than women for intimate partner violence. The findings cannot be explained by men’s being ashamed to admit hitting women, because women agreed with men on this point.[5]

The Harvard Medical School’s letter was based on a seminal work published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2007. Written by four experts in the field (Daniel J. Whitaker, Tadesses Laileyesus, Monica Swahn and Linda S. Saltman), it seeks to examine the prevalence of reciprocal (that is, two-way) and non-reciprocal domestic violence, and to determine whether reciprocity is related to violence and injury.[6] After analysing the data, which contained information about domestic violence reported by 11,370 respondents on 18,761 heterosexual relationships, the following conclusions were reached:

● A woman’s perpetration of domestic violence is the strongest predictor of her being a victim of partner violence;[7]

● Among relationships with non-reciprocal violence, women were reported to be the perpetrator in a majority of cases; [8]

● Women reported greater perpetration of violence than men did (34.8 per cent against 11.4  per cent, respectively).[9]

One explanation for these significant findings is that men are simply less willing than women to report hitting their partner. “This explanation cannot account for the data, however, as both men and women reported a larger proportion on nonreciprocal violence perpetrated by women than by men.”[10] In fact, the authors explain that women’s greater perpetration of violence was reported by both women (female perpetrators = 24.8 per cent, male perpetrators = 19.2 per cent) and by men (female perpetrators = 16.4 per cent, male perpetrators = 11.2 per cent).[11] Based on the information available, the authors concluded:

Our findings that half of relationships with violence could be characterised as reciprocally violent are consistent with prior studies. We are surprised to find, however, that among relationships with nonreciprocal violence, women were the perpetrators in a majority of cases, regardless of participant gender. One possible explanation for this, assuming that men and women are equally likely to initiate physical violence, is that men, who are typically larger and stronger, are less likely to retaliate if struck first by their partner. Thus, some men may be following the norm that “men shouldn’t hit women” when struck first by their partner.[12] 

Unfortunately, violence by women against men is a phenomenon that has received little attention in the media and in government. Yet for nearly four decades the best research reveals that men are also frequently the targets of violence by female partners. Since the 1980s more than 200 academic studies have demonstrated that, despite the common assertion, most partner violence is mutual, and that a woman’s perpetration of violence is the strongest predictor of her being a victim of partner violence.[13] Across several countries the best research available shows that the percentage of men who are physically assaulted by their female partners tends to be remarkably similar to the percentage of women physically assaulted by their male partners.[14] However, those who deny the empirical evidence often resort to unacceptable tactics, which includes “concealing those results, selective citation of research, stating conclusions that are the opposite of the data in the results section and intimidating researchers who produced results showing gender symmetry”.[15] One of the leading researchers in the field, Dr Murray A. Straus, has received numerous death threats, as have his co-researchers, Dr Richard Gelles and Dr Suzanne Steinmetz, with the latter the subject of a vicious campaign to deny her academic tenure and rescind her grant funding.[16]

Australian media and government reports often frame domestic violence merely as “violence against women”. This generates a totally false assumption that males are always the aggressors; that men are the only ones capable of harming their partners. For instance, you may recall the federal campaign on television two years ago. These ads were part of a $30 million campaign designed “to help break the cycle of violence against women and their children”.[17] It seemed to suggest that all of the perpetrators of domestic violence are Caucasian males.[18] The Prime Minister even assured us that his domestic violence campaign was all about creating “a new culture of respect for women”.[19] Malcolm Turnbull, a self-described feminist, concomitantly launched a $100 million “women’s safety package”, apparently because violence against women in the home is on the rise. In his words: “All disrespect for women does not end up with violence against women, but let’s be clear, all violence against women begins with disrespecting women.”[20]

More recently we have seen further calls to action from Mr Turnbull to “change the hearts of men”, and from the Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, to “change the attitudes of men”, as if there were some kind of unspoken bond between these politicians and the men who commit violence against women. “Not all disrespect of women ends up in violence against women but that’s where all violence against women begins … but what we must do … is ensure that we change the hearts and minds of men to respect women”, Turnbull says.[21] Shorten says, “All this violence is ultimately preventable and … we need to change the attitudes of men.”[22] While these political leaders see no problem in offending the Australian people by assuming that violence against women is an “accepted part” of our society, Claire Lehmann, the editor of Quillette, reminds them that in our society “crimes against women are stigmatised and punished harshly. Sexual offenders generally are given lengthy prison sentences and are secluded from other prisoners precisely because the crime is so reviled—even in ­prison”.[23] And yet, in the distorted world of identity politics:

individuality is subsumed into the collective. When one man holds power, he doesn’t do so on behalf of himself, he does so on behalf of the male collective. Likewise, when one man commits a murder, collectivists will portray it as being done in the service of all men. This regressive worldview has no qualms about ascribing collective guilt to entire groups of people. But ascribing collective guilt strikes at the very heart of our understanding of justice and liberty.[24]

Clearly these two federal leaders believe their statements on this matter will have popular support, particularly from women voters. But judging from the letters received by journalist and sexologist Bettina Arndt, who wrote an article in the Australian in 2016 about research showing the prominent role women played in violence in the home, there are many in our community, including many women, who are extremely uncomfortable with gender politics. She received an avalanche of supportive letters, not only from professionals working with families at risk from violent mothers, but also from many women who had grown up in such homes, or had witnessed their brothers, fathers and male friends experiencing violence at the hands of a woman. As she points out, “many women commented how surprised they were that Turnbull made such an offensive, one-sided policy announcement”.[25]


Women can be as abusive as men

Professor Linda Mills, the Ellen Goldberg Professor at New York University, is the principal investigator of studies funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Justice, which focus on treatment programs for domestic violence offenders. Her studies in the field are published by Harvard Law Review, Journal of Experimental Criminology and Cornell Law Review. As she points out:

Years of research, which mainstream feminism has glossed over or ignored, shows that when it comes to intimate abuse, women are far from powerless and seldom, if ever, just victims. Women are not merely passive prisoners of violent intimate dynamics. Like men, women are frequently aggressive in intimate settings and therefore may be more accurately referred to as “women in abusive relationships” (a term I prefer to the more common usages “battered women,” “victim,” or “survivor”) … The studies show not only that women stay in abusive relationships but also that they are intimately engaged in and part of the dynamic of abuse. As the studies of lesbian violence demonstrate, women are capable of being as violent as men in intimate relationships. And women can be physically violent as well as emotionally abusive. That violence comes out in their intimate relationships both as resistance and as aggression. We need to put aside our preconceptions of gender socialization and roles.[26]

Erin Pizzey, the woman who set up the first refuge for battered women in 1971, knew from the very beginning that women can be as violent as men in domestic relations. She herself was raised by a violent mother who used to beat her with an ironing cord until the blood ran down her legs. Pizzey strove in vain for her mother’s love. She was left badly damaged by her regular beatings and verbal abuse. She was called “lazy, useless and ugly” by her mother, who often called her father “an oaf and an idiot” and depicted his mother as a “prostitute” and his father as a “common Irish drunk”.[27] In Pizzey’s own experience, women are just as capable of domestic abuse in both the physical and emotional sense. When she opened a refuge for battered women in England, sixty-two of the first 100 women to come through the door had been as abusive as the men they had left.[28] So when the feminists started demonising fathers in the early 1970s, her own memories were a sober reminder that:

Women and men are both capable of extraordinary cruelty … We must stop demonising men and start healing the rift that feminism has created between men and women. This insidious and manipulative philosophy that women are always victims and men always oppressors can only continue this unspeakable cycle of violence. And it’s our children who will suffer.[29]

Erin Pizzey is part of a growing number of brave experts and scholars trying to set the record straight.[30] As early as the 1980s academic researchers such as Dr Murray A. Straus, a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, have developed research demonstrating that women are just as likely as men to report physical and emotional abuse of a spouse. These findings have been confirmed by more than 200 studies of intimate violence and they are summed up in Dr Straus’s article “Thirty Years of Denying the Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence”.[31] This article indicates that most partner violence is mutual and self-defence explains only a small percentage of partner violence by either men or women.[32] Rather than self-defence, “the most usual motivations for violence by women, like the motivations of men, are coercion, anger, and punishing misbehavior by their partner”.[33] As Dr Straus points out:

Pearson (1997) reports that 90% of the women she studied assaulted their partner because they were furious, jealous, or frustrated and not because they tried to defend themselves. These motives are parallel to the motivations of male perpetrators. Research on homicides by women shows similar results. For example, Jurik and Gregware (1989) studied 24 women-perpetrated homicides and found that 60% had a previous criminal record, 60% had initiated use of physical force, and 21% of the homicides were in response to “prior abuse” or “threat of abuse/death.” A larger study by Felson and Messner (1998), drawing upon 2,058 partner homicide cases, determined that 46% of the women perpetrators had previously been abused, but less than 10% had acted in self-defense.[34]

In the United States, estimates from national family violence surveys show that within a given year, at least 12 per cent of men are the targets of some sort of physical aggression from their female partners, with 4 per cent (or over 2.5 million) of these men suffering severe violence.[35] In another pioneering study in America, the clinical sample found “the eruption of conjugal violence occurs with equal frequency among both husbands and wives”.[36] This study included several statements by women who often abuse their husbands. “I probably had no reason to get angry with him … but it was such a bore. I was trying to wake him up, you know. He was such a rotten lover anyway. So I’d yell at him and hit him to stir him up,” said one woman.[37]

In Britain, female domestic violence against men is clearly on the rise. Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey reveal that men made up about 40 per cent of domestic violence victims each year.[38] Seventeen men were killed by their female partners in England in 2012 alone. [39] Furthermore, British men are twice as likely as women to keep their abuse undisclosed, primarily because of cultural barriers and a legal system that does not protect them.

“They feel emasculated. Their pride is undermined and they are reluctant to see themselves as victims,” says Mark Brooks, the chairman of Mankind, a charity for male victims of domestic violence.[40] Even so, “every year our helpline is seeing at least a 25 per cent increase in the number of men seeking help”.[41]

Of course, the percentage of reported male victims would be considerably higher were it not for the sexist biases of the system. As noted by a journalist in the Guardian, men assaulted by their wives and girlfriends are often completely ignored by police. They are often treated as “second-class victims” and many police forces and councils do not take them seriously. “Male victims are almost invisible to the authorities such as the police, who rarely can be prevailed upon to take the man’s side,” says John Mays of Parity, an organisation that advocates equal treatment of domestic violence victims, both male and female, and their children. Their plight is largely overlooked by the media, in official reports and in government policy, for example in the provision of refuge places—7500 for females in England and Wales but only sixty for men.[42]

The official UK figures notoriously underestimate the true number of male victims of domestic violence. This is so because men in Britain are extremely reluctant to disclose that they have been abused by women. Culturally it is still enormously difficult for men to bring these incidents to the attention of the British authorities. It certainly does not fit the false narrative that women are supposed to be always weak and never the perpetrators of domestic violence. But it is patently clear that both men and women can be victims of such violence, and that “men feel under immense pressure to keep up the pretence that everything is OK”, said Alex Neil, a Scottish politician who was Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing at the Scottish Parliament between 2012 and 2014.[43]

As for Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey reveals that proportions of non-physical abuse (for example, emotional abuse) against men have risen dramatically over the last decade, with 33 per cent of all people who reported violence by a domestic partner being male.[44] And yet, one of the tactics used by domestic violence campaigners is to highlight only men’s violence and leave out any statistics relating to women. There is constant pressure to present domestic violence as a “male problem”, and place all the blame for such violence on men as a collective group. As a result, and based on a theory that addresses the problem essentially as a male problem, male victims are often met with disbelief, even suspicion, when they seek protection from a violent partner.


Consequences of the denial of female domestic violence

Domestic violence against male partners is grossly under-reported. Frequently men do not conceptualise the physical violence they sustain from their female partners as a crime. Indeed, studies in the field indicate that men are reluctant to report assaults by women, “even when severe injuries result”.[45] This reluctance is prevalent among male domestic partners, perhaps because they are expected to be physically dominant. Admitting to sustaining violence from a female partner may be viewed as “emasculating”.[46] Further, when domestic violence is conceptualised as a crime in these surveys, women are significantly less likely to report their own use of violence. Some research reveals that women fail to report as much as 75 per cent of their own use of violence.[47] According to Professor Donald G. Dutton and Dr Katherine R. White:

One reason that intimate partner violence toward men is underestimated is that men are less likely to view [domestic violence] as a crime or to report it to police. Men have been asked in survey if they had been assaulted and if so, had they reported it to police. In a 1985 survey, less than 1% of men who had been assaulted by their wife had called police (Stets & Straus, 1992). In that same survey men assaulted by their wife were less likely to hit back than were wives assaulted by their husband. Men were also far less likely to call a friend or relative for help (only 2%) … Historically, men who were victims of assault by their wives were made into objects of social derision. … Men are socialised to bury problems under a private veil, including being the object of abuse from female partners … Either the women are bragging or the men are in denial, or both.[48]

This under-reporting of female domestic violence is partly explained also by the fact that men who sustain this form of violence are unlikely to seek help for these issues out of a reasonable fear “they will be ridiculed and experience shame and embarrassment”.[49] If they do overcome internal psychological barriers, they still face unfair external institutional barriers in seeking help from social services and the criminal justice system. For instance, male help seekers often report that when they call the police during an incident in which their female partners have been violent, the police sometimes “fail to respond or take a report”.[50] Indeed, male victims of domestic violence encounter greater animosity when contacting the police. This can be contrasted to the “positive and supportive attitude” of the police to women who accuse their husbands of violence. According to Sotirios Sarantakos, an adjunct professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Charles Sturt University:

Most interesting is the finding regarding the practice of women running to the police after hitting the husband, although they hit him without a reason. Even threatening to go to the police was often taken very seriously by the husbands—not without reason. The positive and supportive attitude of the police and authorities to women’s position was reported to have encouraged many wives to take advantage of this and to become even more aggressive at home. Even when they had severely assaulted the husband, their statement that they had been assaulted and abused by him at that time or previously was sufficient for the police to treat them as innocent victims.[51]

Men are far more likely to be arrested for domestic violence than their female partners, even when other factors including previous arrests are taken into account. A study in the United States reveals that men face harsher legal ramifications post-arrest: 85 per cent of violent men were arrested and prosecuted by the police, compared to only 53.5 per cent of violent women.[52] Some of these men are actually innocent and report “being ridiculed by the police or being incorrectly arrested and convicted as the violent perpetrator, even when there is no evidence of injury to the female partner”.[53]

This might explain why so many men who sustain violence are deeply reluctant to report on their partners. Compared to abused women, there are few social programs or non-profit organisations providing useful assistance to men who are the victims of domestic violence.[54] Instead, male victims often experience external barriers when contacting these social services. When they locate the few resources that are specifically designed to accommodate the needs of these male victims, hotline workers often infer that they must be the actual abusers and refer them to batterers’ programs.[55]

In the judicial system, male victims of domestic violence are often treated unfairly solely because of their gender. Indeed, men who make claims of domestic violence face a deeply hostile system, which is far less sympathetic in its treatment of abused men. This is an area in which the “gender paradigm” has caused gross instances of injustice. In the United States, even with apparent corroborating evidence that their female partners were violent to them, male help-seekers often report that they lost child custody as a result of false accusations.[56] As noted by Professor Denise A. Hines (Psychology) and Dr Emily M. Douglas (Social Policy):

Male help-seekers have reported that their complaints concerning their female partners’ violence have not always been taken seriously, yet their partner’s false accusations have reportedly been given serious weight during the judicial process (Cook 1997). Other men have reported similar experiences in which their female partners misused the legal or social service systems to inappropriately block access between them and their children or to file false allegations with child welfare services (Hines et al 2007). According to some experts, the burden of proof for IPV [intimate partner violence] victimization is high for men because it falls outside of our common understanding of gender roles (Cook, 1997); this can make leaving a violent female partner that much more difficult. For example, many men who sustained IPV report that they stayed with their violent female partners in order to protect the children from their partner’s violence. The men worried that if they left their violent wives, the legal system could still grant custody of the children to their wives and that perhaps even their custody rights would be blocked by their wives as a continuation of the controlling behaviors of their wives used during the marriage (McNeely et al, 2001).[57]

In the United States, an emergency clinic study in Ohio found that burns obtained in domestic relations were as frequent for male victims as for female victims, and that 72 per cent of men admitted with injuries from spousal violence had been stabbed.[58] Likewise, at an emergency clinic in Philadelphia male patients reported being kicked, bitten, punched or choked by female intimate partners in 47 per cent of cases. Unfortunately, such emergency clinics tend to ask only women, but never men, about potential domestic violence origins for injuries.[59]

This may be a natural consequence of the cornerstone of mainstream feminist theory that domestic violence is primarily motivated by “patriarchal control”. According to Adam Blanch, a clinical psychologist and family counsellor working in Melbourne, “only a very small percentage of domestic violence is found to be motivated by control”.[60] As he points out, “control” is a motive for both men and women in equal proportions. “An extraordinarily large body of evidence consistently shows that most domestic violence is committed by both women and men and is motivated by feelings of revenge, frustration and anger,” he says.[61] His conclusion is that women are no less violent than men, although female violence against male partners is under-reported.

As Hines and Douglas comment in their seminal study on women’s use of domestic violence against men, “the conceptualisation of domestic violence from a strict feminist viewpoint has hampered the ability of women who abuse their male partners to seek and get help from social service and criminal justice systems”.[62] Women who resort to such violence face considerable barriers when seeking help within the current social service system. The following quote exemplifies the experience of one of these abusive women:

He tries to understand my side of the argument. He talks to me rather than hits me. I still hit him, however. I would like to enrol in a class in anger management, but the shelter for battered women does not help women with this problem.[63]

Male victims struggle to locate anti-domestic violence services to assist them, since help lines or shelters are generally targeted towards female victims. They often report that their complaints concerning their female partners’ violence have not been taken seriously.[64] Instead, male victims who have reached out to domestic violence organisations in the past have found themselves further abused by feminist services that refuse to believe that any man can be a victim of domestic violence. Some have even been put at risk of further violence not only against themselves but also against their children by these services contacting the abusing spouse and letting her know the man has sought help. There is even the assumption that the victim himself could actually be the perpetrator.

A psychiatrist who lives in Melbourne and once rang the Victorian “Men’s Referral Service”, commented: “I rang them on two occasions in relation to male victims. Both times I was told that if I had dug deeper I would have discovered that the men were the perpetrators.” This shows that a supposedly public service provider is pushing the anti-male agenda of radical feminists. With so many Australian men taking their own lives, our governments have the moral duty to provide these abused men the help they so desperately need, particularly when family violence is concerned.

However, the New South Wales government has just gone the opposite direction. It has appointed a feminist organisation to assist male victims of domestic violence. This organisation’s website says: “The Men’s Referral Service (MRS) provides free, anonymous, and confidential telephone counselling, information, and referrals to men to assist them to take action to stop using violent and controlling behaviour.”[65] It is unacceptable that information given “for men” is entirely predicated on men being the sole perpetrators of violence. The MRS is on the public record as saying services “need to be cautious in automatically assuming that a man assessed by police or another referring agent as a victim of domestic violence truly is the victim”.[66] According to Greg Andresen, a spokesman for “One in Three Campaign”, which advocates for male family violence victims:

A male victim seeking support who reads on a website that he needs to take responsibility for his “violent and controlling behaviour” is probably not going to have a lot of confidence in ringing that service and asking for help. And if he does call and is assumed responsible for the violence, he may not reach out for help again.[67]

Female domestic violence against children

The distortion of the truth is found also in discussions about domestic violence against children. “A quarter of Australian children had witnessed violence against their mother,” South Australia’s Victims of Crime Commissioner Michael O’Connell stated in August 2010. This statistic comes from “Young People and Domestic Violence”, a study that reveals almost an identical proportion of young people being aware of female violence against their fathers or stepfathers.[68] The study found that, although 23 per cent of young Australians were aware of violence against their mothers or stepmothers, 22 per cent witnessed the same sort of violence against their fathers or stepfathers.[69] According to Bettina Arndt:

Whenever statistics are mentioned publicly that reveal the true picture of women’s participation in family violence, they are dismissed with the domestic violence lobby claiming they are based on flawed methodology or are taken out of context. However, [according to] the best available quantitative data—ABS surveys, AIC (Australian Institute of Criminology) and homicide statistics—police crime data show that a third of victims of violence are males. These data sources are cited by the main domestic violence organisations, [although] they deliberately minimise any data relating to male victims.[70]

Many young Australians grow up afraid of their mothers. Australian children in violent families are more likely to be killed by their mothers than by their fathers. Although men made up a quarter of the 1645 partner deaths between 1989 and 2012, women accounted for 52 per cent of all child homicides. [71] Women not only are more likely to kill their children, but also account for more than half of all the substantial maltreatment perpetrators. In May 2015, the Australian Institute of Criminology released a research paper which states: “Where females were involved in a homicide, they were more likely to be the offender in a domestic/family homicide.”[72] Although the majority of victims of domestic homicides overall were female (60 per cent), women were the sole offenders in more than half of the filicides (52 per cent) and offenders in 23 per cent of intimate partner homicides.[73] Also, men were more likely than their female partners to become the victims of filicide (56 per cent), parricide (54 per cent), and homicides involving other domestic relationships (70 per cent).[74]


Final Comments

Domestic violence used by women against men is a phenomenon that has received little attention from the Australian media and government. From the nation’s media reports, public inquiries and official campaigns, one would believe that men are the sole perpetrators of domestic violence—and that all men are equally likely to carry out such acts of violence. Yet for nearly four decades research has shown that men are frequently the targets of violence by their female partners. Those who deny this evidence may resort to scientifically unacceptable tactics. This includes “concealing these results, selective citation of research, stating conclusions that are the opposite of the data, and even intimidating researchers who have produced results showing gender symmetry”.[75]

I have no intention of minimising the real problem of serious domestic violence against women. One must speak out loud and clear about violence against women. In fact, we must speak out loud and clear about violence against anyone. This is why recognising that men are also victims of domestic violence is so important. Enough of pretending domestic violence is simply about dangerous men terrorising their families. It is time to abandon this sexist and harmful paradigm, and correct all the injustices caused by the politicisation of such a tragic reality that affects countless adults and children, male and female alike.

Dr Augusto Zimmermann is Professor of Law at Sheridan College in Perth, and Professor of Law (Adjunct) at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. He is also President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association, and a former Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia.


[1] John Flint, “WA counsellor says he was forced to resign for domestic violence view’, PerthNow, May 21, 2018, at

[2] Bettina Arndt, “Domestic Violence: Data Shows Women are Not the Only Victims’, The Weekend Australian, August 20, 2016, at

[3] Flint, above n.1

[4] “Rob Tiller is an experienced, well-respected counsellor who worked for this counselling organisation for the past eight years. He was much in demand as the only male counsellor working in Perth, running their workshops in addition to seeing his clients … Tiller has taken RAWA to the Fair Work Commission claiming unfair dismissal. The organisation is claiming that Tiller wasn’t dismissed but rather that he resigned. Yet he was told by the HR manager that he had to “resign or be fired” and that being fired would mean a black mark on his record. He took a day to formally resign but, in the meantime, the organisation cancelled his clients and told them he had already resigned”. – Bettina Arndt, “The grip of feminist ideology on our key institutions’, The Spectator Australia, May 12, 2018, at

[5] “In Brief: Domestic Violence: Not Always One Sided’, Harvard Medical School, September 2007, at

[6] Daniel J. Whitaker PhD, Tadesse Haileysus MS, Monica Swahn PhD, and Linda S. Saltzman PhD, “Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury between Relationships with Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence” (2007) 97 (5) American Journal of Public Health, pp. 941–47. At the time of this study, Dr Daniel J. Whitaker and Dr Linda S. Saltzman were with the Division of Violence Prevention., National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta/GA. Tadesse Haileyesus was with the Office of Statistics and Programming, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Manica Swahn was with the Office on Smoking and Health, Center for Disease, Control and Prevention.

[7] Ibid., at 941. See also: S.M. Smith, D.B. Smith, C.E. Penn, D.B. Ward, D. Tritt, “Intimate Partner Physical Abuse Perpetration and Victimization Risk Factors: A Meta-Analytic Review” (2004) 10 Aggress Violent Behaviour 65-98.

[8] Whitaker et al, above n.6, at 943.

[9] Ibid., at 943-44.

[10] Ibid., at 944.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., at 941.

[14] Murray A. Straus, “Thirty Years of Denying the Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence: Implications for Prevention and Treatment” (2010) 1 Partner Abuse 332, at 333.

[15] “Perhaps the most frequent method of dealing with the unacceptable evidence that women assault partners at the same or higher rate as men is to conceal the evidence. The pattern was established early in research on PV by a survey conducted for the Kentucky Commission on Women (Schulman, 1979). This excellent survey found about equal rates of assault by men and women partners, but only assaults by men were presented in the commission report”. – Straus, above n.14, at 339.

[16] Bettina Arndt, “Flirting with Confected Outrage Fails to Impress Women’, The Australian, 7 January, 2016, at

[17] Christian Porter, “Women’s Safety Package Set to Stop the Violence’, Media Release, 25 September 2015, at

[18] Peter O’Brien, “Home Truths About Domestic Violence’, Quadrant Magazine, n.4, 2016, at

[19] Angela Shanahan, “Domestic Violence Beat Up’, The Spectator Australia, November 10, 2015

[20] Malcolm Turnbull, “Reducing Violence Against Women and their Children’, Joint Press Conference, November 25, 2015, at

[21] Chip Le Grand, “Resident Evil: Women Rare Victims on Streets’, The Weekend Australian, June 23, 2018, p 10.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Claire Lehmann, “One Man Killed Eurydice But All Are Held To Account’, The Weekend Australian, June 23, 2018, p 21.

[24] Ibid.


[25] Arndt, above n.16.

[26] Linda Mills, Insult to Injury: Rethinking our Responses to Intimate Abuse (Princeton University Press, 2003), at 8.

[27] Erin Pizzey, “Why I loathe feminism… and believe it will ultimately destroy the family’, Daily Mail, 24 September 2009, at—believe-

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] See: Alicia Spidel, Caroline Greaves, Tonia L. Nicholls, Julie Goldenson, Donald G Dutton, “Personality Disorders, Types of Violence, and Stress Responses in Female Who Perpetrate Intimate Partner Violence” (2013) 4 Psychology 5-11; See also: Donald G Dutton and Katherine White, “Male Victims of Domestic Violence” (2013) 2 (1) New Male Studies 5-17; See also: Denise A. Hines and Emily M. Douglas, “Women’s Use of Intimate Partner Violence against Men: Prevalence, Implications and Consequences (2009) 18 Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 572-586. See also: Denise A. Hines and Kathleen Malley-Morrison, “Psychological Effects of Partner Abuse Against Men: A Neglected Research Area” (2001) 2 (2) Psychology of Men & Masculinity 75-85.

[31] Murray A. Straus, “Thirty Years of Denying the Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence: Implications for Prevention and Treatment” (2010) 1 Partner Abuse 332

[32] Straus, above n.14.

[33] Ibid., at 337.

[34] Ibid, at 338.

[35] Denise A. Hines and Emily M. Douglas, “Women’s Use of Intimate Partner Violence Against Men: Prevalence, Implications and Consequences” 18 (2009) Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 572, at 572.

[36] R .J. Gelles, The Violent Home: A Study of Physical Aggression Between Husbands and Wives (Beverly Hills/CA: Sage, 1974), at 77.

[37] Ibid, at 151.

[38] Denis Campbell, “More Than 40% of Domestic Violence Victims Are Male, Report Reveals”. The Guardian, September 5th, 2010, at

[39] Antonia Hoyle, “Why are so many men become victims of Domestic Violence? It’s one of Britain’s Last Remaining Taboos, but Abuse Against Men in the Home is on the Rise’, Daily Mail, 5 December 2013

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Denis Campbell, “More Than 40% of Domestic Violence Victims Are Male, Report Reveals”. The Guardian, September 5th, 2010, at

[43] Denis Campbell, “More Than 40% of Domestic Violence Victims Are Male, Report Reveals”. The Guardian, September 5th, 2010, at Even so, in Britain alone, the number of women prosecuted for domestic violence rose from 1,575 in 2004-05 to 4,266 in 2008-09

[44] Arndt, above n.16.

[45] Hines & Douglas, above n.36, at 574. See also: M. Henman, “Domestic Violence: Do Men Under Report? (1998) 47 Forensic Update 3-8.

[46] Ibid., at 574. See also: S. K. Steinmetz, “Wifebeating, Husbandbeating: A Comparison of the Use of Physical Violence Between Spouses to Resolve Marital Fights’, in M. Roy (ed.), Battered Women: Psychosociological Study of Domestic Violence (New York/NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, 1977), at 63-72.

[47] S.W. Mihalic & D. Elliott, “If Violence is Domestic, Does it Really Count” (1997) 12 Journal of Family Violence 293-311.

[48] Donald G. Dutton and Katherine R. White, “Male Victims of Domestic Violence’, (2013) 2 (1) New Male Studies 5, at 8.

[49] Hines & Douglas, above n.36, at 573.; See also: R.L. McNeely, P.W. Cook & J.B. Torres, “Is Domestic Violence a Gender Issue, or a Human Issue?’(2001) 4 Journal of Human Behaviour in the Social Environment 227-251.

[50] Hines & Douglas, above n.36, at 578.

[51] Sotirios Sarantakos, “Deconstructing Self-Defense in Wife-to-Husband Violence’, (2004) 12 (3) The Journal of Men’s Studies 277, 287

[52] K Henning and B Renauer, “Prosecution of Women Arrested for Intimate Partner Abuse’, (2005) 20 (3) Violence and Victims 361-373.

[53] Hines & Douglas, above n.36, at 578.

[54] “Fighting False Allegations of Domestic Violence’,, at

[55] Ibid.

[56] Hines & Douglas, above n.36, at 579.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Ibid., at 572.

[59] Ibid, at 10.

[60] Adam Blanch, “The Fallacious Stereotype of “Male Violence’, and Why It’s Being Sold to You’, On Line Opinion – Australia’s E-Journal of Social and Political Debate, at

[61] Ibid.

[62] Hines & Douglas, above n.36, at 573.

[63] W.A. Stacey, L.R. Hazlewood & A. Shupe, The Violence Couple (Westport/CT: Praeger, 1994), p 63.

[64] Denise A. Hines & Emily M. Douglas, “A Closer Look at Men who Sustain Intimate Terrorism by Women’, (2010) 1 (3) Partner Abuse 286-313

[65] “About the Men’s Referral Service’, Men’s Referral Service, at

[66] “No To Violence Response to the One in Three Organisation’s Comments about Male Victims’, No To Violence & Men’s Referral Service, at

[67] “Appointment of feminist group to aid male family violence victims “a curious choice”‘, One in Three, November 8th 2016, at

[68] Arndt, above n.16.

[69] “Young People and Domestic Violence: National Research of Young People’s Attitudes to and Experiences of Domestic Violence’, Commonwealth of Australia – Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra/ACT, September 2001.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Tracy Cussen and Willow Bryant, “Domestic/Family Homicide in Australia’, Australian Institute of Criminology, No.38, May 2015, at 2.

[72] Ibid., at 3.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Ibid.,

[75] “Perhaps the most frequent method of dealing with the unacceptable evidence that women assault partners at the same or higher rate as men is to conceal the evidence. The pattern was established early in research on PV by a survey conducted for the Kentucky Commission on Women (Schulman, 1979). This excellent survey found about equal rates of assault by men and women partners, but only assaults by men were presented in the commission report”. – Straus, above n.14, at 339.

3 thoughts on “Women Can Be as Violent as Men

  • whitelaughter says:

    Yeah, have not forgotten the ‘joys’ of being attacked monthly by my then fiance. Amazing how PMT is supposed to excuse away a knife attack.
    Decades after leaving her, still bites.

  • en passant says:

    Expect a knock on the door and a trip to the Gulag very soon as you are playing the wrong non-PC tune.
    In the golden days before PC idiocy I was in a business meeting where the incompetent female chairman (take that Morrison) covered her incompetence by berating everyone. My defence argument was robust as I am a GUY (take that again Morrison) who does not take kindly to abuse replacing rational debate. I told her that she was wrong, but the sad part was that she was so out of her depth at the shallow end of the pool that she did not know why she was wrong. She punched me hard, right there.

    It never occurred to me to retaliate (somewhere in my upbringing chivalry towards women {and 23 of the 57 varieties of fake PC gender) was a given. I continued my rational logic as if nothing had happened, but several attendees risked their jobs, as the worked for this vindictive harridan, by leaving the meeting.

    I was counseled on how to deal with her and she kept her job. She was still there 18-months later when I left.

  • lloveday says:

    “….male help-seekers often report that they lost child custody as a result of false accusations”

    I have the transcripts of every of the many hearings in the FCA for residency where I eventually, after 22 months culminating in an 8 day trial, achieved my aim of the resumption of shared custody, so I don’t rely on memory. I was initially restricted to a few hours a week with my daughter in a short hearing in which the mother’s evidence was not tested – her stat dec was written in English she could not possibly have understood (her lawyer had to ask for an interpreter during the subsequent trial) but my duty, responsibility and rights as a father were taken from me and given to the mother and itinerant boyfriends because, in the words of her lawyer “there has obviously been domestic violence throughout this marriage”.

    After the first 2 interim hearings I decided I could do better than the lawyers I hired, so I self-represented, in front of 8 Judges/Regisrars/Magistrates, most more than once, until I head-hunted a lawyer for the trial who was outside the cartel that infest that hell-hole, and he initially refused to take the case, saying he’d be laughed out of court and I would be wasting my money. I replied that I had the right to have my case put, and had gone to much trouble in selecting him and it was my money; he said he’d think it over and rang the next day agreeing to do it.

    About the first thing he asked was whether I’d been accused of assaulting my, then 4yo, 2yo when she was taken, daughter. I said no, he said “expect it”. Got that? – I should expect to be falsely accused of assaulting my little girl.

    At trial the “domestic violence throughout the (9 year) marriage” was reduced to 2 incidents:
    (1) The mother had our daughter very close to 1 metre speakers at full blare. I asked her to shift her, she refused, I stepped forward to pick the toddler up and the mother blocked my path. I picked the mother up by gripping her upper arms with both hands, turning around, placing her back down with me now between her and the daughter, picked the daughter up, and left the house with her. Allegedly it cause bruising on her arms (I suggest a temporary reddening is more likely, but I was very strong), and that is apparently DV in the lawyer’s opinion and he’d not have used it as evidence if he thought that would not be the Judge’s opinion also. “So, Mr Loveday, you manhandled the wife?” asked the lawyer accusingly. I said that was a justified, nay necessary, action to protect a toddler’s hearing from the irresponsible action of her mother.

    (2) I pushed the mother to the floor, hurting her wrists. I explained to the judge that the mother had charged at me, and, being an old footballer of several codes, I sidestepped and she, not having football experience, stumbled and fell, maybe hurting her wrists when incompetently breaking the fall. I turned to the judge and asked “Just because I’m bigger and stronger does not mean I have to accept being hit, does it? That was not even self defence, it was just avoiding an assault”. (she was small, she could not hurt me, no way would I consider reporting it nor even bringing up similar instances in court).

    The judge ordered what I wanted from the start – joint custody; a resumption of shared parenting, putting in writing “Mr Loveday is intelligent and articulate”. But that does not make me a better father, just makes me more able to “win” in the FCA – my lawyer said he had never seen a cross-examining lawyer so shown up as what I did to the Legal Aid duffer. But I had (past tense) the ability to do that, have a peculiar determination, and spent the previous 22 months in almost full-time reading of Family law and memorising each of the hearing transcripts, and working just 3 months. It is an abomination that other fathers who don’t have the ability or time to do what I did, or the money pay a lawyer, are excluded from their children’s lives when it has very little to do with their ability as a father.

    Far worse false accusations of DV abound in the FCA – I have 2 male friends who were accused of sexually abusing their young children – one a girl, one a boy. It cost them respectively $500,000 and $300,000 to mount and win their FCA court cases (how many have a lazy half mill lying around?); in both cases they were exonerated, in one the mother making a full confession, in writing, to fabricating the whole story. Penalty zero, no costs, nothing; NOTHING.

    Oh, and a friend spent 6 months in jail for watching his daughter play sport at an oval <2km from his home.

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