Friday, January 22, 2010

Domestic Violence Data - A summary

The answer to the question "what does Domestic Violence Data tell us?" To give us an overview, a collection of Meta-data.
|             Meta-Analysis                                |
|   Studies  | Perpetrator          | Victim               |
|   analysed | M%   | W%   | Ratio  | M%   | W%   | Ratio  |
|             Dating and Domestic Violence                 |
|(1)| ca 300 | 51.8 | 48.2 | 1:0.93 | 44.0 | 56.0 | 1:1.27 |
|(2)|     82 | "Women were slightly more likely than men   |
|            | to use one or more act of physical          |
|            | aggression and to use such acts more        |
|            | frequently."                                |
|(3)|    201 | "[W]omen are as physically aggressive, or   |
|            | more aggressive, than men in their          |
|            | relationships with their spouses or         |
|            | male partners."                             |
|             Minor Violence                               |
|(1)|     42 | 45.2 | 54.8 | 1:1.21 | 50.7 | 49.3 | 1:0.97 |
|             Severe Violence                              |
|(1)|     92 | 47.0 | 53.0 | 1:1.13 | 52.3 | 47.7 | 1:0.91 |
|             Weapons used                                 |
|(1)|     23 | 42.5 | 57.5 | 1:1.35 | 65.5 | 34.4 | 1:0.53 |
|             Injury                                       |
|(1)|     70 | 57.4 | 42.6 | 1:0.74 | 43.4 | 56.6 | 1:1.30 |
|(2)|     82 |      |      |        | 38.0 | 62.0 | 1:1.63 |
|             Psychological Violence                       |
|(1)|     18 | 49.3 | 50.7 | 1:1.03 | 45.2 | 54.8 | 1:1.21 |
(1) - Dr. Bastian Schwithal - Dissertation: Weibliche Gewalt 
in Partnerschaften (Translation: Female Violence in 
Relationships) - 2005 - Link
(2) - John Archer - Sex differences in aggression between 
heterosexual partners: A Meta-analytic review - 2000

Highlight of this list is certainly the detailed meta-data found by Dr. Schwithal. It is very interesting how often the victimisation data matches the perpetrator data. Other findings have often been repeated by me. Violence, be it minor or severe violence, is carried out equally between men and women. Women are using weapons more often, but are also more likely to be injured. The injury rate of men stated by researcher Strauss (also often stated on Glenn Sack´s blog) is 33%. According to the data here it must be closer to 40%. A surprise for some will be the findings of the psychological violence analysis (as it is often assumed that this kind of violence is typical female) which almost show us equal values. Keep in mind that psychological violence is no laughing matter and domestic violence victims report that this kind of violence often is worse than physical violence.


The following will offer us insights about the context in what the violence is happening.

|             Other Data                                   |

|     Year  | Sample Size |   % of Violent relationships   |
|           |             | Male Only | Female Only | Both |
|             Dating and Domestic Violence                 |
|(1)| 2001  |      14,152 |   14.5    |     36.2    | 49.7 |

|(2)| 2008  |      13,601 |    9.9    |     21.4    | 68.6 |
|             Severe Violence                              |
|(2)| 2008  |      13,601 |   15.7    |     29.4    | 54.8 |
(1) - Whitaker (Study based on CDC-Data from 2001) - 
2007 - Link
(2) - Strauss - Dominance and Symmetry in Partner Violence 
by male and female University Students in 32 Nations - 2008 
- Link

The article on the first study is a good summary (Please note that the percentages are different in my table because I calculated the male and female only value differently)

Furthermore, Whitaker discovered, of the 24 percent of relationships that had been violent, half had been reciprocal and half had not. Although more men than women (53 percent versus 49 percent) had experienced nonreciprocal violent relationships, more women than men (52 percent versus 47 percent) had taken part in ones involving reciprocal violence.

Regarding perpetration of violence, more women than men (25 percent versus 11 percent) were responsible. In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women. This finding surprised Whitaker and his colleagues, they admitted in their study report.

As for physical injury due to intimate partner violence, it was more likely to occur when the violence was reciprocal than nonreciprocal. And while injury was more likely when violence was perpetrated by men, in relationships with reciprocal violence it was the men who were injured more often (25 percent of the time) than were women (20 percent of the time). “This is important as violence perpetrated by women is often seen as not serious,” Whitaker and his group stressed.

Of the study's numerous findings, Whitaker said, “I think the most important is that a great deal of interpersonal violence is reciprocally perpetrated and that when it is reciprocally perpetrated, it is much more likely to result in injury than when perpetrated by only one partner.”
So the popular notion of domestic violence as a man battering a woman is false.


The most often cited studies on domestic violence are studies with a different outcome.

|           Contrary Data                        |
|     Year  | Sample Size | Victim               |
|           |             | M%   | W%   | Ratio  |
|           Dating and Domestic Violence         |
|(1)| 1998  |      16,000 | 40.9 | 59.1 | 1:1.44 |
|(2)| 1998  |      13,601 | 20.0 | 80.0 | 1:4.00 |
(1) - Tjaden and Thoennes - National Violence Against Women Survey - 1998
(2) - National Crime Victisation Survey - 1998 (Cited via Rennison 2000)

Starting with the "National Violence Against Women Survey" you will notice that the percentage differs (40/60 instead of 50/50) although most of the studies in the meta-analysis use the same instrument to measure domestic violence. The creator of that instrument Strauss argues that the different findings can be explained by the way the studie is worded and the authors of that study do not disagree (more here).

The "National Crime Victimisation Survey" is a crime survey. Those kind of surveys do not do very well when it comes to measure domestic violence as most victims do not see themselves as a victim of a crime. That is why such studies usually are not brought up to show us how much domestic violence is happening but to show the largest gap between male and female victims possible. The gap however can be explained by the simple fact that men are less likely than women to see themsleves as vicitms of domestic violence (more here).


The recent CDC survey might become the new goto survey for DV and sexual violence data. So here is the data in a nutshell:

2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
                             Last Year %      Lifetime %
Type                         Men   Women      Men   Women
Rape / Made to penetrate     1.1     1.1      6.2    18.3 
- by intimate partner        0.5     0.6      2.2     9.4

Violence by intimate partner:
Physical violence            4.5     3.6     25.7    30.3
Severe violence              2.0     2.7     13.8    24.3
Psychological violence      18.1    13.9     48.8    48.4

If you are confused that I compared rape and made to penetrate with each other, please read this.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Denial, the plight of male rape victims

According to your opinion, was she raped?
He started to rub against me and I clearly told him, many times, to stop. I tried to push him away, but he kept going. He took me, and it happened. I tried to resist but he was easily able to restrain me physically. I just couldn't move, or push him away. I felt weak, stupid, etc. I realize we did not use protection. It's another reason for me to feel scared, and betrayed.
I assume most people would say yes. The problem here, in the original the victim was a man. The shitstorm was inevitable and went from "men can´t be raped by women" to "he was somehow raped, but she shouldn´t be put in prison" and more such nonsense. In short probably every misconception and cliche there is about female on male rape (to be fair there were a lot of positive posts as well). What a good chance to get some resources together.

Can men be raped by women?

Is that possible? Yes.
Sexual molestation of men by women
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine
Published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior

The belief that it is impossible for males to respond sexually when subjected to sexual molestation by women is contradicted. Previous research indicating that male sex response can occur in a variety of emotional states, including anger and terror, are corroborated. Eleven cases of male sexual molestation by females are classified and described. A post-trauma reaction occurs in which sexual function and psychological state are affected. The men were all personally interviewed. Recognition of this phenomenon should lead to increased identification of male victims as well as to better medical, psychological, and legal services for them.
Also often people wonder how a woman could overpower a man, besides the obvious huge woman vs a small man. Well there are several possibilities, drunken and disabled man as well as boys have a hard time to fight back. Weapons are also a good equalizer.

But that guy surely was trolling

That is the same thing that was said to James Landrith.Rape is a serious matter, no matter who the victim is. Is there a possibility that this was trolling? Sure, but certainly this attitude against male victims is not helping them to come forward and is certainly hindering them to cope with their pain.

Come on, how often does that really happen

Data on raped males :
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2007 survey by the CDC
A look at "TABLE 12. Percentage of high school students [...] who were ever physically forced to have sexual intercourse" column median of the state surveys reveals that 4.5% of males and 11.3% of females have been forced to have sex. According to that data men are about 1/3 of rape victims. - from here


Men's Reports of Nonconsensual Sexual Interactions with Women: Prevalence and Impact
Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
Published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior

Two studies examined the prevalence and emotional impact of men's nonconsensual sexual interactions with women. The first study included a sample of 247 heterosexual men with a mean age of 18.3 years. The second study was a replication with a sample of 153 heterosexual men with a mean age of 22.3 years. All respondents completed a measure of nonconsensual sexual interactions including the use of three aggressive strategies (physical force, exploitation of the man's incapacitated state, and verbal pressure) and three forms of unwanted sexual contact (kissing/petting, sexual intercourse, and oral sex). In addition, the relationship to the female initiator was explored. For each type of nonconsensual sexual interaction, respondents indicated the affective impact of the experience. In Study 1, 25.1% of respondents reported at least one incident of nonconsensual sex with a woman and 23.9% reported attempts by women to make them engage in nonconsensual sexual activity. In Study 2, the overall prevalence rate for completed nonconsensual sexual interactions was 30.1%, and 23.5% of the men reported attempts at making them engage in nonconsensual sex. In both samples, exploiting the man's inability to offer resistance was the most frequently reported aggressive strategy. Kissing/petting was the most frequently reported unwanted sexual activity, followed by sexual intercourse and oral sex. Prevalence rates were higher for nonconsensual sex with an (ex-)partner or friend than for nonconsensual sex with an unknown women. Ratings of affective impact revealed that men rated their nonconsensual experiences as moderately upsetting. The findings are discussed in the light of previous studies on men's unwanted sexual experiences and the extant literature on women's nonconsensual sexual interactions with men. - from here


Predictors of Sexual Coercion Against Women and Men: A Multilevel, Multinational Study of University Students

Several explanations have been forwarded to account for sexual coercion in romantic relationships. Feminist theory states that sexual coercion is the result of male dominance over women and the need to maintain that dominance; however, studies showing that women sexually coerce men point towards weaknesses in that theory. Some researchers have, therefore, suggested that it is the extent to which people view the other gender as hostile that influences these rates. Furthermore, much research suggests that a history of childhood sexual abuse is a strong risk factor for later sexual victimization in relationships. Few researchers have empirically evaluated the first two explanations and little is known about whether sexual revictimization operates for men or across cultures. In this study, hierarchical linear modeling was used to investigate whether the status of women and adversarial sexual beliefs predicted differences in sexual coercion across 38 sites from around the world, and whether sexual revictimization operated across genders and cultures. Participants included 7,667 university students from 38 sites. Results showed that the relative status of women at each site predicted significant differences in levels of sexual victimization for men, in that the greater the status of women, the higher the level of forced sex against men. In addition, differences in adversarial sexual beliefs across sites significantly predicted both forced and verbal sexual coercion for both genders, such that greater levels of hostility towards women at a site predicted higher levels of forced and verbal coercion against women and greater levels of hostility towards men at a site predicted higher levels of forced and verbal coercion against men. Finally, sexual revictimization occurred for both genders and across all sites, suggesting that sexual revictimization is a cross-gender, cross-cultural phenomenon. Results are discussed in terms of their contributions to the literature, limitations of the current study, and suggestions for future research.

3% of men reported forced sex (of which 2.1% was forced vaginal sex... this is in fact men reporting victimization by women)
22% of men reported verbal sexual coercion

By comparison, in the same study it was found that:
2.3% of women reported forced sex (don't ignore the decimal point)
25% of women reported verbal sexual coercion  - from here

Data on female perpetrators:
Women's Sexual Aggression Against Men: Prevalence and Predictors
Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Germany - 2003

In this study, we investigated the prevalence of women's sexual aggression against men and examined predictors of sexual aggression in a sample of 248 women. Respondents reported their use of aggressive strategies (physical force, exploitation of a man's incapacitated state, and verbal pressure) to make a man engage in sexual touch, sexual intercourse, or oral sex against his will. Childhood abuse, gender role orientation, ambiguous communication of sexual intentions, level of sexual activity, and peer pressure were included as predictors of sexual aggression. Almost 1 in 10 respondents (9.3%) reported having used aggressive strategies to coerce a man into sexual activities. Exploitation of the man's incapacitated state was used most frequently (5.6%), followed by verbal pressure (3.2%) and physical force (2%). An additional 5.4% reported attempted acts of sexual aggression. Sexual abuse in childhood, ambiguous communication of sexual intentions, high levels of sexual activity, and peer pressure toward sexual activity were linked to an increased likelihood of sexual aggression. - from here


From the international Dating Study (Straus 2003)
"(The)... median rate of forcetd sex perpetrated by male sutdents was 4% and by female students 1.9%"


According to the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence in Canada:Self-report studies provide a very different view of sexual abuse perpetration and substantially increase the number of female perpetrators. (Johnson and Shrier, 1987). The same rate was found in a sample of college students (Fritz et al., l 981). In other studies of male university and college students,In a retrospective study of male victims, 60% reported being abused by females rates of female perpetration were found at levels as high as 72% to 82% (Fromuth and Burkhart, 1987, 1989; Seidner and Calhoun, 1984). Bell et al. (1981) found that 27% of males were abused by females. In some of these types of studies, females represent as much as 50% of sexual abusers (Risin and Koss, 1987). Knopp and Lackey (1987) found that 51% of victims of female sexual abusers were male. 
This also seems to be fitting.

I have worked in the field of sexual abuse for the past 18 years and average about 350 interviews per year. [...] In the early 1980s, when I first began this work, female offenders only accounted for approximately one and a half to three percent of my total case load. During the past three years [the article is from 1998] that percentage has risen to a level of about 35%. In the past six months, I would estimate that at least 40% of my cases have involved juvenile offenders and of that about 50% have been females. [...] In looking at the limited information and research available on female offenders, it would appear that based on what information is slowly surfacing on the subject, approximately one third or 33% of sexual offences are committed by females.
Probably some more can be found in that post.

But official statistics say

Official statistics usually include the findings by the National Crime Victimation Survey as well as the National Violence Against Women Survey. Those findings include the following:
An estimated 91% of victims of rape are female, 9% are male and 99% of offenders are male. (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1999)
93% of women and 86% of men who were raped and/or physically assaulted since the age of 18 were assaulted by a male. About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33  — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.(National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998)
Sadly, those studies are not very good when it comes to counting male victims.

In the National Crime Victimation Survey people were directly asked if they had been raped. This kind of question leaves many victims uncounted especially men who are more likely than women to not see their victimisation as rape (especially when those men are raped by women).

The findings by the National violence Against Women Survey, isn´t a surprise either as they define rape as being penetrated, which again leaves many male victims uncounted. Those numbers are certainly misleading. If a study asks for "forced sex" one gets a very different result as shown above.

Searching for help?

Some resources:
Male Survivor
1 in 6

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am speechless (almost)

Found via Reddit - Thanks guys!

It is not a secret that the judical system is stacked against men, compared to women. That however, published by the US Department of Justice seems to be a new low.
Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges

Published June 2009

Although some sociological research [202] based on self-reporting finds equal rates of male and female partner conflict (including mostly minor physical assaults), behavior that is likely to violate most state and federal criminal and civil (protective order) statutes is typically perpetrated by males. [153]
Part by part.
Although some sociological research [202] based on self-reporting finds equal rates of male and female partner conflict (including mostly minor physical assaults)
If we follow that link to "some sociological research" we find their source to be:
Straus, M., R. Gelles, and S. Steinmetz. Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980
Yes that is correct, 3 DECADES ago there was only some sociological research, now we have
271 scholarly investigations: 211 empirical studies and 60 reviews and/or analyses, which 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.  
Again they talk about CURRENT domestic violence research in the headline and link to a book that is 30 years old even IGNORING the National Violence Against Women Survey, financed by them, which found 40% of DV victims were men. Ignoring research that finds that among injured DV victims about 33-40% are men. The DoJ seems to be so up-to-date, that I am surprised to find no articles about witchcraft there.
behavior that is likely to violate most state and federal criminal and civil (protective order) statutes is typically perpetrated by males.
Not correct, that behaviour by women is typically reported not perpetrated less. The report then cites several crime studies that come to a similar conclusion. The problem remains the same, men don´t tell. And again there are several studies that come to this conclusion. Some examples,
37% of female victims of DV called the police only 15% of men did (Family violence in Canada - 2003)

17% of male victims of DV seeked helped with "formal social agencies" compared to 48% of female victims (Canadian General Social Survey - 1999)

Female victims are 9-time as likely to call the police and 5-time as likely to talk to a relative or friend than male victims (National family Violence Survey - 1985)

8% of male victims called the police compared to 22% of female victims (British Crime Survey - 1996)

47% Of female victims and 16% of male victims called the police. Only 39% of male victims defined their expierience as domestic violence but 77% of women did. (Scottish Crime Survey - 2000)

Often victimised men are not taken serious by the police (Farrell - 1993 | Wilkinson - Children and divorce - 1981) and often that leads to men not reporting their victimisation (Steinmetz - The battered husband syndrome - 1980 | Machietto - Aspects of male victimisation and female aggression - 1992)
Women are more likely to report minor cases to officials: Only 25% of all cases reported by women were severe cases compared to 86% of cases reported by men. Men were injured in most of this cases and most of this cases also involved weapons (most often knives) (McLeod - Women against men: An examination of domestic violence based on an analysis of official data and national victimization data - 1984)
more on that topic here. Of course you don´t know that if you ignore 30 years of ongoing research. It gets much worse.

Implications for Law Enforcement

If the ratio of male to female suspects and victims differs substantially from those found above, departments should be alert to potential gender bias in their response to domestic violence. Ongoing training and supervision can address overrepresentation of female versus male arrests. (Research basis: Multiple studies of abusers and their victims brought to the attention of the criminal justice system [including civil protective orders] confirm the gender ratio as opposed to studies focusing on non-intimate and family conflict.)

Implications for Prosecutors

Prosecutors should be alert to gender bias in the response of local law enforcement agencies and re-screen cases if the percentage of female suspects accused of abusing male victims exceeds that commonly found across the nation. (Research basis: Multiple studies of abusers and their victims brought to the attention of the criminal justice system [including civil protective orders] confirm the gender ratio as opposed to studies focusing on non-intimate and family conflict.)

Implications for Judges

If, upon reviewing domestic violence dockets, judges find much higher rates of female-on-male abuse cases than those typically found across the country as a whole, they should be alert to potential gender bias on the part of police and/or prosecutors and ensure that they are presented with sufficient evidence to confirm the correct designation of victims and their abusers. (Research basis: Multiple studies of abusers and their victims brought to the attention of the criminal justice system [including civil protective orders] confirm the gender ratio as opposed to studies focusing on non-intimate and family conflict.)
From a logical standpoint, it shouldn´t matter if Jane Doe or John Doe beats his/her partner. The one who commits the violent should be punished. Well apparently one has to factchect to make sure a set quota of female perpetrators is met, probably discriminating against male victims and creating a self-fullfilling prophecy. They should know better. Why? Because they know.

Crime statistics are all fine and dandy, but when it comes to DV or rape, this kind of study finds less victims, simply because victims often don´t see themselves as victims of a crime (the usual excuses, "it was my fault", "my partner just has a bad temper, but really loves me", "I probably deserved this" etc.) as stated above, this effect is even worse when it comes to men. But here is the double standard, when it is women, we forget about the crime statistic and look at our own sociological research (which also finds far more male victims), but when it is men, suddenly we are teleported back in the 80s, forget about all the social research (even our own) and only take a look at the crime statistics, doing everything we can to keep our quota. In short, discrimination at its worst.

I wrote an Email, you might want to write one, too.