Domestic violence: women more likely to be aggressive in relationships

domestic violence

Women are more likely than men to be aggressive in relationships, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Cumbria asked more than 1,100 men and women aged 18 to 22 about aggressive behaviour towards their partners, ranging from verbal outbursts like insults and shouting to physical violence, including pushing, throwing objects and the use of items as weapons.

The results suggested that women were “significantly” more likely to be both verbally and physically aggressive to male partners than vice versa.

In addition, women prone to domestic violence were also likely to display controlling behaviour such as limiting who their partner could see socially and monitoring their movements.

Men, meanwhile, were most likely to show violence towards other men.

Psychology lecturer Elizabeth Bates was lead researcher on the study. She said:

“The stereotypical popular view is still one of dominant control by men. That does occur but research over the last ten to 15 years has highlighted the fact that women are controlling and aggressive in relationships too.”

She reported that her researchers had been surprised by the amount of violence cited to by female respondents in the survey.

“It wasn’t just pushing and shoving. Some people were circling the boxes for things like beating up, kicking, and threatening to  use a weapon.”

Professor Bates believes that society is now becoming more aware of domestic violence directed towards men and that men themselves are  increasingly willing to report it.

The findings were announced at a meeting of the British Psychological Study in Glasgow earlier this week.

Photo by Matt Reinbold via Flickr

Stowe Family Law Web Team

View more from this author

4 comments

Paul Apreda - June 27, 2014 at 1:27pm

This is important research. Whilst many in society would accept the principle that both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse it appears that the Welsh Government and South Wales Police do not.

The Welsh Government is about to introduce a domestic abuse bill which had its name changed to the Ending Violence Against Women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (Wales) Bill on the basis that domestic abuse overwhelmingly affects women.

South Wales Police have just launched a campaign called ‘Open Our Eyes’ as part of their strategic priority of ending violence against women and girls.

When criticisms of both their approaches are made their response is that they are seeking to tackle the predominance of violence and abuse against women. They are unmoved when comments are made that in focusing upon domestic abuse as a gender issue this has the effect of marginalising the problems faced by men. The Police & Crime Commissioner for South Wales Alun Michael (former First Minister of Wales & UK Home Office Minister) was asked at a public meeting on community safety if he would reflect on why it was that the Crime Survey of England & Wales showed a roughly 2:1 female / male gender split of victims whilst his force recorded statistics were 5.5:1. His response was ‘I’m sick and tired of this campaign to undermine the protection of women’.

In Wales the Dyn Project is a service supporting exclusively male victims of domestic abuse. The project is run by Safer Wales – an organisation that provides a range of services to men, women and children impacted by abuse in many forms. The Dyn Project unlike other Safer Wales services using a screening tool which determines whether male callers are actually perpetrators masquerading as victims. This methodology is used by many ‘gender’ neutral services in Wales in relation to male callers exclusively.

We would be interested to hear others views on whether the above is lawful under the Equality Duty.

Luke - June 28, 2014 at 12:34am

Great credit should go to Marilyn for posting this, hard line feminist movements have been trying to keep this data quiet in the media for a loooong time – largely successfully as Paul Apreda above has noted.

Domestic violence has never been a one-way street – but that information is aggressively denied by a lot of feminist groups who even now simply refuse to accept the facts.

Skeptic - June 28, 2014 at 6:38pm

There is only one kind of domestic violence that we as honest people should be concerned about now. This is the violence of the state against people, and especially the poor. This violence is financial, ecological, political.

Men and women have always fought, and it is just childish of both sides to be competing for attention. The difference from yesterday is that politicians have turned this bickering into a media circus to justify criminalising normal people and taking attention off its own crimes. Divide and conquer.

As usual, the police with their idiotic campaigns are politically either way out of their depths or raking in lots of money, possibly both.

Stitchedup - July 25, 2014 at 10:57am

I missed this one so apologies for the late comment.

The UK, and Wales in particular, have completely lost the plot when it comes to dealing with Domestic Violence. Perfectly decent, innocent men, caught-up in the turmoil of divorce and separation, become the victims of gamesmanship and abuse of the system. They find themselves entering the criminal justice system through the back door as a result of harmless breaches of dubious non-mols, and are subject to summary justice dished out by the police, magistrates and district judge,s who have all been infected with feminist political correctness. Aggressive, controlling, violent women on the other hand are treated with apparent impunity.

Leave a comment