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DOJ Report Offers New Insights On Male Victims Of Domestic Violence

According to new findings by the U.S. Department of Justice, domestic violence incidents seems to have gone down by more than 50% from between 1993 and 2004. This, however, does not accurately bring to light the often-ignored problem of male victims of domestic violence.

The DOJ’s National Crime Victimization Survey was conducted by talking to members of sample household regarding crime. Participants were asked questions such as, “Did you call the police to report something that happened to you which you thought was a crime?” and “Has anyone attacked or threatened you?” During these questions, male victims of domestic violence were more likely to respond “no” than were their female counterparts.

According to research results, male domestic violence victims are less likely to report such crimes. A lot of men reportedly believe that police officers won’t take them seriously. They may also worry that their female abusers will turn the tables on them and claim that they were abused instead. Fathers who are victims of domestic violence may also worry that reporting the abuse could lead to a legal separation and divorce, which could result in their abuser getting custody of the children.

According to the survey’s results, men were less likely to see the domestic violence abuse they suffered as a crime. Many of them also considered asking for help to be cowardly or unmanly. They also seemed to see their female partner’s violence as just her being “moody,” “angry” or “hormonal.”

In 1980 and 1990, the National Institute of Mental Health funded two studies on domestic violence, and both husbands and wives were equally rated as abusers. The Psychological Bulletin analyzed 522 domestic violence studies and found that 38% of physical injuries were sustained by men in heterosexual domestic violence attacks.

In California last year, over 50 domestic violence treatment providers and researchers signed a letter to the California Legislature asking the state to stop excluding male victims and their children from domestic violence services. According to John Hamel, author of “Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse: A Comprehensive Approach”: “Men account for half of all DV (domestic violence) victims and incur a third of DV-related injuries. Ignoring female-on-male violence inhibits our efforts to combat domestic violence.”

The DOJ says “males experienced higher victimization rates than females for all types of violent crime except rape/sexual assault.”

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides the following 2000 statistics regarding men and domestic violence:

· 16% of the 3.2 million physical assaults committed against men every year in the United States are perpetrated by a current or former spouse, cohabitating partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, or date.

· 5.5% of male homicide victims were murdered by a spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

· 40% of gay and bisexual men will experience abuse at the hands of an intimate partner.

· One study found that when women commit acts of non-lethal violence against their male partners, 65% act in self-defense, and 30% react in response to previous abuse by their partners. The remaining 5% of female perpetrators act without the intent to assert power and control over their partners.

· Women committing lethal acts of violence against their male partners are 7 to 10 times more likely than men to act in self-defense.

Sagaria Law PC represents clients, both men and women, who have been the victims of domestic violence. If you live in Monterey County, Alameda County, or Santa Clara County and you would like to speak with an attorney regarding a domestic violence incident that you or a loved one have experienced, contact Sagaria Law, P.C. today.

Invisible Domestic Violence Victims, Sacramento Bee.com, January 19, 2007
Male Victims of Violence Facts, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Related Web Resources:

Domestic Violence, California Courts: Self-Help Center
Domestic Violence, Safestate.org