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Domestic Violence Hurts Both Women and Men

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Every few months, it seems another high-profile case of domestic violence makes headlines involving some celebrity or other public figure. In the majority of these cases, circumstances seem to indicate or allege that a female has been victimized by the actions of her male partner. Male on female intimate partner violence is certainly far too common in the United States. However, it is far from the whole story. Domestic violence victimizes a surprisingly large number of men each year as well.

The National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored an extensive study entitled the National Violence Against Women (NVAW) Survey to examine the extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence in the United States. The findings were based a sample size of 16,000 men and women and presented some remarkable figures. The NVAW survey estimates that more than 2.3 million Americans are physically assaulted and/or raped by an intimate partner each year. Of that number, 1.5 million are women, which means more than 800,000 men are victimized every year by intimate partner violence. The survey also recognized that many victims suffer multiple assaults by their partner. Based on the study’s findings, nearly 5 million rapes and physical assaults are committed per year against women and nearly 3 million against men.

While violence against men certainly seems to occur in lower numbers than against women, men experience many of the same emotional reactions to domestic violence. The National Center for Victims of Crime reports that reactions tend to include guilt, shame, anger, anxiety, and depression and may result in the victim withdrawing from or avoiding almost all relationships. Women are two times more likely than men to be physically injured by an intimate partner but psychological trauma affects both sexes and is harder to measure.

The NVAW survey also sought to understand more about the perpetrators of intimate partner violence and the types of relationships where violence may occur. Women in heterosexual domestic relationships (married or cohabitating) are almost three times more likely to be victimized by their partner than women in same-sex relationships. Conversely, men in same-sex partnerships are two times more likely to be victimized than those in heterosexual relationships. The findings present the clear conclusion that while victims may be male or female, intimate partner violence is perpetrated primarily by men.

As disturbing as the sheer numbers may be, it is even more troubling to realize that most acts of intimate partner violence are never reported to the police. Social, demographic, and psychological factors may play a role, but many victims believe contacting the police would be unproductive. This suggests a lack of faith in the authorities plays a large role in allowing the cycle of intimate partner violence to continue virtually unchecked.

Regardless of whether you are male or female, if you have been accused of domestic violence, you need qualified representation. Contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney today. We will help you understand the complexities of your situation and be at your side every step of the way.

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