Take domestic violence, for example. It is almost universally portrayed as though the perpetrators are men. Indeed, in 1989 the Canadian Journal Of Behavioural Science published the results of a survey that was celebrated as a classic exposé of ‘battered wives’, and was taken up as proof of typical male perfidy.Dr. Helen reports:
However, two years later the Journal acknowledged a different side to the story after the data had been re-analysed. While 10.8 per cent of the men surveyed had pushed, grabbed or thrown objects at their spouses, 12.4 per cent of women had done so too. And although 2.5 per cent of men used serious violence, so did 4.7 per cent of women.
Marilyn Kwong, who carried out the new analysis, also examined eight other studies and found the pattern was universal. Inconvenient facts had been cut out.
The most comprehensive review of the scholarly domestic violence research literature ever conducted concludes, among other things, that women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, and engage in control behaviors, at comparable rates to men. The study was directed by the Editor-in-Chief of Partner Abuse, a Springer Publishing Company journal.
Hamel also argues that men are not only disproportionately arrested in domestic violence cases, but sometimes arrested for arbitrary reasons, citing, for example, that police often arrest the bigger and stronger party in cases where the perpetrator is unclear. “Such policies are not only ineffective but violate people’s civil rights,” Hamel concludes. “People in the domestic violence field say that ‘it’s all about the victims.’ Well, the victim is not always the one hit, but sometimes the one arrested.”