Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 01:24 a.m. EDT, 19 March 2014
UNITED STATES – According to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistic in June 2013, an estimated 85% of women and 15% of men are the victims of domestic abuse.
According to the statistics listed on the American Bar Association‘s website, the aggregate number of female and male victims of domestic abuse is estimated at 2.2 million victims each year in the United States.
Of this number, 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually. (Source: Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 183781, (2000) Read Full Report)
In crunching the numbers based upon these figures, the physical abuse suffered by men at the hands of their female partners is actually closer to 42% of the estimated annual domestic abuse cases in this country. Part of the gap in these statistics is probably due to under-reporting of female against male domestic abuse.
Even when statistics seem to support an increasing trend in women physically abusing their intimate male partners, people remain resistant to the idea. It is easier to accept men abusing women because this is often the norm in many countries and cultures throughout the world, including the United States. In an attempt to present fair and balanced reporting, we often note that not all women are victims or all men abusers.
But somehow, it is easier for people to accept a woman being victimized by a man than the converse. This bias was starkly illustrated in an ABC News undercover program in which two actors in a public park feigned domestic abuse in which the women hits, curses at, and otherwise abuses her male partner.
With one exception, when a group of three women decided to intervene and call the police, everyone else walked by as the woman continued to violently strike the seated man. Most of the witnesses passed without so much as a glance, and many who were subsequently interviewed admitted that they believed the man deserved the violent treatment being meted out by the woman.
This role play caught on camera, seemed to illustrate that women who have long been victimized, either felt empowered by witnessing another woman “turning the tables” on a man, or sympathized with the female abuser because she was expressing her outrage at the man who must have “cheated” on her.
If in fact infidelity were the cause of this abuse, which it was not, this does not take into account the fact that it takes two people to cheat and neither should get a pass. Nor does cheating give anyone the right to physically or verbally abuse their intimate partner. But this article is not addressing marital infidelity or its causes, but rather, why people in this video felt that it was okay for a woman to physically assault and verbally berate a man in public without consequence.