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Family violence is a broader definition, often used to include child abuse, elder abuse, and other violent acts between family members. Wife abuse, wife beating, and battering are descriptive terms that have lost popularity recently for at least two reasons: Acknowledgment that many victims are not actually married to the abuser, but rather cohabiting or other arrangement. Abuse can take other forms than physical abuse and males are often victims of violence as well. Other forms of abuse may be constantly occurring, while physical abuse happens occasionally. These other forms of abuse have the potential to lead to mental illness, self-harm, and even attempts at suicide. Amartya Sen calculated that between 60 million and million women are missing worldwide. Office on Violence Against Women OVW defines domestic violence as a "pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner". The definition adds that domestic violence "can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender", and that it can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse. The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in the United Kingdom in its "Domestic Violence Policy" uses domestic violence to refer to a range of violent and abusive behaviours, defining it as: Patterns of behaviour characterised by the misuse of power and control by one person over another who are or have been in an intimate relationship. It can occur in mixed gender relationships and same gender relationships and has profound consequences for the lives of children, individuals, families and communities. The latter may include intimidation, harassment, damage to property, threats and financial abuse. In Spain, the Measures of Integral Protection Measures against Gender Violence defined gender violence as a violence that is directed at women for the very fact of being women. The law acknowledges that aggressions against women have a particular incidence in the reality of Spain and that gender violence stands as the most brutal symbol of the inequality persisting in Spain. According to the law, women are considered by their attackers as lacking the basic rights of freedom, respect, and power of decision. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair-pulling, biting, etc. Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children. Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating. Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life - therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers. According to a report by the United States Department of Justice, a survey of 16, Americans showed A survey of over 22, residents of England and Wales by the UK Home Office showed four percent of women and two percent of men were victims of domestic violence in the last year. Of the most heavily abused group, 89 percent were women. Women are much more likely than men to be murdered by an intimate partner. Of those killed by an intimate partner about three quarters are female and about a quarter are male. In in the United States 1, women and men were killed by an intimate partner, and females and males were killed by their intimate partners in In England and Wales about women are killed by partners or former partners each year while 21 men were killed in In , in France, women and 27 men were killed by their intimate partner. In particular, some studies suggest that men are less likely to report being victims of domestic violence due to social stigmas. Other sources, however, argue that the rate of domestic violence against men is often inflated due to the practice of including self-defense as a form of domestic violence. In their study of severely violent couples, Neil Jacobson and John Gottman conclude that the frequency of violent acts is not as crucial as the impact of the violence and its function, when trying to understand spousal abuse; specifically, they state that the purpose of domestic violence is typically to control and intimidate, rather than just to injure. Both men and women have been arrested and convicted of assaulting their partners in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. The bulk of these arrests have been men being arrested for assaulting women. However, in the case of reciprocal violence, frequently only the male perpetrator is arrested. Determining how many instances of domestic violence actually involve male victims is difficult. Male domestic violence victims may be reluctant to get help for a number of reasons. Another study has demonstrated a high degree of acceptance by women of aggression against men. Some researchers have found a relationship between the availability of domestic violence services, improved laws and enforcement regarding domestic violence and increased access to divorce, and higher earnings for women with declines in intimate partner homicide by women. Murders of female intimate partners by men have dropped, but not nearly as dramatically. Men kill their female intimate partners at about four times the rate that women kill their male intimate partners. A problem in conducting studies that seek to describe violence in terms of gender is the amount of silence, fear and shame that results from abuse within families and relationships. Another is that abusive patterns can tend to seem normal to those who have lived in them for a length of time. Similarly, subtle forms of abuse can be quite transparent even as they set the stage for further abuse seeming normal. Finally, inconsistent definition of what constitutes domestic violence makes definite conclusions difficult to reach when compiling the available studies. Theories that women are as violent as men have been dubbed "Gender Symmetry" theories. On the other hand, Michael Kimmel of the State University of New York at Stony Brook found that men are more violent inside and outside of the home than women. The rest of the time, the violence was mutual, with both partners brawling. The results were the same even when the most severe episodes of violence were analyzed. In order to counteract claims that the reporting data was skewed, female-only surveys were conducted, asking females to self-report, and the data was the same. The simple tally of physical acts is typically found to be similar in those studies that examine both directions, but some studies show that male violence may be more serious. Fiebert of the Department of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach, has compiled an annotated bibliography of research relating to spousal abuse by women on men. This bibliography examines scholarly investigations: The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds , In a Los Angeles Times article about male victims of domestic violence, Fiebert suggests that " Fiebert additionally noted that his work was not meant to minimize the serious effects of men who abuse women. Women are far more likely to use weapons in their domestic violence, whether throwing a plate or firing a gun. In a review of the research however Michael Kimmel found that violence is instrumental in maintaining control and that more than 90 percent of "systematic, persistent, and injurious" violence is perpetrated by men. He points out that most of the empirical studies that Fiebert reviewed used the same empirical measure of family conflict, i. Kimmel argues that among various other flaws, the CTS is particularly vulnerable to reporting bias because it depends on asking people to accurately remember and report what happened during the past year. However, men tend to under-estimate their use of violence, while women tend to over-estimate their use of violence. Simultaneously men tend to over-estimate their partner's use of violence while women tend to under-estimate their partner's use of violence. Thus, men will likely over-estimate their victimization, while women tend to underestimate theirs. Similarly, the National Institute of Justice states that the studies that find that women abuse men equally or even more than men abuse women are based on data compiled through the Conflict Tactics Scale, a survey tool developed in the s and which may not be appropriate for intimate partner violence research because it does not measure control, coercion, or the motives for conflict tactics; it also leaves out sexual assault and violence by ex-spouses or partners and does not determine who initiated the violence. Furthermore, the NIJ contends that national surveys supported by NIJ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics that examine more serious assaults do not support the conclusion of similar rates of male and female spousal assaults. These surveys are conducted within a safety or crime context and clearly find more partner abuse by men against women. In a Meta-analysis, John Archer, Ph. The present analyses indicate that men are among those who are likely to be on the receiving end of acts of physical aggression. Both situations are causes for concern. However, studies investigating whether sexist attitudes are correlated with domestic violence have shown conflicting results. A report says significantly more men than women do not disclose the identity of their attacker. There is no evidence however that male victims are more likely to under-report than female victims. A study showed that there was greater acceptance for abuse perpetrated by females than by males. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, annual: Total Arrests, Distribution by Sex. Violence Among Intimates When we shift the scene and examine the data on violent acts committed against family members and close friends, a different pattern emerges. According to the November BJS report, between and and in when the new NCVS was used, women experienced over ten times as many incidents of violence by an intimate as men did. During those years, intimates committed an annual average of , rapes, robberies or assaults. Violent acts committed against intimates accounted for 13 percent of all violent victimization's. If the woman is between 20 and 24 years old, her rate of victimization by an intimate is The rate for college educated women is three; among those with less than a high school education it is five. In , 51 percent of the victims of intimate violence were attacked by boyfriends or girlfriends. Most violence between intimates is assault. In , 81 percent of the violent victimizations committed by spouses and ex-spouses were assaults the intentional infliction of injury. The remainder were rapes and robberies which may also have involved assault. In , 54 percent of the homicide murder victims who were killed by intimates were female. In , 70 percent of the homicide victims who were killed by intimates were female. In , about 3 percent of the women who were victimized by intimates received serious but nonfatal injuries. This proposition was similar to that for women victimized by other relatives, acquaintances, or strangers. About 54 percent of the women victimized by intimates received minor injuries. Women victimized by other relatives, acquaintances, or strangers were less likely to sustain minor injuries.
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