The idea that domestic violence is gender equal, and that women’s violence against men is a silent epidemic, is untrue.
Some men do suffer domestic violence, at the hands of both female and male partners. They can become isolated, humiliated and injured, and they too need support. But when certain groups claim that one in three victims of family violence is male, they promote a dangerous fiction. According to sociologist Michael Flood, these statistics derive from a widely criticised measurement tool that only counts individual acts of violence (such as slapping and punching). It doesn’t ask whether that act was part of a pattern of abuse or if it was an act of self-defence, and it neglects to measure other violent acts such as sexual abuse, stalking and intimate homicide
The Australian Bureau of Statistics is clear on this: in 2012, 87% of domestic violence victims were women. Where women are the perpetrators, the violence is different: studies have repeatedly shown that it’s not as prolonged, and that men are far less likely to be living in fear. They’re also far less likely to be murdered: men kill women in four out of five intimate partner homicides. In the vast majority of cases where women kill their partners, the death follows a history of being subjected to domestic violence