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Truth Or Fiction: Men As Victims Of Domestic Violence?

K. James
Published 1996 · Psychology

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Recently, claims have been made that women's violence towards their male partners is a hidden and unacknowledged form of domestic violence. This paper critically examines this claim, arguing that studies that compare men's and women's violence, while showing a similar frequency of violent acts perpetrated by both men and women, also reveal significant differences. A man's violence is more serious in its effects, can employ a wider range of violence tactics and emanates from a more dominant and powerful position in relation to his female partner. A women's violence, on the other hand, is often in self defence or is an expression of frustration and stress. In contrast to men's violence, women's violence is not usually an attempt to control or dominate their partners. The implications for practice are discussed and therapists are encouraged to differentiate between women who are violent towards an abusive partner versus those whose partners are not abusive. (author abstract)
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