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Battered Men - The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence

Research on Battered Men

Aggression in British Heterosexual Relationships

A Descriptive Analysis

Results: Overall Incidence of Victimization, Victimization by Type of Assault

Michelle Carrado, M.J. George, Elizabeth Loxam, L. Jones and Dale Templar
Market and Opinion Research International Ltd. (M.C., L.J.) Department of Physiology, Saint Bartholomew's and Royal London Medical School, Queen Mary & Westfield College, London University, (M.J.g,), and The British Broadcasting Corporation (E.L., D.T.), London, United Kingdom.

 
     

Index:

1. Forward and Introduction

2. Materials and Methods

3. Results

4. Discussion & References

 

3. RESULTS

Of the total number of adults (1,978) completing the questionnaire, 1,865 had been in a heterosexual relationship at sometime (894 men and 971 women) and 1,481 of these adults (707 men and 774 women) were in a heterosexual relationship at the time of the survey.

Overall Incidence of Victimization

The numbers and percentages of men and women who reported sustaining or inflicting any of the items of designated physical assault are shown in Table 1. These results show higher numbers of men reporting any victimization from female partners than women report having sustained from male partners in respect to all and current relationships. Fifty-one per cent of men and 27% of women identifying any item of victimization sustained for all relationships also identified victimization in their current relationship. Both sexes stated they inflicted physical victimization less than they have experienced being the victim, confirming other reports of disparity between admitted victimization and perpetration of assaults [Riggs et al., 1989]. However , men and women admitted inflicting assaults to about the same extent overall with any act admitted by 10% of men and 11% of women. Of 285 men and women reporting sustained victimization and 191 reporting inflicting victimization across all relationships, 127 reported having been both a victim and a perpetrator, although this does not necessarily mean that sustained and inflicted victimization occurred in the same relationship.

TABLE 1. Overall Incidence Rates of Victimization for All Relationships and Current Relationships*

All Relationships

Current Relationships

Male(N=894)(%) Female(N=971)(%) M(N=707) (%) Fem(N= 774)(%)
Sustained

155 (18)

130 (13)

79 (11)

35 (5)

Inflicted

85 (10)

106 (11)

--

--

* Shown are numbers and percentages of the male and female populations who report experiencing any item of physical victimization or aggression in either all their past or current relationships. Details of aggression committed in their current relationships were not elicited. A difference of 3-4% or more for these sample sizes indicates a statistical significant difference at the 5% level.

Item Victimization

In Table II, results for each of the five items of physical assault are presented for what respondents stated they had sustained or inflicted in all their heterosexual relationships and also what they had sustained in their current relationships. Not unexpectedly, level of victimization sustained on each item are higher across all relationships, rather than just in current relationships, and are also higher than levels of inflicted victimization admitted. It is evident in each of these categories that being slapped by a partner or slapping a partner was the most frequently quoted physical assault sustained or inflicted. In terms of individual assaultive acts it is apparent that, although women report being pushed or grabbed more than men and men admit they commit this assaultive act more than women, significantly more men (P <.05) than women report being slapped by a female partner. Also, more women report having slapped a male partner, but the difference for inflicted victimization on this or any other item between the sexes was not significant. On the remaining three items, which are also potentially more serious, men and women report almost equally being the victim of such an act. The numbers and percentages either sustaining or inflicting these acts are low, however, being 1% or below in number of cases.

TABLE II. Physical Victimization by Sex*

All Relationships

Current Relationship

Sustained

Inflicted

Sustained

Female Male Female Male Female Male
Victimization (N=971)(%) (N=894)(%) (N=971)(%) (N=894)(%) (N=774)(%) (N=707)(%)
E. Pushed
Grabbed etc.

95 (10)

80 (9)

37 (4)

48 (5)

19 (2)

32 (5)

C. Slapped

84 (9)

121 (14)

85 (9)

49 (6)

24 (3)

62 (9)

D. Punched
kicked

59 (6)

59 (7)

27 (3)

19 (2)

15 (2)

30 (4)

H. Thrown or hit with
object

19 (2)

22 (2)

15 (2)

6 (1)

4 (1)

8 (1)

J. Struck with sharp
object

13 (1)

13 (1)

16 (1)

--

4 (1)

4 (1)

* Item victimization as reported by men and women given as both numbers and percentages of the male and female sample for all relationships and current relationship categories.
Percentages rounded up below 0.5% of sample. A difference of 3-4% or more for these sample sizes indicates a statistical significant difference at the 5% level.

Although respondents were not asked to give a measure of chronicity for each item, it is possible to present the numbers of men and women identifying they had sustained or inflicted one or more of the individual items of physical assault (see Table III). In terms of all relationships, this may not mean that there was chronicity of aggression in any particular relationship; the individual reporting could have sustained or inflicted separate assaults in more than one relationship. In current relationships, however, this analysis would be symptomatic of a chronicity of aggression within that relationship.

TABLE III. Incidence of Repeated Victimization*

Sustained Victimization

Inflicted victimization

All relationships

Current relationships

All relationships

Men(%)

Women(%)

Men(%)

Women(%)

Men(%)

Women(%)
Any act 155(18) 130 (13) 79 (11) 35 (5) 85 (10) 106 (11)
One act

80 (9)

59 (6)

48 (7)

21 (3)

58 (6)

68 (7)

Two acts

34 (4)

24 (2)

11 (2)

3`

21 (2)

22 (2)

Three acts

26 (3)

30 (3)

17 (2)

9 (1)

4`

11 (1)

Four acts

8 (1)

10 (1)

0

1`

2`

3`

Five acts

7 (1)

7 (1)

3`

2`

1`

3`

*Repeated victimization (sustained or inflicted) compounded as occurrence of one or more of each type of assaultive act for men and women in all or current relationships. Percentages quoted are the percentages of the total men or female sample.
`Percentages are rounded up: ` indicates less than 0.5% of sample

From Table III it can be derived that for all and current relationships, 73.5 and 74.5%, respectively, of victimized men experience only one or two types of assault. By contrast, 63.8 and 68.5%, respectively, of victimized women experience the same. Thus, approximately one third of assaulted women, as opposed to one fourth of assaulted men, reported experiencing three or more types of assault. A similar analysis for perpetration of assaults found that 91% of men and 84% of women aggressing admitted only one or two acts.

From cross tabulations of each item of physical victimization against the other four items, it was apparent that the greater the level of assaultive act, the greater the likelihood that those reporting experience of it would also identify they had experienced all lesser forms of assault. For instance, in the case of an assault with a sharp or pointed object, 90-100% of individuals so assaulted identified they had also been slapped or punched or kicked. A similar pattern also existed for inflicted victimization.

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