Spousal abuse falls as definition broadens



"Women in troubled marriages more violent than men -10 per cent of young couples in crisis"

A DISTURBING portrait of marriage in Ireland reveals shocking levels of violence in the home, with women nearly twice as likely as men to assault their partners.

The revelation that women are more likely to use physical force in marriages which have received counselling is just one of the provocative findings of the Government-commissioned study.

The 150-page report, Distressed Relationships Does Counselling Help?, found that, at a "conservative estimate", at least 10 per cent of all couples aged 30 to 40 have troubled marriages.

The report examined the marriages of 530 clients who sought counselling with Marriage and Relationship Counselling Services (MRCS) in 2000. Two thirds of clients were couples and one-third individuals, the majority of whom were women.

By the very nature of the study, those who took part in it were in troubled marriages, but the authors' findings suggest that domestic violence is not the significant cause but, instead, the result of unhappy relations.

Words do far more damage, the report suggests. Criticism and insults are among the major factors and men's failure to listen to their wives, and their inability to deal with conflict, was cited in nine of 10 of the
marriages surveyed.

Infidelity, drink and pressures of work, often believed to be major factors in the breakdown of marriages, were not found to be the major problems. In fact, the more mundane but highly divisive factor of division of labour in the home was singled out. The pressure of running the home "single handed" and intense frustration at bringing up children without proper support from their husbands are major causes of distress among wives.

The report found that, "on balance, it seems that men and women benefit about equally from marriage".

Marriage for men means they will enjoy better health. For women the major
benefits come from a higher income.

At the other end of the scale, a bad marriage is "vastly more stressful"
than other life events such as poverty or unemployment. It leads to
depression in women and poor physical health in men.

Violence was a feature of almost half of the marriages surveyed, of which
women were the perpetrators in 41 per cent of cases and men 26 per cent. The
violence was mutual in 33 per cent of cases.

A central point is the critical importance of marriage for human well-being.
Married people are happier than single, widowed, separated or remarried
people, providing the marriage is sound.

-----Original Message-----
From: R.J.Whiston <rwhiston@rwhiston.demon.co.uk>
To: deabirkett@cs.com <deabirkett@cs.com>
Date: 29 March 2002 01:16
Subject: NSPCC - thanks

>Dear Miss. Birkett,
>Thank you very much for taking the NSPCC down a peg or two. ("It needs to
>stopped. Full stop. The NSPCC is far more concerned with filling its
>than protecting vulnerable children". February 19, 2002).
>The fact that it is women rather than men who abuse children is always
>forgotten by the NSPCC when they want to drum up more money.
>Since 1997 we have asked them to act on their own research, namely that
>between 65% and 85% of all child abuse is perpetrated by women, usually
>mothers. The remaining number of perpetrators are; step-fathers, step
>mothers, live-in lovers, or other female relatives and friends.
>Every time I go shopping or go to the post office it is ALWAYS single
>mothers who are being obnoxious to their small children. They are more
>behaved than their own children. What do you see when you are out and about
>It is only with a great deal of surprise that people realise that fathers
>rarely abuse and rarely murder their own children. Home Office statistics
>show  that the greatest risk of murder is not when someone is in their
>or early twenties,  but in the first 5 years of life. The group posing the
>greatest threat of this act are mothers.
>But then look again at the mortality and morbidity figures and it become
>immediately apparent that fathers better protect children than do any other
>person or family member.
>So why do we have this relentless and on-going witch hunt against fathers
>and men generally ?
>Yours sincerely,
>Robert Whiston.
>Chairman, ManKind
>- a mens and fathers civil rights charity.
>We were further concerned to learn that fictitious allegations were being
>made in other walks of life and with a similar lack of recourse for the
>wrongly accused.
>Extract from letter to Select Committee Feb 2002.
>" ... From Our investigations revealed that far from the father
>a menace to the family it was his presence that provided a bulwark against
>abuse. This data, sourced in part from papers in the NSPCC library, was
>unpopular for some years. It was not until the NSPCC (whom we had also been
>pressing) conducted their poll of abused children, in Nov 2000, that the
>notion that fathers as protectors of children began to be accepted. We
>enclose one of our Occasional Papers dealing with the aspect of child abuse
>compiled before the NSPCCs survey....."
>Should you wish to read the Occasional Papers please let me know and I will
>forward you several from the series. RW


x Anthony Hewson
Chairman, CAFCASS

Dear Anthony,

As if "on cue" this article appeared about women's ability to the violent
and hurt other.
It is particularly important because it cites probably the three most
prominent and reliable figures in this area
namely Ms. Terrie Moffitt, Prof. John Archer,  Dr Malcolm George.

Their work is far more comprehensive, scientific and relievable than
anythnig Stanko has yet produced (including her 'sacred cow' Hackney survey
of 129 women).

This is the sort of breakthrough we've needed and the sort of information
CAFCASS (and Rosie Winterton) can not aford to ignore any longer.
Prof. Terrie Moffitt endorses and cvalidates everything we have been saying
for 2 years to CAFCASS.

Yours etc.
Chairman, ManKind

Extract :- " .... Terrie Moffitt, professor of social behaviour at the
Institute of
Psychiatry at King's College, London, admitted that women do engage in
abusive behaviour and said the Home Office should fund research into the
issue in the UK. "If we ask does women's violence have consequences for
their kids then the answer is 'yes'," she said. "There is also an
elevated risk of children being victims of domestic violence if there is
central violence between parents."

Subject: [ukmm] Women are more violent


The Independent (Britain) 12 November 2000

Women are more violent, says study By Sophie Goodchild, Home Affairs

Bruised and battered husbands have been complaining for years and now
the biggest research project of its kind has proved them right. When it
comes to domestic confrontation, women are more violent than men.

>The study, which challenges the long-standing view that women are
>overwhelmingly the victims of aggression, is based on an analysis of
>34,000 men and women by a British academic. Women lash out more
>frequently than their husbands or boyfriends, concludes John Archer,
>professor of psychology at the University of Central Lancashire and
>president of the International Society for Research on Aggression.
>Male violence remains a more serious phenomenon: men proved more likely
>than women to injure their partners. Female aggression tends to involve
>pushing, slapping and hurling objects. Yet men made up nearly 40 per
>cent of the victims in the cases that he studied - a figure much higher
>than previously reported.
>Professor Archer analysed data from 82 US and UK studies on relationship
>violence, dating back to 1972. He also looked at 17 studies based on
>victim reports from 1,140 men and women. Speaking last night, he said
>that female aggression was greater in westernised women because they
>were "economically emancipated" and therefore not afraid of ending a
>"Feminist writers say most of the acts against men are not important but
>the same people have used the same surveys to inflate the number of
>women who are attacked," he said. "In the past it would not even have
>been considered that women are violent. My view is that you must base
>social policy on the whole evidence."
>His views are supported by Dr Malcolm George, a lecturer in neuroscience
>at London University. In a paper to be published next year in the
>Journal of Men's Studies, Dr George will argue that men have been abused
>by their wives since Elizabethan times. He uses examples such as the
>actor John Wayne, beaten by his wife Conchita Martinez, and Humphrey
>Bogart battered by his wife Mayo Methot, as well as Abraham Lincoln
>whose wife Mary who broke his nose with a lump of wood.
>His research is backed up by historical records which show that men who
>were beaten by their wives were publicly humiliated in a ceremony called
>a "skimmington procession". The procession was named after the ladle
>used to skim milk during cheese making.
>Dr George has also unearthed a plaster frieze in Montacute House in
>Somerset that depicts a wife hitting her husband over the head followed
>by a "skimmington" ceremony.
>"It's a complex argument but we do get more women aggressing against
>male partners than men against female partners," said Dr George. "The
>view is that women are acting in self-defence but that is not true - 50
>per cent of those who initiate aggression are women. This sends a
>dangerous message to men because we are saying they are not going to get
>any legal redress so their option instead is to hit back."
>Terrie Moffitt, professor of social behaviour at the Institute of
>Psychiatry at King's College, London, admitted that women do engage in
>abusive behaviour and said the Home Office should fund research into the
>issue in the UK. "If we ask does women's violence have consequences for
>their kids then the answer is 'yes'," she said. "There is also an
>elevated risk of children being victims of domestic violence if there is
>central violence between parents."
>However, Dr Anne Campbell, a psychologist at the University of Durham,
>said that women should still receive the most support because they were
>the greater victims of domestic violence. "The outcome of violence is
>that women are more damaged by it and need the bulk of resources," she
>said. "But women's violence has become increasingly legitimised. There
>is a sense now that it's OK to 'slap the bastard'."