Study: Men and women agreed men weren’t more responsible than women for Intimate Partner Violence

Los Angeles, CA–I had an interesting conversation the other day with Phil Cook, author of Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence. A new, 10th anniversary edition of the book will be released later this year.

When the book comes out I’ll be discussing it here on this blog, but I thought I’d provide one early excerpt from it concerning a major 2007 study on domestic violence. Cook writes:

Apparently at the time of this writing the most recent large scale study (11,000 men and women) is one conducted primarily by Harvard researchers and published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2007:

Almost 25% of the people surveyed — 28% of women and 19% of men — said there was some violence in their relationship. Women admitted perpetrating more violence (25% versus 11%) as well as being victimized more by violence (19% versus 16%) than men did. According to both men and women, 50% of this violence was reciprocal, that is, involved both parties, and in those cases the woman was more likely to have been the first to strike.

Violence was more frequent when both partners were involved, and so was injury — to either partner. In these relationships, men were more likely than women to inflict injury (29% versus 19%). When the violence was one-sided, both women and men said that women were the perpetrators about 70% of the time. Men were more likely to be injured in reciprocally violent relationships (25%) than were women when the violence was one-sided (20%).

That means both men and women agreed that men were not more responsible than women for intimate partner violence. The findings cannot be explained by men’s being ashamed to admit hitting women, because women agreed with men on this point.

Cook can be reached at

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