Domestic abuse is a gendered crime
Every case of domestic abuse should be taken seriously and each individual given access to the support they need. Any form of violence is unacceptable.
Both women and men can experience domestic abuse. However, there are significant differences (in terms of the frequency and the nature of the abuse) between domestic abuse experienced by men and domestic abuse experienced by women.
Domestic abuse perpetrated by men against women is a quantitatively and qualitatively distinct phenomenon rooted in women’s unequal status in society and oppressive social constructions of gender and family.
Women are far more likely than men to be killed by partners/ex-partners. In 2013/14, this was 46% of female homicide victims killed by a partner or ex-partner, compared with 7% of male victims.[i]
In the three year period 2011/12 to 2013/14 all but one of the women killed by their partner or ex-partner were killed by a male suspect. Around a third of male victims (killed by partner/ex-partner) were killed by a male suspect and most of these were perpetrated by a male “emotional rival” (for example the husband of the male victim’s lover). [ii]
One study of 96 cases of domestic abuse recorded by the police found that men are significantly more likely to be repeat perpetrators and significantly more likely than women to use physical violence, threats, and harassment.
In a six year tracking period the majority of recorded male perpetrators (83%) had at least two incidents of recorded abuse, with many having a lot more than two and one man having 52 repeat incidents.
Whereas in cases where women were recorded as the perpetrator the majority (62%) had only one incident of abuse recorded and the highest number of repeat incidents for any female perpetrator was eight. The study also found that men’s violence tended to create a context of fear and control; which was not the case when women were perpetrators.[iii]
Further information and support
If would like more information about domestic abuse go to: The Survivor’s Handbook
If you or a friend need help call the National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership with Refuge) 0808 2000 247
[i] Office for National Statistics, Crime Statistics, Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2013/14 Chapter 2: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences – Homicide (Published online: Office for National Statistics, 2015), p. 1
[ii] Office for National Statistics, Crime Statistics, Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2013/14 Chapter 2: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences – Homicide (Published online: Office for National Statistics, 2015), p. 13
[iii] Hester, M, Who Does What to Whom? Gender and Domestic Violence Perpetrators in English Police Records (European Journal of Criminology, 2013 10: 623- 637), pp. 627 – 628.