​He hits, she hits

AuthorMelton, Heather C., and Joanne Belknap
Title He hits, she hits
Source Criminal Justice and Behaviour, June 2003, Vol. 30, No.3, pp 328-348
Date 2003
Document type Journal article
​Jurisdiction​USA
SummaryThis study examines gender differences and similarities in Intimate Partner Violence using data collected from pretrial services in a large city, including qualitative data collected through police reports. The data set consisted of 2,670 court cases of misdemeanour domestic violence in 1997. Of the defendants it was found that 86% were male and 14% were female. It was found that men appearing as victims in the data were more likely than female victims to also be classified as defendants, suggesting to the researchers that this lends support to the notion that women are violent in self-defence situations. Other gender differences were observed in the type of abuse where, for example male defendants were significantly more likely than female defendants in making threats to the victim and female defendants were more likely than male defendants to use an object to hit the victim. Analysis of the qualitative data showed a number of gender differences including the seriousness of the threats, patterns in abusive acts and causing fear. A number of limitations to the study were identified such as the dependence on police officers correctly filling out reports and the source of the information, whether from victim, defendant or witness, was often unclear.
Keywords Domestic violence; gender differences; Intimate Partner Violence
Topic Male victims; Domestic violence