The Law Office of Corey I. Cohen & Associates | State and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
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Corey I. Cohen

Which sex is more likely to commit domestic violence?

One of the more controversial aspects of domestic violence relates to the gender of the person committing it. Traditionally, most believe that men commit domestic violence more often than women do. However, the statistics do not necessarily back up this commonly-held belief.

The reality is that this is very difficult to discern, due to the faults associated with gathering data on this subject. However, according to Domestic Violence Research, over 25% of persons have committed domestic violence, and women have a higher perpetration rate than men.

Motivations of domestic violence

Both women and men report similar motivations for domestic violence. The biggest ones include trying to get back at a partner for causing emotional distress, being unable to express their anger in words and attempting to get a partner’s attention.

Women are also more likely to report self-defense as a reason for committing domestic violence in many studies. However, this is not entirely conclusive, and there may be a bias problem: some researchers suggest that men may be more ashamed to admit that they acted in self-defense, as this suggests vulnerability.

Who is most at risk?

Younger persons are more at risk for domestic violence than older ones. Minority persons are also more at risk, as are those who are low-income. Alcohol use is more strongly associated with female-perpetrated violence as compared to males. Overall, both men and women share the same risk factors for domestic violence.

Women are more likely to suffer serious injury from domestic violence than men, but both sexes are very close in perpetration rates. Anybody can become a victim or a perpetrator of domestic violence, regardless of sex.

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