Feminist myth: Women usually only commit domestic violence in self-defence

I was reading an article the other day that included comments concerning domestic violence made by recently appointed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Within it I noticed the following quote from an outspoken Australian feminist academic and female violence enabler by the name of Dr Michael Salter:

“In the context of intimate relationships we do see women use violence but it’s predominantly self-defence. We have to reaffirm everyone has the right to defend themselves against violence”.

Sadly this is by no means the first time I have come across a feminist proposing this shameful nonsense as a truthful reflection of reality.

Well at least Michael can bring himself to admit that women can be violent. This is certainly the case, and in many jurisdictions such crimes are on an upwards trajectory.

The dominant theoretical framework employed by the Domestic Violence Industry is known as the Duluth Model. A paper attempting to defend this approach, included the following statement:

“The vast majority of women arrested in Duluth for domestic assaults are being battered by the person they assault. Most, but not all, are retaliating against an abusive spouse or are using violence in self-defense. The notion that battered women share responsibility for the violence used against them because of provocative words or actions is a dangerous form of collusion with men who batter (Mills 2003). We do not accept that these women should complete a batterers’ program. We do agree that there are a small number of women who use violence resulting in police action against their partners without themselves being abused. This is not a social problem requiring institutional organizing in the way that men’s violence against women is.” (Source)

A selection of sources that argue either in support of, or against, the notion that women only perpetrate domestic violence in self-defence and/or after experiencing sustained abuse:

‘Understanding domestic abusers’ (undated) from the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. See “responsive violence”. Sure women are violent but only in order to “attempt to forestall attack, defend self and others, or control the situation”

From the web site of the Canadian Association for Equality:

“Fact: Self defence is no more common a reason for female violence against a partner than it is for male violence against a partner

Sources:  Follingstad, D. R., Wright, S., Lloyd, S., & Sebastian, J. A. (1991). Sex differences in motivations and effects in dating violence. Family Relations, 40(1), 51–57.
Medeiros, R. A., & Straus, M. A. (2006). Risk factors for physical violence between dating partners: Implications for gender-inclusive prevention and treatment of family violence. In J. C. Hamel & T. Nicholls (Eds.), Family approaches to domestic violence: A practitioners guide to gender-inclusive research and treatment (pp. 59–87). New York: Springer (also available at http://pubpages. unh.edu/∼mas2”

Open letter to the Victorian Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, by the One in Three organisation (17 August 2015) Exaggerating the extent to which female violence is attributable to self-defence

The Gender Paradigm in domestic violence research and theory (2005) Includes coverage of the claim that women engage in violence mainly due to self-defence.

Deconstructing Self-Defence in Wife-to-Husband Violence by Dr Sotirios Sarantakos (Australia)

selfdefence

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