Men, women and domestic violence

 

Sir, – We must all agree with Orla O’Connor that domestic violence against women is appalling (“Data holds key to tackling violence against women”, Opinion & Analysis, April 24th). Her call for more data on this problem is appropriate. But nowhere in her article did I see any mention of domestic violence that is directed at male partners by women. There is research and data on this as the following example will demonstrate. Dr Elizabeth Bates, who led the study at the University of Cumbria, said: “Previous studies have sought to explain male violence towards women as arising from patriarchal values, which motivate men to seek to control women’s behaviour, using violence if necessary.”

This study found that women demonstrated a desire to control their partners and were more likely to use physical aggression than men.

“It wasn’t just pushing and shoving,” said Dr Bates, who presented the results at a meeting of the British Psychological Society in Glasgow. “Some people were circling the boxes for things like beating up, kicking, and threatening to use a weapon. In terms of high levels of control and aggression, there was no difference between men and women.”

Gender violence is a double-edged tragedy.

I can understand that the National Women’s Council would concentrate on female victims, but a great injustice will be done if the totality of the problem is not addressed. – Yours, etc,

JOHN O’LOUGHLIN,

Brannockstown,

Naas,

Co Kildare.