Friday, February 5, 2010

Why Do So Many Men Die As A Result of Domestic Violence?

Earlier this week, The Washington City Paper's Blog The Sexist had a post about male victims of domestic violence. It featured a breakdown of the victims of domestic violence from July 2008-July 2009 according to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence.

Of the 53 victims:
  • 32 of the dead are female.
  • 21 of the dead are male.
Of the 21 males who died as a result of domestic violence last year:
  • 2 were children.
  • 19 were adult men.
Of the 19 adult men:
  • 9 were victims.
  • 10 were domestic violence aggressors who died as a result of their own domestic violence—”males who killed themselves or were killed after committing murder/attempting to commit murder.”
Of the nine male victims:
  • 2 were husbands or ex-husbands of the offender.
  • 3 were boyfriends or ex-boyfriends of the offender.
  • 3 were killed by their current partner’s ex.
  • 1 was killed by his ex’s current partner.
Of the ten men who killed themselves or were killed after committing murder or attempting to commit murder:
  • 1 man was killed by the police.
  • 3 were killed by their partners in self-defense.
  • 6 committed suicide.
People are quick to assume that because there is a fairly equal gender division among victims that means that that men are just as likely to be killed by a violent partner as women. Men are actually "more likely to be killed as a result of attempting to murder their own partners than as a result of their partner’s aggression".

This statistic reminds me of a documentary called "Defending Our Lives" about women who kill their domestic partners after years of abuse and are penalized harsher than the men who abused them ever would have been.

Here's an online edit of the film. I highly suggest seeing the whole thing. It's really powerful.

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