Are men and women equally violent to intimate partners? Academic Article uri icon


  • Violence against women is a significant public health issue. One form of violence against women, intimate partner abuse or domestic violence, is prevalent in Australia. In this article, we summarise the main theoretical and methodological debates informing prevalence research in this area. We explain why studies finding equivalent victimisation and perpetration rates between the sexes are conceptually and methodologically flawed and why coercion and control are fundamental to the definition and measurement of partner abuse. We conclude that while male victims of partner abuse certainly exist, male victims of other forms of male violence are more prevalent. A focus on gendered risk of violence in public health policy should target male-to-male public violence and male-to-female intimate partner abuse.

publication date

  • December 2001