Battered Husband Syndrome

September 30, 2021

Did you know that up until the late 1970s, men and women in relationships were killing each other in roughly equal numbers within domestic homicide?

Then something happened in the early 1980s that caused male victims to drop.

Men being killed by their partners continued on a steady decline for 40 years, until today, where men make up just under 1 in 4 of domestic homicide victims, which is still significant but sharply down from where it was.

Many theories have tried to explain this, but this post will discuss one of the most controversial: Battered Husband Syndrome.

A theory that notes this drop in male partners being murdered, coincides with the first refuges for women opening across the world.

Recognising that most abusive relationships are *reciprocally violent*, Battered Husband Syndrome suggests that these newly established refuges of the 1980s, allowed women to escape abusive households, and reduced the likelihood of them killing their male partner.

Conversely, without any refuges of their own, battered men remained trapped in violent households and the rate of women being murdered by partners never saw the same decline.

With this, a new question is presented - are refuges for men also good for women?

And by not discussing battered husbands, are we indirectly perpetuating reciprocal cycles of violence, that are leading to women paying the ultimate price?



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