The Symmetry Of Violence

March 12, 2022

Domestic violence is a widely misunderstood hot button topic, for which everyone seems to have an opinion and painful experiences.

Poorly discussed by the media, exploited by politicians for votes, and entirely one sided in who’s protected… it’s a mess.

And the trope we often see, of the angry husband battering his wife is only half the story.

A misleading but highly effective visual aid, that has shaped a world that cannot see men as victims, and women as perpetrators.

A world, which sees women (rightly) as capable of anything, of the highest career goals, of leadership, of being a breadwinner… but what about being an abuser?

Where is women’s autonomy for that?

Because lots of research shows us that women are no less abusive in dating and marital relationships than men, and that half of abuse is in fact, reciprocal in nature.

As Professor Don Dutton, arguably Canada’s leading expert on partner violence puts it, “Couples get into screaming matches that get physical. They are under stress and insult each other. And they just don’t know how to stop.”

But this empirical view is lost when it comes to who is protected, which is exclusively women – with men, literally, left out in the cold.

So the cycle resumes, and everyone is hurt as a consequence.

When will we be rid of the ideological ‘patriarchal view’ of domestic violence?

When will we listen to the experts, and the data?

When will we see it as a social issue, not a gender one, for which everyone can be affected, and for which al people need help?


Study –
Straus –
Support by gender US
Support by gender England

Images by Claudia Soraya from Unsplash
Illustration by Frederick Allen from the Noun Project


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