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MarriageEven A Husband Can Be The Victim of Domestic Violence

January 11, 2007

Much ado has been made of  Jason Kidd’s allegations of domestic violence against his wife. Notwithstanding the celebrity factor, much of outcry is a product of the sexist preconception that there is no way a woman can abuse a man.  Moreover, how can a star athlete be a victim of domestic violence?

Any matrimonial attorney knows that domestic violence is not limited to husbands abusing their wives. Most practitioners could relate a war story where- in a husband was either emotionally, psychologically or physically abused by his wife.   

ABC News reports that experts on domestic abuse disagree on the number of men who are physically abused by their wives, but they agree that it is an underreported phenomenon.

There are few statistics regarding domestic violence against men.

A 1999 National Violence Against Women Survey sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that while 1.5 million American women were beaten by a domestic partner or husband, 835,000 men — more than half that number — reported that they also were victims, a surprisingly high number to some.

Philip W. Cook, advocate and author of "Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence," is working to change what he calls "societal disbelief" in domestic violence against men.

"Attorneys don’t encourage prosecuting it," Cook said. "Fred Lane of the … Carolina Panthers was shot and killed by his wife, and Tyrone Williams of the Green Bay Packers had his clothes slashed and tires slashed, and he needed to get stitches. … These were obvious victims. Just because a guy is a big athlete doesn’t mean he’s not a victim."

Lisa Mills, a feminist and author of "Insult to Injury: Rethinking Our Response to Intimate Abuse," agrees.

Mills notes that when women get violent, they often seek out tools and weapons to make up for what they lack in brawn.

"Men are beaten just as often as women, but women are injured twice as often," Mills said. "But the question really comes down to the validity of each claim."

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