Domestic violence: A family problem

Between 1976 and 1996, 64 percent of female intimate partner victims were killed by their husbands, 5 percent by ex-husbands and 32 percent by partners/boyfriends.

Of male victims, 62 percent were killed by their wives, 4 percent by ex-wives and 34 percent by partners/girlfriends. From 1976 to 1996 31,260 (61 percent) women and 20,311 (39 percent) men were murdered by an intimate partner (www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/vi.htm).

The 1992 National Alcohol and Family Violence Survey (www.arg.org/studies.html) found that approximately 1.9 percent of married/cohabiting women were severely assaulted by a male partner annually and approximately 4.5 percent of married/cohabiting men were severely assaulted by a female partner annually.

Many criminal justice policies, criminal and civil court intervention and treatment programs focus primarily on women as being the victim of all forms of domestic violence while ignoring, minimizing and trivializing the problems low or moderate levels of domestic violence present for men.

Treatment, protection and social services need to be made equal for all, regardless of gender.

Samantha Abernathy

Licensed clinical social worker

Juneau

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