_Breaking the Cycle of Family Violence_ 1 out of 10 women?!?!

All the following is from _Breaking the Cycle of Family Violence_, a book
published by the Correction Service Canada.  It has no ISBN.  (Without

Facts and Figures
[1]. Extent of the problem
* In 1982, the Canadian House of Commons officially adopted that 1 out of
10 Canadian women are battered by their husbands or live-in partners. [3]
Other studies suggest 1 out of 8 Canadian women are physically, sexually
or psychologically abused by their partners. [4]

* An American study [5] showed 16% of married couples had used some form of
violence in the previous year.  A 1987 Toronto study showed 14% of
cohabiting women had been physically abused during the survey year, and
36% reported having been abused by husband, boyfriend or date. [6]

* One Canadian study [7] says 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 10 boys are
sexually abused before the age of 18.  The same study reports that among
convicted child sexual offenders, 3 out of 4 were known to the child
victims, and 1 out of 5 had an incestuous relationship to the child.

* An estimated 1% of family violence is directed against husbands. [8]

[2].  Wife Abuse

Wife assault constitutes the largest proportion of family violence - almost
76%. [11]

Incidents of wife assault are as common in rural households as in cities. [12]

Wife assault occurs in high income and low income families. [12]

One study [13] of 4,000 abused women and their partners showed that 75% of the
partnerships were supported by employment income from both partners. (17%
were supported by public assistance and 8% by relatives or other sources).

Arguments over money was cited most frequently as the "topic" which
precipitated violence.

Wife assault spans all ages, races, and nationalities.  However, some age
groups have a higher rates of wife assault.  In one study, 1/3 of the
victims, and 3/4 of the abusers were between ages 26 and 50. [14]

Wife abuse begins early in the relationship. [15] In about 70% of abusive
relationships, the violence began in the early years of the relationship,
and increased in frequency over time.  The first violent incident often
occurred during pregnancy.

Wife assault is rarely a one-time occurrence.  Each assault increases the
likelihood that another violent incident will occur.  The more it happens,
the more likely it is to happen again. [16]

Beatings are frequently severe.  In about one-third of cases, medical
treatment is required.  Injuries include bruises, lacerations, fractures,
dislocations, burns, scalds.  About 20% of abused women have been attacked
with fists, boots, broken bottless, knives, razors, belts with buckles. [17]

Wife assault happens after hours.  70% of wife battering occurs between
5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.  About half the incidents occur on weekends. [18]

Most wife assaults happen in private places, away from the eyes of
neighbours, friends, and any potential help for the victim. Most cases
occur in the family home.  The kitchen and master bedroom are the most
dangerous rooms. [19]

Wife assaults do become homicides.  Of the 107 reported murders in
immediate families in Canada in 1975, the wife was killed by the husband
in 49 cases.  The husband was killed by the wife in 8.  Of all homicide
victims in Canada between 1961 and 1974, 60% of all female victims were
killed within a family context, more than double the proportion of male
victims. [20]

Husband Abuse

Some wives do abuse their husbands. [material deleted]

Husband abuse seems to follow patterns.  In cases where husbands have been
physically abused, three patterns are common:

1. Some relationships are characterized by mutual violence.  In these
families, violence can erupt at any time, initiated by husband, wife, or
other family memebers.

2. In many cases of husband assault, wives are striking back after years of
being abused by their husbands.  [material deleted]

3. A small minority of husband abuse cases follow a classic long-term
aggressor-victim pattern, with the wife as aggressor.


Historical Traditions [38]

* In 2500 B.C., if a wife talked back to her husband he could engrave her
name on a brick and use the brick to hit her.

* In the middle ages, church and state accepted that wives and children
were the property of the husband and father.  Wives and children could be
bought and sold.  Some were burned at the stake for talking back.

* In the eighteenth century, it was ruled that a husband could not beat his
wife with a stick thicker than the width of his thumb -- hence, the "rule
of thumb."

* In the nineteenth century, a judge stated, "If no permanent injury has
been inflicted ... by the husband, it is better to draw the curtain, shut
out the public gaze, and leave the parties to forget and forgive."  Even
in the twentieth century, "drawing the curtain" has been a practice of
those in a position to help.

Myths about family violence:

Battering is a private matter.  No one should disrupt family sanctity.

Family violence is rare or we'd hear more about it.

Women "ask for it."  They drive men to violence.

Abused women like it, or they wouldn't stay.

There's no point in helping abused women.  They'll just go back.

Abusers are violent in all their relationships.

Drinking causes abusive behavour.

Giving abusers "a taste of their own medicine" will stop the abuse.

Children who grow up in abusive situations get used to it and can learn to
deal with the abuse.

Nobody can help abusers.


3. McLeod, Linda: _Wife Battering in Canada: the Vicious Cycle_,.  Canadian
Government Publishing Centre, Hull, Quebec, 1980.  Other researchers
generally consider this a low estimate.

4. Steve Fletcher: "Abusers learn to wield power to get their way," in _It
Shouldn't Hurt if You Care_.  Lynard Publishers, Leduc, Alberta, 1988.

5. Straus, Murray, Richard Gelles, Suzanne Steinmetz: _Behind Closed Doors:
Violence in the American Family.  Anchor, 1980.

6. Smith, M.D.: "The incidence and prevalence of woman abuse in Toronto,"
In _Violence and Victims_, Vol.2, No. 3, 1987.

7. Committee on Sexual Offences, Against Children: _Report of the Committee
on Sexual Offences Against Children and youths_ ("The Badgley Report").
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Minister of
National Health and Welfare, Ottawa, Ontario, 1984.

8. Dobash, Rebecca and Russel Dobash: _Violence Against Wives_.  The Free
Press, New York, 1979.

11. Small, Shirley Endicott: "Why Husband Beating is a Red Herring," in
Deborah Sinclair: _Understanding Wife Assault_, Ontario Ministry of
Community and Social Services, Toronto, Ontario, 1985.

12. MacLeod, 1980.

13. Roy, Maria: "Four Thousand Partners in Violence: a Trend Analysis," in
Maria Roy, Ed.: _The Abusive Partner: An Analysis of Domestic Battering.
Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, 1982.

14. Roy, 1981.

15. MacLeod, 1980; Roy, 1982.

16. MacLeod, 1980.

17. MacLeod, 1980.

18. MacLeod, 1980

19. MacLeod, 1980.

20. MacLeod, 1980.

31. Small, 1985.

38. Material adapted from Hutchinson, Bonnie: _Breaking the Pattern: How
Alberta Women Can Help Assaulted Women and Their Families._  Alberta social
Services, Edmonton, 1984.

Note:  The original and subsequent references to McLeod and MacLeod are
entered as printed.  I do not know which spelling is correct.  wjm

I'll quote more from this source as time permits.