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How Austerity And Further Job Losses Are Effecting The Rates Of And Severity Of Domestic Violence

category galway | gender and sexuality | opinion/analysis author Thursday March 15, 2012 23:11author by Eleanor Leahy - Occupy Galwayauthor email leahy.eleanor at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Happy belated international women's day!

This is an article to mark international women's day 2012. The austerity that is being forced on the Irish people so that the banks can be bailed out is causing harm to every aspect of society. This article does not suggest that hard times are an excuse or cause of domestic violence but that austerity is worsening the situation for women trapped in abusive relationships and is taking away services that are life saving to them.


How austerity and further job losses are affecting the rates of and severity of domestic violence.

Though the economic downturn should not be seen as the reason for domestic violence, it occurs in good economic times and bad, certain consequences of the failed economy can facilitate and can be seen to have escalated the abuse that women face. It also puts women at more risk of financial abuse and women who are trapped in an abusive situation may be less likely to escape due to the risk of poverty. The austerity that the government has unjustly imposed on the Irish people has seen cuts to vital support services that are there to support the victims of domestic violence. Due to the increase in court appearances relating to child maintenance and property issues mean that separation cases are taking longer for the courts to process, meaning that it is taking longer for women to break away from abusive situations.

Due to increases in job losses, early retirement and redundancy, men who are abusive are at home more which may lead to the abuse becoming more frequent. The financial strain on families and couples can escalate stress, leading to the worsening of a situation. An abusive situation that existed before the recession and now has a mortgage and is weighed down by debt is much worse off than it was before. All of this stress can lead to the abuse of alcohol and other substances which can worsen the severity and increase the occurrence of the abuse. In 2010, callers to woman’s aid disclosed over 13,575 incidents of physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse. Many of these callers disclosed that they are trapped in these situations and are made more vulnerable to the abuse due to the financial crisis.

Relationships in which women are abused financially have always existed and are on the increase since the start of financial crisis. The economic situation can be used as an excuse by the abuser to legitimise financial abuse. This includes women being forced to pay the abuser’s debt, Women’s belongings being sold without their consent, women’s benefits being put in the abusers name, women having to account for every penny they spend and the abuser withholding maintenance they are legally obliged to pay. Women who are trapped in abusive relationships are less likely to escape because of the risk of poverty if they leave. They are afraid of losing their homes and the effect of poverty on their children.

Because of the government’s cuts to the welfare state, the support services which are vital to women who are trying to escape an abusive situation have either been put under a lot of strain or have been done away with altogether. For example, current cuts in welfare support budgets mean that community welfare officers are becoming more rigid in order to manage their decreased budget. COPE has provided a refuge and outreach service for thousands of women in the form of Waterside house, a refuge for victims of domestic abuse in Galway. In 2010, 150 women and their children sought refuge here but twice as many had to be turned away due to limited capacity. COPE has called for increased funding to increase their capacity from six family rooms to seven, to provide a play area for children and a dining area. For this modest upgrade, funding of at least 100,000 is needed but this will not been forthcoming as there has been cuts to its budget since then. More recently it has become clear that austerity has worsened abusive relationships. Within the last year, there has been an increase of 40% in calls to waterside house.

Financial difficulties are never an excuse for abuse. Relationships that were loving and healthy before the financial crisis have remained loving and healthy after. The effects of austerity aggravate an already abusive relationship, may increase the chances of financial abuse and may escalate the violence. Because of austerity, services that could save the lives of women in these situations have been cut to near non existence.

Related Link: http://www.womensaid.ie/?gclid=CMWf162A6q4CFcIf4QodtDP1JA
author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Mar 16, 2012 16:27Report this post to the editors

..from the stupid economy of competition uber alles...till all the world's a sweatshop....and all the men and women merely slaves...we'll have our entrance and our exit..and the no-such-thing-as-society conviction feeding dog-eat-dog neurosis into psychotic violence lubricated with upping doses of dope n aunty ethyl.... while the culprits play away in their offshore casinos...or put your kids lives on the back of a horse at Cheltenham..what the fuck if the horse falls..we'll get a bailout from the working poor as we consume them in our consumer economy

STUPID. AND VICIOUS. But its just collateral damage...no hard feelings.

author by Jamima Bendspublication date Mon Mar 19, 2012 05:52Report this post to the editors

Women are not the only victims so why don't you mention that in your article?


author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Wed Mar 28, 2012 13:27Report this post to the editors

Domestic Violence is predominantly a male-perpetrated issue, in fact it is overwhelmingly so. That is not to say that women don't do it, of course they do. And it also happens in Gay and Lesbian relationships, however, any attempt to link the two on a quantitative basis is misleading and works to minimise the issue of male-perpetrated DV.
Read Derrick Jensen for some interesting parallels between rape of Nature and rape of women.

author by Mepublication date Thu Mar 29, 2012 20:34Report this post to the editors

    "Domestic Violence is predominantly a male-perpetrated issue, in fact it is overwhelmingly so."

Oh no it ain't.

Here are 12 (TWELVE) independant Scientific studies that show how wrong you are

    Kanton & Strauss--2% of wives and 4.6% of husbands assaulted

    Murray--26% of females and 39.1% of males abused

    O'Leary--27% of wives and 36% husbands "victim of spousal violence"

    Brinkerhoff--4.8% of wives and 10% of husbands "victim of severe violence"

    Strauss--12.2% of wives and 12.4% of husbands "assaulted"

    U. Texas--14% of wives and 18% of husbands victims of "violent act"

    McNeely--86% of wives and 25% of husbands "used a weapon" in their attack

    Henton--2.3% females, 4.9% males, & 16% mutual (total of 23%) "experienced PREMARITAL violence"

    Strauss--3.8% of wives and 4.6% of husbands victims of "severe violence"

    Nisonoff--12.7% of wives and 18.6% of husbands were "hit by spouse"


1994 July, according to "Domestic Assault in the USA" by Kanton and Straus, the average male-female sposal abuse rates for 1992 were: Wife assault 2.0%, reported by 2.3% of wives and 1.7% of husbands. Husband assault 4.6%, reported by 5.8% of wives and 3.3% of husbands.

1991 December - Reena Sommer, Gordon E.Barnes and Robert P.Murray Department of Family Study, University of Manitoba, Canada, a study of 1257 (615 male and 642 female) Winnpeg residents found that 39.1% of cohabitating females and 26% of cohabitating males were perpetrators of spouse abuse.

1989 - O’Leary K. Daniel., Barling J., Arias, Ilena, Rosenbaum Alan, Malone J., and Tree A., "Prevalence and stability of physical aggression between spouses: a longitudinal analysis," Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology. 57(2):263-268, 1989. This report notes that 31% of men and 44% of women in this study reported that they aggressed against their partner in the year before marriage. Eighteen months after marriage, 27% of men and 36% of women reported being violent towards their partner.

1988 Survey of Couples by Brinkerhoff and Prof. Eugen Lupri, University of Calgary, Canada shows that 17.8% of husbands admit to abusing their female partner and 23.3% of wives admit to abusing their male partner and that severe wife assault was 4.8%, severe husband assault was 10.0% 1986, Shupe, Stacey and Hazlewood "Violent Men, Violent Couples" chapter 3 - 28% of married men reported their wives had slapped, kicked or punched them.

1985, National Family Violence Survey, USA, Mr.Straus, using information from 2,994 women, found a rate of assaults by wives of 124 per 1000 couples, compared with 122 per 1000 for assaults by husbands.

1985 Study of Texas University students by Breen: 18% of men and 14% of women reported violent acts by a romantic partner.

1984 Study of 6,200 cases of reported domestic assault by Prof.R.L.McNeely and Coramae Richey Mann shows that weapons were involved in 86% of female on male violence and in 25% of male on female violence.

1982 Henton, Cate, Koval, Lloyd and Christopher: of 344 college students 79 had experienced premarital violence. Nearly 70% experienced mutual violence. Of the remaining students 10% said the male was the only abuser, 22% said the female was the only abuser.

1980 Straus et al. - of 2,143 couples in 1975, 28% had experienced violence at some point in their marriage, 16% within the last year. Half of abuse was mutual. Annual incidents of overall violence: 12.1 per 100 husbands, 11.6 per 100 wives. When examining severe violence, women were more violent than men. Severe husband to wife violence: 3.8 out of 100 families Severe wife to husband violence: 4.6 out of 100 families.

1979 - Nisonoff, L. & Bitman, I Spouse Abuse: Incidence and Relationship to Selected Demographic Variables, Victimology 4, 1979, pp.131-140. Subjects were asked in a telephone survey about their experiences of domestic violence (Nisonoff & Bitman 1979). 15.5% of the men and 11.3% f the women reported having hit their spouse; 18.6% of the men and 12.7% of the women reported having been hit by their spouse.


Women resort to violence first, and more often , than men do - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/women-ar....html

Professor Archer analysed data from 82 US and UK studies on relationship violence, dating back to 1972. He also looked at 17 studies based on victim reports from 1,140 men and women. Speaking last night, he said that female aggression was greater in westernised women because they were "economically emancipated" and therefore not afraid of ending a relationship.

"Feminist writers say most of the acts against men are not important but the same people have used the same surveys to inflate the number of women who are attacked," he said. "In the past it would not even have been considered that women are violent. My view is that you must base social policy on the whole evidence.. . . . . ."The view is that women are acting in self-defence but that is not true – 50 per cent of those who initiate aggression are women. This sends a dangerous message to men because we are saying they are not going to get any legal redress so their option instead is to hit back."

author by leftypublication date Fri Mar 30, 2012 02:30Report this post to the editors

here is an ESRI report done by trinity relating to Ireland:

It seems that while certainly many men are abused, the ratio is still 2:1 in Ireland "in favour of" women at the time of this report. Although I'm almost certain that male abuse by women is largely underreported here as, for cultural reasons, men are unlikely to report they are being abused by women.

This ratio may be different in other countries though.

author by Mepublication date Fri Mar 30, 2012 19:40Report this post to the editors

It seems that while certainly many men are abused, the ratio is still 2:1 in Ireland "in favour of" women at the time of this report.

SO in 66% of Domestic violence incidents the persons on the recieving end of that violence are Female

AND in 33% of Domestic violence incidents the persons on the recieving end of that violence are Male

66% is a Very sizable percentage no matter what way one chooses to look at it,

BUT 33% is no mere chicken feed either

Generally in Western Society, when the subject of DV comes up, it is invariably and incorrectly presented, such as 'Rational Ecologist' commented, as exclusively a problem of Male on Female abuse.

Llittle effort is ever made, in most 'official' Gov't/NGO/Pressure-Group pronouncments, to actually address the issue in an honest and non-sexist manner.

No matter what way you view it - 1 in 3 victims of Domestic violence are essentially being told that - "You are the wrong sex to be a victim of Domestic Violence - you don't exist as far as we or the rest of society is concerned"


Results of 1994 national study from England on causes of violence (Carrado
et al., 1996).
Reasons Given For Assaults Assault by .................Female .......... Male

    A. “Get through to...” .............................................53%............... 64%
    B. “Something said or threatened...” ..........................52%............... 53%
    C. “Some physical action...” (self-defense) ................21%............... 27%
    D. “Stop doing something...” ......................................33% .............. 43%
    E. “Make do something...” ..........................................26% ............. 26%
    F. “About to use physical action.” (self-defense) ....... 17% .............. 21%
    G. “Influence of alcohol, etc....” ..................................13% .............. 35%
    H. “In character...” ......................................................16% .............. 27%
    I. “Other” ....................................................................12%................ 7%
    Percent of 1,978 respondents committing an assault .11% ..............10%

author by Mepublication date Fri Mar 30, 2012 19:55Report this post to the editors

Nothing I have said so far changes the fact that, irrespective of whether actual perpetrators of
violence are male om femlae - The VAST Majority of Men and Women DO NOT behave violently towards their partner nor do they threaten to

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:50Report this post to the editors

I stated in my post that DV is predominantly and NOT exclusively( as you say I did) by male on females and I hold my position on that. Females underreport DV and it usually takes 35 instances/incidents before a woman reports it.
We live in a violent culture and I predict that in the not too distant future the stats for DV may show more"equality", however, that is not the situation at the moment.

author by Mepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 14:58Report this post to the editors

just making any claim you like and expecting to be believed is ridiculous

Females underreport DV and it usually takes 35 instances/incidents before a woman reports it.


Unless you show a reputable and reliable soucre for such a ridiculous claim, I'll have to presume you're just making these figures up

It is generally acknowledged amongst those that actually take the time to study this, that Male-under-reporting far exceeds female Under-reporting

But essentially what you appear to be saying is that only the female victims of Partner Violence matter - that when anyone addresses this subject the simply MUST place more emphasis on Famale victims than Male victims, this despite the fact that devery 1 out of 3 victims is Male.

That to me is a typically sexist attitude

That people that claim to care for equality are prepared to throw under the Bus 1 out of every 3 victims of DV, just because it is inconvenient for whatever political/gender agenda they wish to promote, is something I find hard to stomach

author by Mepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 15:05Report this post to the editors

"I stated in my post that DV is predominantly and NOT exclusively( as you say I did) by male on females and I hold my position on that. "

And yet ALL the evidence presented shows otherwise - ALL the evidence presented shows that the vast majority of DV is reciprocal: That women are a guilty of violence overall as are the men in these relationships.

Your insistance on continuing to ignore what the evidence says, in favour of clinging onto your political dogma, does not say much for your overall level of open-mindedness

You appear to have firmly made-up your mind on this, based on no research at all, and it appears no amount of actual evidence would change your mind.

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 16:49Report this post to the editors

Interesting contest between a 6foot 4 male and a 5foot5 female!
I clearly acknowledge female-perpetrated DV, however, I do contest your opinion of the ratios.
As someone who works in the field, I do feel my experience counts for something.

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 17:11Report this post to the editors

Violence against women research

VAW researchers claim that intimate partner violence is asymmetrical, with men more
likely than women to perpetrate violence against an intimate partner. Historical and
contemporary evidence from many societies indicates that lethal and non-lethal inti-
mate partner violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women (Dobash
and Dobash 1979; 1992; Pleck 1987; Gordon 1988; Daly and Wilson 1988; Levinson
1989; Dobash, Dobash, Wilson and Daly 1992; Wilson and Daly 1992, 1998; Kurz 1993;
Bourgois 1995; Nazroo 1995; Descola 1996; Dobash et al., 2004). For example, when
men and women are asked to report on victimization throughout their lifetime (ever
prevalence), women report at least two to four times more violence than men, and
women are much more likely to report chronic levels of abuse (Gaquin 1977/78;
Schwartz 1987; Sacco and Johnson 1990; Bachman and Saltzman 1995; Tjaden and
Thoennes 1998; Mirrless-Black 1999). Direct measures of the consequences of violent
acts suggest that women are much more likely than men to report physical injuries and
emotional and psychological effects (e.g. depression, anxiety and fear) as a result of
men’s violence toward them (Schwartz 1987; Campbell 1998; Dobash and Dobash
2001). Ironically, FV researchers acknowledge that women are six to ten times more
likely than men to sustain serious injuries as a consequence of violent acts by their part-
ner (Straus 1993; Gelles 1997: 93) but some, nonetheless, continue to claim that
women are more likely than men to perpetrate violence, including ‘severe’ violence,
against an intimate partner. What might this mean?
VAW researchers stress that in order to understand this violence, it should be studied
within the wider context of ongoing violent events and intimate relationships. Violent
events should also be studied within the context of actions and intentions associated
with the event and its aftermath. Purely ‘act-based’ approaches rarely consider context-
ual issues that promote fuller understandings and more adequate explanations of such
events. When one considers the violent event in the context of an intimate relationship,
evidence suggests that men’s physical and sexual violence against women is often associ-
ated with a ‘constellation of abuse’ that includes a variety of additional intimidating,
aggressive and controlling acts (Pence and Paymar 1993; Dobash et al. 2000; Gondolf
2002). Physical and sexual acts of violence and the wider ‘constellation of abuse’ may
result in physical injuries as well as other related emotional and/or economic conse-
quences for victims as men seek to control and regulate the lives of women partners
(Browne, Salomon, Bassuk 1999; Campbell 1999; Lloyd and Taluc 1999; MacMillan and
Gartner 1999). Such consequences and the wider ‘constellation of abuse’ are not evi-
dent in reports about women’s violence against male partners.
Researchers who study the whole violent event, rather than a list of ‘acts’ that may have
occurred across many such events, find that women’s violence (lethal and non-lethal) is
often associated with self-defence and/or retaliation against a male partner. This fre-
quently occurs after years of physical abuse from the male partner (Berk, Berk, Loseke and
Rauma 1983; Browne 1987; Daly and Wilson 1988; Browne, Williams and Dutton 1999).
Professionals who work with male abusers also find that the violence women direct at male
partners usually, though not always, occurs in a context of ongoing violence and aggres-
sion by men directed at women (Saunders 1988; Pence and Paymar 1993; Miller 2001).

author by Mepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 17:44Report this post to the editors

"Interesting contest between a 6foot 4 male and a 5foot5 female!"

Your statement above is EXACTLY the sort of Sexist crap that people like you, who like to claim that DV against males is inconsequential, and that DV is a Female problem, spout all the time.

Obviously you've NEVER been on the recieving end of violence from a partner, otherwise you would never make such a claim. Essentially you are saying that it is up to the male to defend himself and that people like you would offer little sympathy, or indeed completely disbelieve him, simply because of his physical height

For example - take the case of the fictional 6 foot 4 male you mentioned above

1) hardly any men are actuallt 6 ft 4, so I realise you chose this height to make a convenient, exaggerated, , and deliberately misleading point

2) What is the completely fictional 6 ft 4 male suppossed to do when a (fictional) 5ft 5 female uses violence against him? How is he suppossed to react? If he goes to the law there is a very good chance that Police will act EXACTLY as sexists like you have done, and dismiss his complaint, saying soemthing like "What, a wee slip of a girl like her? Be a man!"

3) the fact that a male might be larger than a female has absolutely NOTHING to do with how any violence directed toward him from her will effect him, physically or mentally. Indeed Female are far more likely to use some sort of weapin , and therefore any height advantage the male suppossedly has is nregated by the use of a weapon

4) If at any point during the attack he physically defends himself, it is a known fact that he then becomes VERY likely to have a DV charge laid against HIM, and she then will be portrayed as a victim, not him.

THIS is one of the many reasons for the far far higher rate of under-reporting of Female-instigated DV

5) The very fact that people such as yourself use such statements such as that quoted above, is a clear signal to any male that in the event of him being a victim of DV (and at least 1 in 3 DV victims ARE Male - just because you chose to ignore that won't make it go away) people such as yourself will refuse to accept that his violent wife might actually be a real problem

Consequently the refusal of people such as yourself, and society at large, to admit that female Dv against male poartners is a REAL problem, leads to some men choosing to vioiently retaliate, since they see clearly that from the attitude of people such as yourself, and society at large, they will have no other form of redress abvailable to them

author by Mepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 17:54Report this post to the editors

"! clearly acknowledge female-perpetrated DV, however, I do contest your opinion of the ratios.
As someone who works in the field, I do feel my experience counts for something."

As someone who's female-ex-partner was not only an expert in the type of nonsense you have been peddling,
as someone who's female-ex-partner was a 'professional' in this field of 'Female-only DV-Victimhood'
and as someone who's female-ex-partner was also quite violent on occassion - I'm pretty sure your limited (probably mostly academic) 'experience' DOES NOT in anyway make you more qualified or expert on this subject

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 17:56Report this post to the editors

Yes, of course women perpetrate DV, and I have stated that a number of times, very, very clearly.
Would you please read what I actually said.
Obviously, this is an emotive issue for you and I can appreciate that if you were on the "receiving end", why it would be, however, that doesn't negate what I have to say.
A lot, if not the majority, of men who batter their wives, blame others, including her and do not take responsibility so I would advise caution when justifying men's retaliation.
It is my opinion that an increasing number of women abuse their partners. I abhor that and at no point have said otherwise.

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 18:00Report this post to the editors

Please read in detail my 'Food for thought' post. I really don't think you are listening and/or are being rational and perhaps that is based on your own direct experience.
I can see that you are very angry.
I wish you well.

author by Mepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 18:08Report this post to the editors

Stats from the British Crime Survey 2009: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb0209.pdf

  • 'Men make up 40%* (two in five) of the victims of domestic abuse.

  • Nearly as many men* as women had been victims of severe force perpetrated by their partner in 2007/08. 48% for Males versus 52% for Females [These figures correlate very closely to the figures produced by most of the studies presented by me further up the page]

  • 34 men were murdered by a partner/ex-partner compared to 72 women. The ratio is 32% : 68% in 2007/08. - A 1-to-2 murder ratio.

  • Women accounted for 'only' 5.9% of those prosecuted for domestic violence in 2007/08.' - Ergo: most of the violence by females went completely unacknowledged and completely unpunished

Men and children are being failed completely by govt policy as women perpetrators are seldom prosecuted for the same behaviour as men, why?'

author by Mepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 18:12Report this post to the editors

"Please read in detail my 'Food for thought' post. I really don't think you are listening and/or are being rational and perhaps that is based on your own direct experience."

That's a rather sly little allegation - having direct experience makes me unqualified? - wow - that's REAL arrogance, that is. Could you actually BE more patronising?

You're right about me not listening - ~I've heard your sort of nonsense all my life - yet when I actually went and researched it I found that the actual numbers proved statements such as you make, to be a lie

author by Mepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 18:18Report this post to the editors

"A lot, if not the majority, of men who batter their wives, blame others, including her and do not take responsibility so I would advise caution when justifying men's retaliation."

and had you read or understood anything I have posted you could plainly see that the majority, of FEMALES who batter their Male Partners, blame others, including HIM and do not take responsibility

Had you bothered to read you would see that I listed above the most common reason given by BOTH males and females for their violence, and that numerous sources show that the violence flows both ways and that Females are very often the instigators,.

So I would advise caution when preaching, as you have been doing from the start, that it is femlaes that are the REAL victims here, and that DV against males is not a real problem

author by Mepublication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 18:40Report this post to the editors

"I really don't think you are listening and/or are being rational and perhaps that is based on your own direct experience."

. . . is that you would never dare make such a statement to a female that had been a victim of DV

And I guess intelligent people can draw whatever conclusions they will from that

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Mon Apr 02, 2012 21:03Report this post to the editors

Please re-read my 'some food for thought' post. If you have been abused by your partner then that is terrible and I totally and utterly condemn it and have NO hesitation in doing so.
My point is a quantitative one about the ratios of DV. It seems we won't agree on it, however, I am sure if we were discussing it face to face we may be able to do so more productively.

author by Mepublication date Tue Apr 03, 2012 19:30Report this post to the editors

but you obviously paid no attention when I said it. In fact I read that paper years ago - and actally like you was foolish enough to believe it at the time - since then I have found that it is essentially a lie - a propaganda piece put out be people like you, so as to excuse themselves for refusing to acknowledge the extent of Femlae-instigated DV

Essentially that comment of yours, c&p'd from a suppossedly 'academic' paper, just says - DON'T believe MEN, they LIE. Believe the Women - they never lie

Essentially that paper say that there are NO real male victims of DV. Essentially that paper says Whenever one finds a Male victim of DV he in fact desereved it because he simple MUST have been beating her before she did anything to him.

It's essentially the same argument people make against rape victims "She MUST have done something ro deserve it"

Essentially you and the authors of that paper are just repeating the old lie that women are ALWAYS the victims,

Essentially you are as sexist as the people you rail against

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