Women Get Off Easy for DV Crimes Due to Sexism

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Western societies value the lives of men less than those of women and more severely punish men than women for similar crimes. This constitutes a form of government institutionalized sexism against men. In the process, this sexism tends to legitimize and enable violence by women against men and children. It has been well-established for decades that partner violence is most often mutual, with both partners committing acts of violence upon each other. Pretending otherwise, as Western societies do, simply enables and encourages women to assault, victimize, and even murder their partners because they know the consequences to them for their crimes are often minimal. Sexism simply helps perpetuate the problem of partner violence and its related problems of child abuse, divorce, and mental illness.

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Female DV Offenders Benefit from Gender Bias

Consider the March 2009 case of Surrey, British Columbia wife Ellie Cunningham whose violent assault against her husband Adam led to his death. Canadian authorities are likely to drop the charges against the wife because she managed to kill her husband, the only witness to the crime. They are doing this even though Statistics Canada government data shows very clearly that women are often abusing men and it is seldom reported. The message sent is that it’s OK for women to abuse and even kill men.

A recent University of Washington study released in February 2009 pointed out how men in are consistently given tougher sentences for similar felonies than women.

Government Statistics Show DV is Commonly Committed by Both Genders

Canadian governmental statistics in a report in 2000 showed that domestic violence against men about as common or more common than against women, yet DV against men is reported at only about 1/4 the rate of DV against women:

  • Current partners: More men DV victims
    303,000 men (54%), 259,000 women (last 5 years). 190,000 men, 121,000 women kicked, hit, bitten, hit with an object, beaten or choked. 51,000 men, 30,000 women slapped.
  • All partners: 44% men
    690,000 women (56%), 259,000 men (last 5 years)
  • Overall rates similar
    Prevalence—DV in last 5 years: 8% for women, 5% for men.
  • In the last year: Overall rates similar
    Prevalence—DV in last year: 3% for women, 2% for men.
    Men: 38-50% in Canada, U.S., Great Britain
    Canada: Women 3%, men 2%; U.S. 1.3% to 0.9%; Britain both 4.2%
  • Men more likely to sustain major injury or death in reported DV
    Of incidents reported to police, 3% of men and only 2% of women sustained major physical injury or death.
  • Women report more often, men report more serious offenses
    Similar proportions of men and women reported stalking. Men are victims in 30% of more serious crimes like murder in the second degree, aggravated assault and extortion.
  • 82% of DV against men not reported to police
    Of those reported to police, 50% were reported, not by the man but by someone else. 78% of reported DV against women was reported by the victim.

A November 1994 paper entitled Violence Between Intimates by the US Department of Justice pointed out that for domestic violence crimes, conviction rates are lower and sentencing for women is less severe than for men:

There are differences in outcomes of cases where a woman is accused of killing her husband and those where a man is accused of killing his wife.

In spousal murder cases in large urban counties in 1988, women defendants were more likely than men defendants to have their cases:

  • diverted, rejected or dismissed (12% vs. 9%)
  • result in an acquittal (13% vs. 1%)

Of those accused of killing their spouses:

  • 41% of the men and 31% of the women were convicted at trial
  • 46% of the men and 38% of the women pleaded guilty

For convicted murderers, the most serious conviction offense was

  • first-degree murder for 18% of the women who killed their husbands and 24% of the men who killed their wives
  • voluntary/nonnegligent manslaughter for 54% of the women who killed their husband and 37% of the men who killed their wives

Most convicted murderers are sentenced to a prison term, regardless of their relationship to the victim.

The study of murder cases in large urban counties in 1988 found some sentencing differences between murderers convicted of killing their spouses and other murderers:

  • Of the men convicted of killing their wives, 94% were sentenced to prison, including 15% who were sentenced to life terms. Women who killed their husbands were less likely to receive a prison sentence: 81% were sentenced to prison, including 8% who received a life term.
  • Spousal murderers were more likely than nonfamily murderers to be sentenced to probation rather than incarceration (9% vs. 3%). Of the women convicted of killing their husbands, 16% were sentenced to probation compared to 5% of the men who killed their wives.

Of those convicted of spouse murders, men receive longer prison sentences than women. In large urban counties, the average prison sentence length on a murder or non-negligent manslaughter conviction (excluding life sentences or the death penalty) was:

  • 17.5 years for men convicted of killing their wives
  • 6.2 years for women convicted of killing their husbands

Western Anti-Male Gender Bias is Root Cause of Many Injustices

As for why this blatant bias exists in the “justice” system, it stems from the latent anti-male bias of Western societies. Author Warren Farrell, Ph.D., in his book The Myth of Male Power, points out that the myths perpetuated by “victim feminism” cover up many facts that show males are valued less than females in Western societies and are often treated unfairly. Nearly all of the workers in the most 25 dangerous professions are males. Men’s careers and lives can be trashed by allegations of sexual harassment or child abuse, even when unsubstantiated and made by women with track records of similar unsubstantiated complaints against men. Men are punished in criminal courts more severely than women for similar crimes. Girls get preferential treatment and assistance in schools over boys, supposedly to “level the playing field”. Yet college entrance statistics make it clear that today more women attend college than men. Farrell makes his points without creating or advocating “victim masculinism” that would be the direct opposite to the modern “victim feminist” movement.

Author David Thomas expands upons Farrell’s work in his book Not Guilty: The Case in Defense of Men. He adds statistics, cases, and quotes from real people to further build the case that Western society has an unfair double standard against men. For instance, one of those quotes is a female DV worker justifying why it’s OK for her to abuse her fiance:

I argue with my fiance, I’ve slapped him round the face…
But I’m five foot five and he’s six foot three.

When female workers in domestic violence justify their own violence against men, it’s clear there is a serious problem.

Gender Equality is a Good Goal

Laws and rules should be enforced without gender bias. But this is not at all the case in Western nations. While they are not as blatantly sexist and extremist as the anti-female bias in Muslim nations such as Taliban tactics of banning education for women and stoning women to death upon accusations of adultery, Western gender bias is destructive of families, individuals, and society in its own way. It’s time for real gender equality. Without it, domestic violence and a host of other problems are simply going to continue indefinitely.

Further Reading

Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate (Point/Counterpoint)

Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women

The WAR AGAINST BOYS: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men

Canadian Wife Assaults Husband Who Later Dies

State courts unfair to men, minorities, UW study alleges

Women can inflict domestic violence, too

US DOJ: Violence Between Intimates

Battered Men – The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence:
835,000 men battered each year, silent too long …

Family violence in Canada: a statistical profile – 2000
Intimate partner violence

Family Violence in America: The Truth about Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

Filing for DV TRO Against Abusive Spouse

False Feminists and Abusive and Murderous Women

Erin Pizzey, Domestic Violence Pioneer

Domestic Violence – Are You Being Abused?

Female Violence Against Males

Women commit more than 70% of single-partner DV

The Family Terrorist

Working with Violent Women

References Examining Assaults by Women on Their Spouses or Male Partners:
An Annotated Bibliography
Martin S. Fiebert, Department of Psychology
California State University, Long Beach

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