skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 200643 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: He Hits, She Hits: Assessing Gender Differences and Similarities in Officially Reported Intimate Partner Violence
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:30  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:328-348
Author(s): Heather C. Melton; Joanne Belknap
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 96-WT-NX-0004
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article assesses gender differences and similarities in officially reported cases of intimate partner violence.
Abstract: The research literature regarding intimate partner violence (IPV) generally comes from two main perspectives, the family violence perspective and the feminist perspective. The family violence perspective holds that men and women experience roughly the same rate of victimization within the home, particularly when the violence is in the lower intensity range. On the other hand, the feminist perspective postulates that IPV is a gendered phenomenon in which women are victimized by their male partners or ex-partners. The authors seek to clarify this debate by examining issues of perpetration, victimization, context, and consequences of IPV found within the official reports of 2,670 cases of IPV in a large Midwestern city. Results of cross-tabulations with chi-square significance tests indicated that although there were a number of gender similarities in the data, important gender differences emerged. More specifically, 86 percent of the perpetrators were men while only 14 percent were women. Furthermore, female defendants in IPV cases were much more likely to be involved in cross-complaints than were male defendants. The latter finding lends support to the argument that the main reason women use violence against their male partner is to resist the violence perpetrated against them. Another important finding shows that male defendants’ actions are more serious and cause more fear for victims than do female defendants’ actions. The authors conclude that although gender similarities did emerge from the data, the gender differences were more profound and serious; lending support to the feminist perspective of IVP. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Domestic assault
Index Term(s): Female victims; Gender issues; Male female victim comparisons; Male survivors; Police reports; Theory
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.