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Calgary Herald - Monday, November 6, 2000
Researcher claims men, women equal abusers
By LINDA SLOBODIAN
Data supported by Statistics Canada study
Research proves men in Canada and the U.S.
are victims of domestic violence almost as much as women are,
says a sociologist who has written extensively on the subject.
But data is “covered up” by those with
sinister agendas, said Murray Straus; co-director of the New
Hampshire based Family Research Laboratory.
Photo: Murray Straus
Those responsible for the cover up “are from
the ‘all men are bastards’ branch of feminism,” said Straus, who
spoke Sunday at the Men’s Educational Support Association family
violence seminar, held at MacEwan Student Centre.
“I find it very awkward because I think of
myself as a feminist in the sense that I want to see equality
between men and women,” said Straus, who has published five
books and written 75 articles for scientific journals on the
topic of family violence.
“We have all over the United States and
Canada people who have gathered data on assaults by women and
have not published it, including one person in my own lab,” said
“They’ll be accused of anti-women bias. And
the repercussions can be very severe. I’ve had one of my
colleagues, for example, there was a campaign to keep her from
being promoted and receiving tenure because she published this
sort of data,” he said.
Straus cited a study released by Statistics
Canada in July.
“The rate in the Stats Canada study is seven
per cent of men and eight per cent of women are assaulted by
their partner. So it’s practically the same,” said Straus.
The report surveyed 25,874 Canadians in 1999.
Victims were married or in common-law relationships and
experienced at least one incident of violence ranging from
threats to beatings and assault with weapons.
“I believe that’s true. That’s what we have
found in repeated surveys starting in 1975. In the U.S. we get
about 10 per cent of men severely assaulting a partner and about
10 per cent of women. It’s within one per cent. For both minor
and severe assaults the rates are approximately the same.”
Straus plotted the rates of men assaulting
their partners between 1985 and 1992, and said because of
awareness campaigns and support services there has been a
decrease in female victims.
“Assaults by women have stayed the same.
Women are not getting the message because there is no message
that it’s morally wrong and criminal for women to hit their
He said it also places women at risk. “When
she slaps, she sets the stage for him to hit her. The safety of
women alone demands we make a big deal of women hitting men.”
Straus acknowledged women generally suffer
greater fear and injuries.
“Men are three inches taller, 30 pounds
heavier, and better developed muscularly,” he said. That is
precisely why they don’t report being victims of domestic
“There’s added embarrassment, the myth that a real man should
be able to not let this happen.”
© Copyright 2000 Calgary Herald