In a recently published study reported in the American Journal of Public Health, almost 25% of people surveyed said there was some violence in their relationship.
According to both men and women surveyed, 50% of this violence was reciprocal, that is, involved both parties, and in those cases the woman was more likely to have been the first to strike.
This study does not minimize the very real problem of serious domestic violence – the classic male batterer. But, it does underscore the idea that most intimate partner violence should not be equated with severe battering.
Domestic disputes that turn physical because of retaliation and escalation do not have the same causes or the same consequences as male battering.
In fact, it has been our experience that most intimate partner violence is motivated by anger. On the other hand, chronic battering may be motivated by other factors beyond simple anger – such as the extreme need for power, control and domination of the other.
For intimate partner violence, anger management is the ideal answer while batterers need to be in much more structured and intensive programs which offer many other therapeutic and administrative components.