How common is female domestic violence against men?

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When Emma Roberts was arrested for attacking her fiancé Evan Peters, we decided to investigate just how many victims of domestic violence are men

Emma Roberts and Evan Peters

© Getty - Handbag

Earlier this year we were shocked when news broke that 22-year-old actress, Emma Roberts, was also arrested for domestic violence. The star was turned over to police in Vancouver on 7 July after a fight with now-fiancé Evan Peters turned nasty.

According to reports Evan suffered a bloody nose and a bite mark, but he refused to press charges following the incident. Photos later emerged of a devastated Emma crying hysterically into Evan's chest, obviously distraught that the charges against her were been made public knowledge.

One source told Us Weekly, "Emma is very dramatic. When they are good, they are crazy in love. Their romance is pretty extreme. They just behave in a way that's very passionate."

But when does passionate turn into dangerous and violent? Despite the common misconception that all victims of domestic violence are women, a study in 2010 showed that 40% of domestic violence victims are male.

According to men's rights campaign group Parity, male victims of assault are ignored by police, have fewer refuges to flee too and often have to watch their attacker go free.

Campaigner John Mays, revealed, "Male victims are almost invisible to the authorities such as the police, who rarely can be prevailed upon to take the man's side. Their plight is largely overlooked by the media, in official reports and in government policy, for example in the provision of refuge places – 7,500 for females in England and Wales but only 60 for men."

In a recent study of 32 nations by the University of New Hampshire, men and women were found to be equally likely to initiate partner violence. A similar study at the University of Florida found women are more likely to "stalk, attack and abuse" their partners because "the nature of criminality has been changing for females, and this change is reflected in intimate relationships as well."

No matter what you think about this issue, the facts speak for themselves. In 2011, women accounted for 7% of all convictions for domestic violence - a 150% increase in five years.

ITV soap Coronation Street took the brave step to reveal this changing face of domestic violence in a storyline focussing on Tyrone Dobb's repeated beatings by fiancée Kirsty Soames earlier this year. The plot line reached its dramatic conclusion and finally shed some light on female violence.

Although domestic violence against women is still more common and, perhaps, more deadly than other types of domestic abuse, it is clear that ignoring violence against men isn't the answer either.

An end to all domestic violence - without the labels - is the real target to aim for.

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