Steve Hansen’s Right – Domestic Abuse Isn’t Gendered


Steve Hansen, coach of the All Blacks, has got himself into hot water in New Zealand by insisting that domestic abuse isn’t a gendered matter. This has, of course, set off the shrieking harpies who want to insist that it is so! It’s those evil men who harm the women in their lives and only that. Which it isn’t, there are indeed men who suffer domestic abuse.

So, Hansen’s right:

All Blacks coach criticised for saying domestic violence ‘not a gender thing’

The underlying truth of the statement is easy enough to prove. Does domestic abuse take place – sometimes – in same sex relationships? Yes, yes it does. Therefore it’s not purely a gender thing, is it?

Hansen said, having been a policeman he had seen a lot of domestic violence and that it was not just restricted to men assaulting women. Women also assaulted men, he said. “It’s not a gender thing.”

This is true. Given the usual difference in musculatures the forms of assault might differ on average but there is no doubt that this works both ways.

Ang Jury, chief executive of the New Zealand Women’s Refuge, told the Guardian that all statistics pointed to domestic violence in the country being a “gendered phenomenon”.

I doubt that New Zealand is wildly different from the UK. Meaning that it isn’t purely gendered:

In 2009-10, women were the victims of 73% of domestic violence incidents. In 81% of
incidents, the offender was male (Home Office, 2011)

That’s from the shrieking harpy side of the story and even they’re agreeing that it’s not exclusively one gender preying upon the other.

The most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated that 1.3 million women and 695,000 men experienced domestic abuse in the last year.

We get roughly the same two thirds/one third there.

Domestic violence isn’t just a gender thing, is it?

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JdLRhoda Klapp Recent comment authors
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Rhoda Klapp
Rhoda Klapp

Men don’t report. They leave or top themselves.


I don’t have a citation handy, but I’ve read that some studies actually report that women initiate physical violence more often than men do. Men do statistically tend to cause more serious injuries to women than the reverse, but to paint women as innocent little victims in every situation is a complete fantasy.