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May 22, 2006
Contact: David Usher, <>

Males Equally at Risk of Partner Violence, But Media Bias Persists

Rockville, MD – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has just released a study that reveals teenage boys are equally at risk of suffering from dating violence. The survey found that 8.9% of boys and 8.8% of girls had suffered from partner aggression during the previous year.

The nationally-representative survey was conducted in 2003 on almost 15,000 students in grades 7-12. The survey defines dating violence as hitting, slapping, or physically hurting the partner on purpose. The study findings were published this past week in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5519a3.htm

The CDC study confirms over 100 previous studies that have found females are equally likely as males to engage in domestic violence: http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

Despite those consistent findings, the media often misreport the issue. Some media outlets inexplicably claim that women represent 85% of all abuse victims. A May 17, 2006 editorial in the Contra Costa (CA) Times (“Teen dating violence”) reported an even higher figure: “In male-female relationships, 95 percent of the victims are the girls.”

But media coverage of the domestic violence story is increasingly balanced and accurate.

An April 6 CNN story (“The other face of domestic violence”) highlighted male victims of domestic violence. A May 12 article in The Washington Times (“Family violence soars”) noted that female-to-male violence accounted for 18.2% of all violence between married and co-habiting couples, while male-to-female violence represented only 13.7% of all violence.

“Partner aggression is an important concern in our society,” notes RADAR spokesman Richard Davis. “Reporting the domestic violence story without bias or ideological blinders will be the first step in solving the problem.”

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org.

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