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Ray Rice Isn't Alone: 1 in 5 Men Admits Hitting Wives, Girlfriends

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Close to one in five men admits he has hit, slapped, kicked or otherwise attacked a wife or girlfriend, researchers say. It’s a rare look at domestic violence not from the point of view of the victim, but from the aggressor’s side. The data is a decade old but it comes from face-to-face interviews with men and might suggest the true number of men who have physically abused intimate partners is even higher, the University of Michigan researchers say. And it’s of great interest after the release of video in which football player Ray Rice punches his wife, who was his fiancée at the time, in an elevator.

Dr. Vijay Singh and colleagues used data from a larger national survey. The 500 men were asked: “Over the course of your relationship, how often have you ever done any of these things (pushed, grabbed, or shoved; threw something; slapped or hit; kicked, bit, or hit with a fist; beat up; choked; burned or scalded; threatened with a knife or gun) to your current spouse/partner?” Nineteen percent admitted they had done so at least once, the team reported in Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. “If men could enter responses in a private way, (the percentage) could have been even higher,” Singh noted. And that was just physical violence. “It did not ask about emotional abuse. It did not ask about sexual abuse,” he said.

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