Is domestic violence really the same if a woman is the perpetrator, à la Marnie Simpson?

Marnie Simpson sparked outrage this week when she revealed that she kicked boyfriend Ricky Rayment in the stomach. Many people insist domestic violence isn't a laughing matter, while others believe it's different if it's a women doing the hitting. Our writers go head-to-head in a debate...

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by Closer staff |
Published on

Closer writer Jack White thinks it's incomparable...

You cannot compare a man hitting a woman, to a woman hitting a man. That would be like saying that two children having a fight is the same thing as a man hitting a child.

The main factor is your strength and how you use it, and there is no denying that in the majority of cases a man can do much more damage than a woman.

While violence is definitely not acceptable, whatever the circumstance, I still don't think it's comparable when the gender roles are reversed.

If a woman was to lash out at her boyfriend/husband during an argument, she probably wouldn't cause much harm to him.

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But time and time again we hear stories of women being mentally and physically abused by their male counter parts, often ending up in hospital or worse.

However it's more than likely a man would brush off a slap from his girlfriend/wife.

In fact, leading domestic abuse charity Women's Aid agree that it's mainly women who are at risk of violence.

For example, more than two women a week are killed by current or ex-partners, and at least one in four women in the UK will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Ray Rice lost a $40 million contract this week after footage leaked of him attacking his partner
Ray Rice lost a $40 million contract this week after footage leaked of him attacking his partner

Last year, almost 80 women in the UK were killed as a result of domestic violence, while under 20 men were fatal victims.

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Women's Aid says: "The vast majority of victims of domestic violent are women and children, and women are also considerably more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of violence, and sexual abuse."

This brings me onto my final point. Can you really see a woman forcing a man to do something he didn't want to do?

To sum up: if a woman loses her temper with a man, he probably won't end up in hospital. Switch things around and the consequences could be fatal.

Closer writer Kayleigh Dray believes it's wrong no matter who is throwing the punches…

"Women are weaker so they can do less harm," argues Jack - but this school of thought is, quite frankly, outdated and sexist. Simple as.

Firstly, it presumes that women cannot do men any real harm, which is ridiculous. And, as any man or woman who has been belittled or controlled or intimidated by their partner will tell you, the size of the bruises, the number of teeth lost, or the amount of blood spilled is NOT the only way to measure the effect violence has upon another human being.

After all, the scars which we can't see always last far longer than the ones we do.

Why should gender have any bearing in this argument?

Secondly, it sets an unfair double-standard. Why is it okay for a small woman to lash out at her husband when, if the tables were turned, we'd be appalled?

Let's put it into context; Kelly Brook has been joking about hitting her ex-boyfriends, but let's say that it was Danny Cipriani who was laughing about hitting her when she got out of hand. Would that be acceptable?

Exactly.

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One in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, compared to one in four women. Every third victim of domestic violence is a man. And, by trivialising domestic violence cases where the man is the victim, we are making it harder and harder for these men to speak up and get help.

It goes without saying that violence does NOT make relationship problems go away - and, by slapping or smacking our partner, we are NOT asserting our role as the 'dominant one' in the relationship. Far from it, actually. By lashing out, we show that we have no respect for ourselves or our partner - and, in fact, have no other means of controlling the situation.

When women hit and humiliate their partners, we undermine all the efforts of domestic violence campaigners - and we offer abusive partners an easy 'get out of jail' excuse: all they have to say is "she hit me first".

Violence does not belong in any relationship - and, regardless of gender, it is abuse. Full stop.

Which of our writers do you agree with?

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