35% of men living in Moscow and the surrounding region have at least once been hit by their wives. At the same time 37% have laid hands on the female inhabitants of the capital. Sociologists say that when the topic of violence against women in the home is discussed, one should bear in mind that women also beat their husbands.
According to sociologists, female aggression is most often a reply to the violent behaviour of their husbands. 93% of women who have attacked their husband at least once have themselves been victims of beatings from him. Moreover, the consequences of being beaten for men are, as a rule, not especially serious.
At the same time, experts note that in Moscow and the Moscow region a unique situation has arisen. Whereas in Russia as a whole, women are seriously injured as a result of beatings 4 times more often than men, in the Moscow region husbands suffer just as often as their wives. As Komsomol’skaya Pravda reports, there are 21% fewer battered wives in Moscow than the average for Russia , yet there are 5% more battered husbands.
Psychologists say that women lash out more often because their mind is more volatile and they are much more emotional. When they lash out, this causes conflicts, therefore women have to accept a share of the responsibility for domestic rows.
According to research by sociologists, women admitted more often than men that they lash out against their family. But the reason for this “superiority” is not the increased aggression of the fairer sex, but their acute sensitivity. Women assign more significance to these things: what for women is lashing out, for men just means “having a word”. Furthermore, this aggression in women is often a reaction to the behaviour of their husbands.
In the Moscow region the most frequently made reproach is that “you work too much”. In the results of a Russia-wide survey, this did not even figure in the top five most common reproaches. In the eyes of Russian women their husbands are most at fault for neglecting their domestic duties, whilst women in the Moscow region argue more often with their husbands due to their drunkenness.
It is worth noting that, according to sociological research, women significantly exaggerate the intensity of their husband’s work. When participants in the survey were asked to compare which member of the family works more intensely, the amount of women who said that their husband lays it all out at work more was 31% higher than those who said that their own work was more intense. Men viewed their own work much more modestly, as only 7% more men thought that they worked harder than their wives.
It is no coincidence that reproaches about husbands not doing enough housework and not loving their wives came next to each other in the ranking list. For many women this is one and the same thing: if he does not help around the house, it means that he does not love her, say specialists. Both women and men share this approach to the same extent.
According to data of the human rights’ organization ‘Amnesty International’, 70% of Russian women incur psychological, sexual and physical violence from their husbands. ‘Amnesty International’ is worried by the high level of tolerance in the Russian Federation towards the problem of domestic violence against women. The police, judges and often women themselves try to explain and justify it, stating alcoholism, poverty and housing problems as reasons for the manifestation of domestic violence, and many people do not view domestic violence as a crime which should be punished by the criminal courts.
Representatives of ‘Amnesty International’, with reference to data from law-enforcement bodies, reported last year that in 2003 in Russia nine thousand women died at the hands of their husbands and male relatives.
Translated by James Platt