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Some researchers believe the actual number of male victims is likely to be greater than law enforcement statistics suggest due to the high number of men who do not report their abuse.
IPV against men is a controversial area of research, with terms such as gender symmetry, battered husband syndrome and bidirectional IPV provoking a great deal of debate.
Although the study found that lesbians experienced IPV at higher rates than heterosexual women, it did acknowledge that the majority of IPV perpetrated against both men and women was carried out by men.
CDC Director Tom Frieden stated, "This report suggests that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in this country suffer a heavy toll of sexual violence and stalking committed by an intimate partner." In New Zealand, the twenty-one year Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, published in 1999, reported that of their sample of 1,037 people, 27% of women and 34% of men reported being physically abused by a partner, with 37% of women and 22% of men reporting they had perpetrated IPV.
In England and Wales, the 1995 "Home Office Research Study 191" surveyed 10,844 people (5,886 women and 4,958 men) between the ages of 16 and 59, finding that for the twelve-month period preceding the survey, 4.2% of men had experienced IPV.
This can lead to men not considering themselves victims, and/or not realizing the IPV they are experiencing is a crime. However, when a man called, the woman was ordered out of the house in 0% of cases.
Advocates of battered women argue that proponents of female-perpetrated IPV are part of an anti-feminist backlash, and are attempting to undermine the problem of male-perpetrated IPV by championing the cause of the battered man over the much more serious cause of the battered woman.
On the other hand, those who believe IPV against men to be a significant problem argue that radical feminists have purposely tried to suppress research so as to further their own ideology; if female-perpetrated IPV is accepted, much of the foundational feminist theory behind domestic violence in general, specifically that IPV is an extension of patriarchal dominance, would be shown to be invalid.
These reports have consistently recorded significantly higher rates of both male and female victims of IPV than the standard crime surveys.
In the case of male victims, the figures range from a high of 4.5% in 2007/2008 In the Republic of Ireland, a 2005 report carried out by the National Crime Council found that 15% of women and 6% of men had suffered severe IPV in their lifetime, equating to roughly 213,000 women and 88,000 men.
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When a woman called, the man was threatened with immediate arrest in 28.2% of cases; when a man called, the woman was threatened with arrest in 0% of cases.