The PASK Project

May 2013 saw the publication in the journal Partner Abuse of the most comprehensive review of domestic violence research literature ever conducted. This unparalleled three-year research project was conducted by 42 scholars at 20 universities and research centres: The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project, or PASK. John Hamel, PASK Director, said, “The purpose of this project is to bring together, in a rigorously evidence-based, transparent and methodical manner, existing knowledge about partner abuse, with reliable, up-to-date research that can easily be accessed by anyone. PASK is grounded on the premises that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not to their own facts; that these facts should be available to everyone, and that domestic violence intervention and policy ought to be based upon these facts rather than upon ideology and special interests.” This is clearly a very direct, and absolutely justified, criticism of the prevailing feminist control in the handling of partner abuse cases.

The headline finding of the PASK review is that “women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, as well as engage in controlling behaviours, at comparable rates to men“.

Key numerical results are summarised here. This includes the following conclusions,

  • Among large population samples, 57.9% of inter-partner violence (IPV) reported was bi-directional, 42% unidirectional; 13.8% of the unidirectional violence was male to female (MFPV), 28.3% was female to male (FMPV)
  • Among school and college samples, percentage of bidirectional violence was 51.9%; 16.2% was MFPV and 31.9% was FMPV
  • Male and female IPV is perpetrated from similar motives – primarily to get back at a partner for emotionally hurting them, because of stress or jealousy, to express anger and other feelings that they could not put into words or communicate, and to get their partner’s attention.
  • Eight studies directly compared men and women in the power/control motive and subjected their findings to statistical analyses. Three reported no significant gender differences and one had mixed findings. One paper found that women were more motivated to perpetrate violence as a result of power/control than were men, and three found that men were more motivated; however, gender differences were weak
  • None of the studies reported that anger/retaliation was significantly more of a motive for men than women’s violence; instead, two papers indicated that anger was more likely to be a motive for women’s violence as compared to men.
  • Jealousy/partner cheating seems to be a motive to perpetrate violence for both men and women.

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