Perpetration of violence and violent victimisation in the lives of adult men

The answers to the questions about the prevalence of various forms of partner violence [1]show that the most common form of violence are insults and humiliation, committed by nearly one-third of men against their partners. In one-fourth of cases, men deliberately intimidated their partners. Slapping and throwing objects at the partner happened in one-fifth of cases. A very widespread form of violence is economic violence, in the form of prohibition to work. The least prevalent form of violence is the one that is physically most dangerous, i.e. inflicting physical injuries and threatening with weapons (93.2% of respondents answered “never”).

Comparing the answers of women and men reveals that women are more likely to report violence than men, which could be expected.

If we exclude the answers “never”, it becomes clear to what extent there is no clear connection between the severity and the prevalence of a particular type of violence. In fact, one would expect that the mildest forms of violence are most prevalent, while the most serious forms are least prevalent. However, the most prevalent form of violence reported by women is insulting and humiliation (the husband has made her feel bad). This fact can be associated with a high level of misogyny that has been a constituent part of the local patriarchy over a long period of time (Blagojević, 1994), which is further enhanced by the “crisis of masculinity” (Hughson, 2017).

If the prevalence of violence is calculated (by summing up all the answers related to any incidence of violence), which is the reverse side of “never”, we get a clearer picture of the prevalence of violence and the relevant differences between women and men. However, we cannot conclude whether these are the same or different men on the basis of these data, which means that we can get a picture of the prevalence of violence, but not the share of abusers in the surveyed context with respect to severe forms of violence. In fact, it can be assumed that the perpetrators of more severe forms of violence committed also some milder forms of violence, but, as shown in the case of insulting, this connection is not so simple and clear. The respondents with higher levels of education answered “never” for all forms of violence more often than the less educated ones, but this connection was not statistically significant.

Those who answered that they committed some form of violence were asked whether they had committed some form of violence over the past 12 months.[2] Over the past 12 months, every fifth man who has committed violence in the intimate partner relationship threatened his partner with a weapon, while one in four of these men insulted his partner.


A special group of questions addressed the sexual intercourse that was not based on voluntary consent. About nine-tenths of men stated that they had not forced to sex any girl/woman (90.5%), while one in twenty men did it once (5.4%). The most common form of violence is related to the situation in which men have a sexual relationship with a woman or girl who is under the influence of alcohol and cannot clearly express her will. Every fiftieth man has participated in a group rape over the past 12 months. In general, about one-tenth of men in the sample have experience of forcing into sexual intercourse, under different circumstances and of different persons. There is no link between age and education on the one hand and forcing to sexual intercourse on the other hand.


 If violence is viewed as a whole, i.e. as violence to which both men and women have been exposed over the past 3 months, it is evident that men are more often victims or attacked, primarily because of violence in the public sphere. Thus, every eighth man was hit over the past 3 months; every twenty-fifth man was threatened with a cold weapon, while every fiftieth man was threatened with a pistol. As many as 22.3% of the youngest men (8-24 years old) were hit over the past three months, as well as 26.9% of man with the lowest level of education.

Regarding the law regulating violence against women, men mainly believe that this “law makes it too easy for a woman to accuse a man of violence” (39.5%). In 30.8% of cases men disagree with the statement that the law is too severe, as opposed to 50.0% of women. 43.2% of men, and as many as 59.4% of women, consider that the law does not sufficiently protect victims of violence. Overall, there are differences between women and men based on gender solidarity.


[1]  Only the men who stated that they were in an intimate partnership or marriage were asked this question (a total of 615 out of 1,060).

[2] At first glance, it is not logical that the incidence of violence over the past 12 months is higher than prevalence. However, only those who had confirmed to have committed the specified form of violence, at least once, were asked the question about the “past 12 months”.