DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Surprisingly to some, actual statistics show that there is just as much or more domestic violence by wives against husbands as vice versa. It is just that the lesser strength of the wife typically causes less injury than that of the husband and so is comparatively under reported.
Most men, including myself, being naturally considerate and respectful towards women just probably don't think when a woman pounds her fists on a man, slaps or scratches him or hits him with a thrown object, that that rises to the level of what he considers 'violence'. However it should be recognized that if a man were to direct the exact same actions with the force against a woman the law does in fact consider that domestic violence. Thus if we are to apply the law equally to both sexes, it must be recognized that those actions by women against men must also be understood to be domestic violence. Either that or men should get a pass when they do it. Which would you prefer?
Almost all violence of husbands on wives is reactive. What reason would a husband have to strike his wife unless provoked? Yes, it is often more severe because men are stronger, that is why male domestic violence is relatively over reported and the violence of women against men is under reported.
The point is that almost all violence, other than that of seriously mentally ill persons, is reactive in the sense that it is the result of the escalation of some argument. That generally cuts both ways until the individual's violence threshold is reached. The important point with respect to domestic violence is that women often have lower violence thresholds than men. Most men have an innate reluctance to violence against women and only do so when the escalating dispute crosses their threshold of violence level. Women typically have less resistance to striking their man.
The result is that in the typical domestic violence situation it begins with an argument which escalates. It is often (but of course not always) the case that the woman's threshold of violence is then breached and she initiates some moderate level of violence, typically fist pounding, throwing objects, slapping etc. At that point the man responds in kind as his threshold is crossed and often ends the confrontation with decisive force.
As a result the woman is more likely to have visible bruises while the man may or may not show any visible signs of the confrontation. Thus the man is more likely to be charged since the woman is more likely to seek external force (police) to counter the superior force of the husband. The man generally has no reason to seek external help since he usually can handle the situation on his own due to his superior strength. Again this is a very typical and common scenario, but obviously not always the case. The result is a large under reporting of female DV.
It is also relevant to this that mothers seem to beat and physically and emotionally abuse their children as much or more than their fathers do. There have been a number of recent cases on the U.S. news of mothers even killing their children.