Objective. This article reviews the available data on violence in women and analyses causes, prevalence and offender characteristics.
Review. The frequency of violence towards one 's partner is similar in men and women but the patterns of violent behaviour differ. Violence in intimate relations is found in every social stratum, geographical latitude and culture. The view that men are aggressive and women are helpless is not true. Women usually resort to physical aggression as acts of self-defence or out of revenge for the man 's attack. Most of the violence offemale offenders is directed towards their children as the more accessible and less resistant victims.
Conclusions. Female violence which is mainly directed against men is becoming an increasingly frequent phenomenon although it is less well documented than male violence against women. The preferred mode of female violence against men is psychological violence. Compared with men, women direct their violence against children much more frequently.