Police Arrest Reports verses Conflict Tactic Scale

PAR  v.  CTS

August 2012

Limitations of the CTS manner of data collection for domestic violence statistics1

The National Clearinghouse on family violence uses Police Arrest Reports due to the limitations of the CTS manner of collecting data, some of the errors with CTS are;


  • CTS provide no attention to context of the violence; why did it happen. What were the circumstances that lead up to the violence?
  • CTS does not look at the issue of how many times the violence occurred before it becomes a police report.
  • CTS does not differentiate between a slap or injury; both are counted as an incident of domestic violence.
  • CTS has no control group from a non clinical population.
  • CTS uses no control group differentiating between those who called the police for help and those who did not call the police.
  • CTS does not capture any ongoing systematic pattern of abuse and violence over many years. Typically CTS looks only at incidents over a period of one year.
  • CTS simply counts acts of violence.
  • CTS does not take into account of the circumstances under which these acts occur, usually the need of one partner wanting control and power over the other partner
  • CTS does not take into account who initiates the violence.
  • CTS does not take into account the relative size and strength of the people involved.
  • CTS does not adequately ascertain the motivation of the violence.
  • CTS does not take into account rapes.
  • CTS does not demonstrate how the violence may be used to instrumentally to control or subdue the other partner.
  • CTS does not take into account men’s socialization men receive “never to hit a woman” and places those who’s nature is being violent verses those men who may have had a violent episode which is outside their natural behaviour.
  • CTS does not differentiate between domestic conflict, domestic violence and injury caused by domestic violence.
  • CTS relies on the retrospection of the victim over the period of the past year. Long-term memory maybe unreliable because accurate memory is reduced over time.
  • CTS will ask the participant to estimate over the period rather than determining an accurate accounting of incidents.
  • CTS does not measure the consequences of injury due to physical assaults.
  • CTS does not take into account emotional abuse; for example consistent nagging.
  • CTS does not take into account control-orientated violence.
  • CTS lumps together different forms of assault where a simple slap is considered equal with an injury due to the simple assault.
  • CTS does not take that a spouse’s murder victim is unable to participate in a CTS study. Likewise the murderer cannot participate in the study since both partners must be cohabitating during the evaluation process of the CTS study.
  • CTS does not include murder victims.
  • CTS does not include sexual assault in its definition of domestic violence.
  • only includes violence by a current partner.
  • CTS does not adequately measures rates of serious injury due to the violence.
  • CTS does not include a manner to measure degree of control, injury or terror.
  • CTS does not include withholding sexual intimacy as a form of violence.
  • CTS does not demonstrate that person offences have been steadily increasing.


Limitations of the Police Arrest Record (PAR) manner of data collection for domestic violence statistics

Police Arrest Reports (PAR) and Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) data collection are two sources of information which demonstrates different rates of domestic violence – in part they are measuring two different things and use different sets of measurements.

Typically, women shelters women’s groups and police, who want to blame and vilify men or in order to maintain their domestic violence funding will approve using PAR over CTS.

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that most shelters and domestic violence centers are run by gender political feminist types who have strong gender biases, or by women who were victims of domestic violence themselves and only have their personal experience with partner abuse to form their world view. Both equity and gender political feminists say they believe in basic civil rights and equal opportunity for women, yet equity feminists tend to focus on ending double standards between men and women, emphasize the similarities between the genders, and believe that equal rights also means equal responsibility and accountability for all adults, both females and males.

Gender political feminists, on the other hand, tend to emphasize the social and innate differences between the genders. They tend to assert that men and women are from two different planets instead of planet earth, sharing little in common. Because gender political feminists tend to strongly emphasize the differences between men and women they tend to embrace new double standards between the sexes. This leads them to support the idea that female offenders of spousal abuse should be treated differently than male offenders by law enforcement, the judicial system and therapists. They tend to make more excuses for the adult behavior of female perpetrators.

The bumper sticker that reads, “There is no excuse for domestic violence,” ought to read for the gender political feminist, “There is no excuse for domestic violence, unless you are a woman.” This is an analogy to the line in Aldous Huxley’s book “Animal “Farm: “…all animals are equal; but some animals are more equal than others.”

What gender political feminists fail to understand, or purposefully avoid, is that whenever you make an excuse for the adult behavior of a woman you are juvenilizing her, treating her like a child or infant. This is the very attitude that equity feminists have been fighting so hard to correct.

The first form of opposition gender political feminists employ is to ignore or discredit any research data that suggests women and men assault each other at nearly the same rate. Although archival research, (data which comes from hospital’s emergency room visits, arrests reports, district attorney cases, etc.) indicate that between 13-15 percent of the victims of spousal assaults are against men (Bennett, 1997; Brown, Dec. 7, 1997; CDJ, 1997; Beaupre, April 20, 1997), most survey research over the past twenty-five years continues to show that between 35-50 percent of victims of spousal assault are male (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998; Straus, 1978; Steinmetz, 1978; Straus, M. A., & Gelles, R., 1986; Elliot, D. S. et al., 1985; Malcolm, G., 1994; Dunn, K., 1994; Coochey, J., 1995; Carrado et al., 1996).

The gender feminist counter these statistics by saying several things. They say that these studies typically do not address injury levels or the context in which the assault took place. They then attack the methodology of the studies themselves, especially the  Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) which was developed by Straus and his colleagues at the University of New Hampshire and used in many studies. They also like to attack the research credibility of Straus himself, a researcher who has authored or coauthored well over a hundred articles and thirty books. After studying the work of other researchers like Gelles, Steinmetz, George, Elliott, Sommer; it is obvious to come to the realization that there are many other researchers that have found nearly an equal assault rate. And although the data does suggest that there are more women who have various forms of injuries than men, this does not mean that men are not as seriously injured by their female partners at a rate worthy of social concern.

Women are almost twice as likely to use an object as men when they assault their partner, which can equalize the level of injury men sustain (Straus and Gelles, 1986). It is amazing that those who only want to emphasize the level of physical injury against women will then go on to say in the next sentence that verbal, emotional and psychological abuse can have even more damaging effects on women than physical abuse. But they never discuss the verbal, emotion, or psychological abuse many men experience from their wives or girlfriends everyday as something worthy of focus.

In the Sacramento Bee (Stanton, Aug. 5, 1998) it was reported that 1 in 3 women treated in hospital emergency rooms had suffered some form of domestic abuse. Yet, a closer look at the actual report (Dearwater, S. R., 1998) shows that only 1 in 50 (2%) women actually came to the emergency department for injuries that they received by their intimate partners. So where did they come up with 1 in 3 women as victims of spousal abuse? It came by asking the women if they had ever been “emotionally or physically abused by a partner in their lifetime?” Thirty-six percent of the women who came to the emergency department answered this question, “Yes.” This “yes” was then translated into the statistic that these women were using the emergency department due to domestic violence.

Two points should be made here;

  • first the study only asked these questions of women who came to the emergency department, not men, which is typical,
  • second, it is quite conceivable that if they had asked all the men who come to the emergency department if they had ever been “emotionally or physically abused by a partner in their lifetime” that 36% of the men would have also answered “Yes” to this question. This is the problem with research funding that only studies female victim of spousal abuse; single gender verses dual gender survey.


All dual gender research studies demonstrate gender symmetry, both men and women are equally victims of DV, this can be found at http://www.familyofmen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/StatCan-dv-stats-11.doc  but CPS Arrest Reports demonstrate a gender bias of less than arrest record of 20% women, which is different to what the science of DV demonstrates.

The problem with the ‘domestic violence movement’ is that it has become a gender feminist political movement more than an agency for helping all victims of domestic violence equally and with the same concern. Although feminists have indeed helped many women, they have done so at the expense of men who are also victims of abuse.

While the government of Canada provides a plethora of funding to women’s programs to provide research studies diminishing male victims of domestic violence there is no funding available to others to demonstrate the validity of CTS and the truth of male victims of female perpetrated domestic violence. The Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, $10 million 1993 “Violence Against Women Survey” used the CTS method of researching violence against women.

PAR demonstrates the number of people arrested and demonstrates that the majority of those arrested are men. In comparison, 85% of those arrested are men and only 15% arrested are women. It goes beyond any type of logic that relates the number of men arrested for domestic violence to the actual number of women who are victims of domestic violence. The arrest reports have become equivalent with the understanding this rate describes the rate of violence against women. Correlating between men who were arrested for domestic assault to describing a woman as a victim of violence generates a dangerous precedence. The comparison is a huge of a leap in logic and in my estimation is similar to comparing apples to dump trucks.

  • In reality, if the man is arrested because of domestic violence (there is a police arrest record of one count), but if the Crown dismisses the charge, he is found not guilty or is not guilty because he acted in self-defence the results in the PAR still demonstrate that the woman involved is the victim of domestic violence and the man was the violent person. [see Dr. Grant A. Brown D.Phil. (Oxon), LL.B, from Edmonton, he did a statistical analysis of the arrest files in the Crown Prosecutors’ Office. His research is called “Gender as a factor in the Response of the Law-Enforcement System to Violence Against Partners” and can also be found in its published format of sexuality and culture Volume 8, Number 3-4, 2004 http://www.springerlink.com/content/1095-5143/8/3/ ]
  • PAR also do not account for unsubstantiated allegations of violence, especially when initiated by the woman who is seeking a better position before a judge in divorce matter. See the attached article titled “Man can sue ex-wife’s lawyer, court rules”.

According to the Calgary Police Service (2002); only 58% of domestic related offences were against a person the remaining 42% were against property. A domestic related property offence shows up as PAR but falsely maintains that the crime creates a woman victim of domestic violence. A man can be arrested for “breaking a dish on the floor”; he is arrested for a domestic related offence (PAR) but in reality the plate is the victim and not the woman.

Besides not having any scientific merit it is misleading (a polite word) to the general public and the decision makers and funders. Good decisions are based on good information whereas great decisions are based on great information. Decisions based on misleading information creates a mislead solution to a problem that, in reality, does not exist. This potentially causes damage to the fabric of our society and is a dangerous practice.

  • Whether the person is prosecuted and found guilty or they are released of all charges is not reflected in the numbers collected by the PAR. The number remains the same.
  • PAR does not account for multiple calls to the same location; same person charged but accounted as a different arrest record.
  • PAR does not account for the patriarchy macho belief system held by male police officers creating subjective rather than objective observation of the domestic situation; “never hit a woman”.

-men are bigger and stronger,

-women can’t hurt a man,

-men are “hard-wired” as well as socialized “not to hit a woman”,

-men have to be men and handle the situation of the violent wife by himself; the wimp factor,

-socialization that women do not use violence,

-police instruction manuals and policy manuals usually define the victim as a woman thusly prejudicing the officer’s objectivity,

-men calling for domestic violence are not taken serious by the officers; typically the male victim will not say that he is in fear of his life, therefore the police will dismiss the complaint,

-male victims of female perpetuated domestic violence may experience the police laughing at them and their struggles.


PAR does not account for the factor that women were 9 times more likely to report their assaults to the police and 5 times more likely to discuss the abuse with a friend or relative. (Stets & Straus).

According to Calgary Police Service; 2002 Annual Statistical Report



11,000 domestic related incidents;

  • 80% of the arrests involve drugs or alcohol.
  • 26% of domestic related incidents are repeat calls.
  • 60% of domestic related incidents were cleared by charges.
  • 60% of domestic related incidents were against person offences.


4,877 domestic related offences;

  • 58% against a person
  • 29% against property
  • Misc.


The majority (78%) of the domestic related offences the individuals were men; this figure includes individuals recorded as accused, suspect and offenders not charged.


Police Arrest Reports vs. Conflict Tactics Scale


People involved with family violence issues tend to be divided into two distinctive camps of thought when it comes to calculating the number of individuals affected by the issue:

  1. Police arrest reports: this model relies on arrests records as reported by the police. According to this method 85% of domestic calls the perpetrators are men. This then relates into the statistic that 85% the victims are described as women (sic).
  1. Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS): university and government researchers commonly use this model of research collection. The CTS model uses a series of specific questions asked through either a telephone or personal interview. See Martin Fiebert1.

Police arrest reports have no established parameters for evaluating the results; they are merely subjective arrest records. No demonstrated proof exists that this method is accurate or objective whereas, the CTS is a scientific model which sets out parameters so that results can be accurately measured, duplicated and retested by other researchers.

Using police reports of charges of DV is therefore subjective rather than objective having a limited bearing on the true issue of domestic violence and the number of real victims, in reality a test of common sense demonstrates:

To test the validity of using PAR model verses the CTS research model; the question asked; “how many people in the city of Calgary did not stop at a stop sign?”

Using the two models;

1. The police arrest model; counting the number of daily tickets that police issue to drivers who did not stopped at stop signs. This is a numerical count, but the daily count will vary on the amount of police time dedicated to the issuance of tickets as well as the time of the month as police must obtain monthly quotas.

2. CTS model; calling 1000 people and ask them to self report whether they stopped or did not stop at all stop signs. The numerical results demonstrate who did stop and who did not stop can be compared to obtain a result and a percentage. The results can be duplicated and the results will verify the validity of the original research by repeating the process.

Additionally, police arrest reports relate to the number of male and female perpetrators processed through the criminal court system. Police observe that the majority of cases in which charges were laid, men are more frequently in court. In Calgary, the police have a predetermination to arrest the man in a DV situation, no matter who is the perpetrator, because it is a simpler process to jail a man.
This active bias results in elevated gender specific charge numbers;

  • Increases the police charge-to-conviction ratios.
  • Judges see more men charged with domestic violence than women.
  • Crown Prosecutors bring more men to court and dismiss the charges against women more often. See Dr Grant Brown’s paper; “Gender as a Factor in the Treatment of Domestic Partner Abuse by Police and Prosecutor: A Pilot Study,” where Dr Brown presents the “female discount” behaviour often supported by Judges,
  • The end result supports PAR opening position trying to demonstrate that men are the majority of the perpetrators of DV.

The three legal systems feed off each other to demonstrate that men are 85% of the perpetrators of domestic violence. The police feed that system by arresting more men, the Judges convict more men and thusly the Crown will provide to the court more men to be charged and the police witness that their charge-to-conviction ratios increase by arresting men.

• police are subject to influence by women’s groups and service providers through their networking activities with women’s shelters and male excluded community meetings.

• by our observation, police have not welcomed input from the abused male perspective and have not been willing to look at the issue.

Conclusion; while CTS may not completely describe the issues of family violence the exact same limitations are found in the PAR. Additionally, as demonstrated, there are many more flaws in the PAR because the outcome may change but the initial PAR statistics remain unchanged.

While CTS engages in only interviewing cohabitating relationships the PAR use of a culprit-to-victim1 relationship that includes all possible relationships, i.e. father and son, while the culprit is male the victim is also male, but according to the “logic” of PAR the victim is described to be female.

While university researchers, hospitals, police and even the general public can use CTS only the police are able to provide PAR statistics. This process is open to subjective interruption.

At times it seems that some shelters and women’s centres use the female victim of domestic violence to gain the political and monetary power they need to help these women but to also train law enforcement, the judicial system, legislators and the community at large with their gender feminist victimology, and their one-sided, sexist representation of domestic violence. In other words, some of them may be using domestic violence shelters and centres as a vehicle to further their gender feminist dogma and beliefs. This behaviour, by definition, is misandrist.



Man can sue ex-wife’s lawyer, court rules




Tuesday, February 22, 2005 Updated at 4:54 PM EST


A lawsuit that accuses a Toronto lawyer of counselling her client to fabricate evidence in a bitter divorce contest should be allowed to proceed to trial, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

The litigant—Andrew Lawrence—alleges that he was wrongly imprisoned for almost 10 days after his estranged wife, Carol Lawrence, made up several stories about him assaulting her, including attacking her with a hot iron and a set of keys.

His lawsuit says that family lawyer Theresa MacLean advised Ms. Lawrence to make up stories of domestic abuse to enhance her divorce claims to their marital home and children.

Mr. Lawrence was ultimately acquitted on April 24, 2003, of nine of the 10 criminal charges against him. He was convicted of breaching his bail conditions by placing a phone call to his estranged wife—which he admitted.

After his trial, Mr. Lawrence launched his lawsuit, alleging that Ms. MacLean acted “with reckless disregard for the truth and consequences” of her conduct. It was thrown out last year by an Ontario Superior Court judge on the basis that the allegations did not constitute “a reasonable cause of action.”

However, in a 2-1 ruling yesterday, the Court of Appeal reinstated the lawsuit. It said the allegations are “arguably capable of implicating” Ms. MacLean in false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, abuse of process and civil conspiracy.

“I almost fainted when I heard about the decision,” Mr. Lawrence said in an interview. He said that Ms. MacLean “can make life as difficult as she wants during a divorce—that’s fine and dandy. But when you counsel another person to commit a crime, you can’t hide under the banner of being a lawyer.”

Mr. Lawrence’s lawyer, Joseph Markin, said the case will ring true for many men being prosecuted for domestic abuse. Police are required to automatically lay charges when wives allege abuse, he said yesterday, which makes it a useful tool in divorce proceedings.

“It would be intolerable if a lawyer could do that,” Mr. Markin said.

Neither Ms. MacLean nor her co-counsel on the case, Carolyn MacLean, returned phone calls yesterday.

Ms. Lawrence alleged that her husband pinned her against a wall on May 15, 2001, plugged in an iron and held it close to her face once it had heated up. On another occasion, she said, he threw a set of keys at her, causing a bad cut.

She also alleged that in a separate attack in late 2000, an enraged Mr. Lawrence threw her to the floor and injured her neck. In yet another incident, he allegedly pushed her onto a bed and then tossed her onto their bedroom floor.

The judge at Mr. Lawrence’s trial had numerous problems with the Crown’s evidence. He was suspicious about Ms. Lawrence’s lack of scarring from the iron incident and the fact that she did not struggle with her husband. “She appears to have survived that incident without any obvious scar, cut, bruise or other injury,” the judge said. “The description begs belief.”

The trial judge also found it disturbing that the dates Ms. Lawrence supplied for some of incidents varied substantially. He said the complainant struck him as a resolute character who was not easily controlled by others.

“She impressed me as someone of obvious competence and courage,” the judge said. “She is not the submissive, controlled spouse she would have us accept. She is capable, under stress and duress, in my view, of concocting scenarios.”

Fired from his job at a car plant recently, he is living on unemployment insurance. Mr. Lawrence said his wife left him with their three children about a year ago, and he hasn’t heard from her in several months.


© Copyright 2005 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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D:\My Documents\FOM\Alberta\paper\PAR.doc

1 Kimmer, M. S. ”Male Victims of Domestic Violence: A Substantive and Methodological Research Review”. A Report to: The Equality Committee of the Department of Education and Science. Stony Brook, N.Y.

1 Martin S. Fiebert, Department of Psychology, California State University, Long Beach; SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 286 scholarly investigations: 221 empirical studies and 65 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 371,600.

Last updated: June 2012

1 Calgary Police Service, Research and Development Section, 2002 Annual Statistical Report

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