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Young Women More Likely To Admit Hitting A Partner

But their top reason for hitting was, "They hit me first."

Posted on March 13, 2013, at 11:27 a.m. ET

Why Young People Have Hit Their Partners

The NO MORE Study: Teens and Young Adults on Dating Violence and Sexual Assault

Numbers are percentages; respondents could pick more than one reason.

Women are three times as likely to admit hitting a romantic partner, according to a study of young adults ages 15 to 22. In results released today, 14% of women said they'd struck a partner — compared with 5% of men.

But when the researchers, commissioned by the NO MORE anti-domestic violence campaign, asked young people why they'd lashed out, almost 60% of all respondents said their partner had hit them first. Given this, it's possible that young women are just more likely to admit to hitting a partner than men were. The study doesn't report the sexual orientation of the young people surveyed, so it's not clear if the women who reported hitting were exclusively hitting men — domestic violence can be an issue in lesbian relationships too, with one study finding that half of lesbian women experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives.

Regardless of who hits first, domestic disputes put women at greater risk of bodily injury; according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, women are 7 to 10 times more likely to be hurt by a partner than men are, no matter who initiates violence.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.