Statistics don't always agree on this issue.
According to this study:
Almost 24% of all relationships had
some violence, and half (49.7%) of
those were reciprocally violent. In
nonreciprocally violent relationships,
women were the perpetrators in more
than 70% of the cases. Reciprocity was
associated with more frequent violence
among women (adjusted odds ratio
[AOR]=2.3; 95% confidence interval
[CI]=1.9, 2.8), but not men (AOR=1.26;
95% CI=0.9, 1.7). Regarding injury,
men were more likely to inflict injury
than were women (AOR=1.3; 95% CI=1.1,
1.5), and reciprocal intimate partner violence was associated with greater
injury than was nonreciprocal intimate
partner violence regardless of the
gender of the perpetrator (AOR=4.4;
95% CI=3.6, 5.5).
Methodology looks rock solid to me:
We analyzed data on young US adults
aged 18 to 28 years from the 2001
National Longitudinal Study of
Adolescent Health, which contained
information about partner violence and
injury reported by 11 370 respondents
on 18761 heterosexual relationships.
The idea that men are stronger, I think is obviously true - which leads to women being more likely to suffer injuries. However, according to this study and others, women can be plenty aggressive as well, and it often seems as if society simply ignores this fact.
Although apparently there's no shortage of physical violence of women against men, it is true that you won't see this often in the mainstream media. But it does happen, occasionally. Quote from the study discussed in the Guardian article:
For the year preceding the survey, and
excluding stalking, 5.6% of women and
4.1% of men reported having suffered non-sexual partner abuse (any abuse,
threat, or force from a partner or
ex-partner), a proportion of male
victims of about 42%. Of these, 2.7%
of women and 2.0% of men reported
suffering actual force [assault or
violence], a proportion of male
victims of about 43%, which was
designated as ‘severe’ in the case of
1.8% of women and 1.6% of men, a proportion of male victims of about
47%. These proportions are slightly
higher than those found by Study 276
some four years earlier. Such
proportions of male victims are almost
double those found by the BCS of
2004/05 (23% based on numbers of
incidents) and that of 2005/06 (20%).
This suggests either a significant
level of under-reporting especially by
male victims of domestic abuse to
these routine annual surveys or that
basing the proportion on the numbers
of incidents distorts the actual
prevalence of male victims.
To summarize: existing research doesn't necessarily support the stereotype of an abusive male partner, violence seems to be a problem for both genders.