there is nothing new about violence within the family, but only recently has it been. “discovered” as a social problem [Pfohl, 1977]. The first national survey of family violence was made in. 1975 by Strauss, Geller, and Steinmetz, . As they say, “The marriage license is a hitting license.”. As shown ·in . table 1 -4, in a single year about one in nine American husbands and wives commit at least .one act of violence against their mates, with a median frequency of two. or three violent acts during.a year Interestingly enough wives “beat” husbands slightly more often than husbands “beat” wives, but serious injury is far more often inflicted by the husbands (or lovers) [Steinmetz}. 1977; Gelles, 1979, p. 139].. Violence in self-defense is also more common among Wives, and this helps explain. the surprisingly high violence index among women [Gelles, 1979, p. 139].