- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 10 November 2015, 2:47PM
A new BBC Three documentary tests the public's reaction to violence - in particular female on male.
It takes a look at just how seriously violence is taken if domestic abuse is committed by a woman rather than a man, and the results are shocking.
With women accounting for 15 per cent of arrests in England and Wales, but less than 5 per cent of the prison population, the programme questions if this shows girls are getting off more lightly than boys.
In the social experiment, a scripted scene is played out by two actors, for the first scenario a man is seen slapping his other half in the face after an argument in an angry confrontation.
When the man hits the woman several people intervene with one woman running after the couple: "Leave her alone. Are you slapping her? Leave her alone. Are you ok love? Jesus that is not cool alright."
In an interview afterwards the woman told the BBC: "As they walked off around the corner, I didn’t know where they were going and if she was alright. So I thought I needed to check, so I legged it leaving all my stuff behind."
But with the scenario reversed the outcome is very different, with almost no reaction.
When the BBC interviewed one woman who witnessed the fight she said: "It crossed my mind that it was getting a bit out of hand, their argument, but I just kind of thought to just sort of turn away and ignore."
Another man added: "It was a minor skirmish she pushed him around, that’s what I noticed. If it was the other way round, yes it would have felt awkward."