A brief history of marital violence and statistics from recent studies are presented. Marital abuse data from six societies: United States; Canada; Finland; Israel, with city and Kibbutz sub-samples; Puerto Rico; and Belize (British Honduras) with sub-samples of Spanish speaking, Creoles and Caribs are compared. In general, similarities were found between political/civil profiles of violence and marital violence score within each society. The percentage of husbands and wives using abuse was also similar for each society. The major exception was Puerto Rico, where almost twice as many husbands were reported to have been violent. The percentage of husbands and wives who used violence did not necessarily predict the frequency of violence. Finland, with the highest percentage of violent spouses, had the lowest scores for severity and frequency. Israel, with the lowest percentage of husbands and wives using violence, produced the highest severity and frequency scores for those couples who were violent. This analysis is preliminary and questions for future examination are raised.

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