The types of violence that academics choose to study can be dependent on the political orientation of the researcher and the availability of suitable data sources. As capitalism developed in the nineteenth century, governments demanded the collection of more and more social-economic data in order to inform social policy. Psychodynamic theories, of which the ‘civilization thesis’ is one, might have an advantage over the policeman-state theory, as they can also explain high as well as low rates of violence. In order to recover hidden violence that never reached the courts, historians of domestic violence have moved away from quantitative towards more qualitative sources. The digital data revolution seems perfect for historians of violence. It combines millions of pieces of biographical, court-generated, even biometric data, all of which can easily be accessed without time-consuming and expensive visits to the archives.