The best estimate for the source of the conspiracy theory is a news conference called by a coalition of womens groups in Pasedena, Ca on Jan 28, 1993. The womans groups cited an astonishing 40% increase in emergency room visits by women as a result of assault. Good Morning America picked up the story the next day with a quack "expert" who was plugging a book nobody ever read and who cited the same statistics. The Boston Globe expanded the story with statistics allegedly gleaned from womans shelters. At the height of the hysterics pamphlets were mailed out advising women not to stay at home with their husbands on Super Bowl day. Nobody bothered to check the facts except the Washington Post. The 40% was an outright lie but the mainstream media was quick to offer reasons for it. The whole thing was a scam designed to place focus on woman's issues at the time and yet the myth persists to this day having been implanted into public consciousness by the mainstream media.