Domestic abuse is not a gender issue

Just a very short post for this one.

Domestic Abuse or Intimate Partner Violence is not, contrary to media bias, something that only affects women. Nor are men the sole perpetrators. Yes, women are more commonly victims, but far from exclusively.

Why is it important to remember this? Because male victims are ignored, or even criticised and disparaged. By always focusing exclusively on women (and children) as the victims there are a number of assumptions and implications that are perpetuated. Such as:

  • Men who come forward as victims are assumed to be liars
  • If they are believed, then it is assumed they “did something to deserve it”
  • Discussion of male victims is labelled as a cynical derailing tactic of the “real issue”
  • Or they resort to “women have it worse” argument, which allegedly invalidates any support of male victims
  • It perpetuates the common belief that violence against men is acceptable
  • Male victims are marginalised and made to feel unmanly or weak

It is for these above reasons that support for male victims (and their children) have so little support and what they do have is so underfunded. Just compare the charities that support the National Domestic Violence Helpline (Refuge and Women’s Aid) exclusively for women, to that which supports the Mens Advice Line (Respect) or the ManKind Initiative which provide services specifically for men.

Not that is stops feminists demanding more funding for women though. It’s not like men, who make up one in three of the victims need more than the 78 safe house spaces available to them (of which only 20 are reserved for men exclusively). And of course, if a man leaves an abusive relationship, he’s going to have to leave his kids there but you know, men are to blame for that as well.

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