May 9, 2011

One In Three are Male Victims of Family Violence

In a recent blog post titled Boys, Bulldogs, and Never Surrender!, by guest blogger Tim Wernette, the topic of gender stereotyping came up. That prompted a comment by Brian M., a subscriber in Australia. Brian pointed out,
One of the key things that has to be done . . . is to enlighten the community that it’s not just men who commit violence against women. Women violate men, women act against women, and men against men. Violence is illegal and bad regardless of whoever does it, and male victims are no less deserving of our sympathy and support than female victims.
Brian noted that 1 in 3 victims of domestic violence is a male, and in most cases it is a female perpetrator. He suggested we explore the rather amazing data on the One in Three Campaign website. For example, The Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey (2006) produced the largest and most recent study of violence in Australia. It discovered:
  • 29.8% (almost one in three) victims of current partner violence since the age of 15 were male
  • 24.4% (almost one in four) victims of previous partner violence since the age of 15 were male
  • 29.4% (almost one in three) victims of sexual assault* during the last 12 months were male 
  • 26.1% (more than one in four) victims of sexual abuse* before the age of 15 were male
Be very clear, the One in Three Campaign is not in the business of excusing male perpetrators. Their position, often stated on their site is, "For decades well-meaning governments and NGO's have presented the myth to the public that family violence is only something that men do to women. This message has prevented the development of more comprehensive policies, programs, services, campaigns and funding to cater for male as well as female victims of family violence and abuse."

The site references research, offers eye-opening men's stories of victimization, a page on Misinformation, links to Australian and a series of podcasts covering the Intimate Partner Abuse of Men Workshop held in June of 2010 in Perth, Western Australia. While noting that, "Unfortunately there aren't many tailored services and resources available for male victims of family violence and abuse," they list a solid collection of links and contact information for known support services in Australia and internationally. There is also a section of recommended reading for male victims.

If you want to support men, women, and children caught up in domestic violence, while enlarging your concept of family violence in all its ugly forms, a quick tour of One in Three Campaign website will likely be a healthy wake up call.

In the USA, one of many good sources for emergency contacts for victims of family violence is StopFamilyViolence.org. They maintain a list of helpful and support contacts for anyone experiencing some form of family violence.

If you know of a good resource to help victims of family violence in your part of the world, please list it in the comments section of this post, or send me a note and I'll add it to the post.



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