Men are victims too

We are all well of the motto, ‘Violence against Women…Australia says no’ and we all know of the inundation and constant bombardment of endless advertisements and campaigns raising awareness of domestic violence against women.  As a result the controversial issue has well and truly come to the forefront of the media and government’s attention, not only in Australia but globally.

However, as the spot light shines and reveals the atrocity of violence against women, hundreds and thousands of men around the world who are continuing to experience domestic violence by their spouse are being silenced and ignored by the media, government and society.

Men as victims

A study undertaken by the Australian and Domestic Violence ClearingHouse exposes that, “there is little or no statistical data concerning men as victims of violence” within the domestic realm. The study furthermore reveals that men are just as likely to be abused physically, emotionally or verbally as women are, however it is under reported due to the highly advertised notion that violence against women is more severe than violence against men.

 Unfortunately, because of the competition that has been created which positions violence against men as inferior, it becomes harder for victimised males to speak out and seek help. Recognising and acknowledging violence against men leads many to believe that it will result in funds been directed away from the already stretched out resources that are available when dealing with violence against women and children.

Why does violence against men go unreported?

With the media barley recognising this social crisis, the following points have been identified as to why male victims are reluctant to report the violence.

1)      Due to social prejudice, men at times find it even harder to report violence because they have a fear of not being taken seriously or laughed at.

2)      Many victims are afraid to report violence because they fear they will be denied access to their children in the future by their mothers.

3)      The government’s, media’s and society’s lack of recognition of the problem makes it more difficult to report it.

4)      There are limited support and help facilities that can enable men to turn to and seek advice from when needed. While women have over 470 facilities to result to.

5)      Men themselves also find it hard to admit to the problem because of the attached stigma of not being “macho”.

While much of the attention is on women as victims, men’s rights activists argue that violence against men is just as worthy of the attention. Each year, 834,000 men are raped or physically assaulted by intimate partners an, average of 3.5 times a year, for a total of 2.9 million assaults around the world per year. Men in intimate relationships with other men are more likely to be raped or assaulted than men in heterosexual relationships.

With these alarming rates increasing, one begins to ask the question why something is not being done to decrease these numbers. With new studies surfacing more frequently, it has been uncovered by researchers that when contacting the police, men who are the victim of violence are three times more likely to be arrested than the woman who abused them.

This inequality of lack of recognition goes beyond the media and government. It has also managed to seep through and infiltrate itself into the court systems which are suppose to be just, fair and equal. International as well as domestic legal systems in relation to domestic violence cases are alarmingly bias, with thousands of precedents as perfect examples where the court has ruled in favor of the woman. The tendency to rule against men has created financial problems for countless men around the globe.

With no immediate action or plans for any formal address from governments, it appears that male victims of violence will have to continue to go without the aid and facilities to assist them. While the number of women abuse facilities continues to rapidly increase, male victims will have to make do with male rights organizations which are underfunded with no high recognition. Men who have been physically, emotionally and verbally abused continue to suffer in silence.

Widyan Al Ubudy.

~ by widyanalubudy on June 8, 2012.

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