RECENT NEWS ARTICLES

This page contains a selection of recent news articles and commentary about male victims of violence and abuse plus related issues. These articles are presented as a community service, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the One in Three Campaign.

Please send any relevant news articles to us by clicking here and we will post them on this page.

Thursday
Oct232014

'I'm going to stab you': Calls for more support for male domestic violence victims

Women outnumber men as targets of intimate partner violence in the reported statistics, but it’s the minority of cases of male victims that appear in the collected data, and in the courts, that shine light on what those affected believe is a social taboo that needs to be broken.

By Kristina Kukolja 

22 OCT 2014 - 6:14 AM

 

   

Listen to story on SoundCloud. Read story on SBS World News.

Advocates say there's a growing body of research to suggest that men are suffering at the hands of female partners, and not in negligible numbers.

One recent study out of Britain has looked at controlling behaviours, verbal and physical aggression in relationships among students.

"Women are perpetrating verbal and physical aggression significantly more than men are, but they're also perpetrating significantly more controlling behaviours than men are as well," lead author, Dr Elizabeth Bates from University of Cumbria, said.

Dr Bates’ study challenges widely accepted notions of motivation for abuse.

"A lot of the traditional feminist approach to studying domestic violence has portrayed the idea that men are motivated by patriarchy and this need to dominate and control women in relationships, “ she told SBS.

“A lot of research has explored the different motivations and it can be very similar for men and for women … like personality disorders, levels of self-control, levels of empathy…”

Ben, a 50-year-old Sydney man whose name has been disguised to protect his identity, says the violence in his home became more pronounced when, several years ago, he suffered serious health problems, leaving him partially paralysed.

"When I came out of hospital I was in a wheelchair and I was supposed to have a shower chair for showering in,” he told SBS.

“My ex-wife said 'A real man doesn't need a shower chair, you can stand up in the shower.' And to have a shower I ended up having to sit on the floor."

He says the physical abuse “got to the stage where she'd actually sharpened knives in the kitchen and said 'One of these days I'm going to stab you'.”

“There was a time where, again, I was sitting in the shower because I didn't have a shower chair and she came barging in and said 'You might have the doctors convinced that there's something wrong with you, but I know better. There's nothing wrong with you. You're just lazy. I'm going to make you get to work whether you want to or not."

"At that time she had me curled up in a foetal position in the shower where I was literally sucking my thumb, crying out 'I'm better off being dead than this.'"

Greg Andresen is a researcher with the One-In-Three Campaign, an organisation he says takes its name from a body of international and domestic research that suggests up to one in three victims of intimate partner violence are actually male.

"We still have this idea that men are supposed to be tough, strong, able to protect themselves, able to defend themselves, be independent," he said.

"These sorts of things conflict with our idea of a man as a victim, a man being abused in the home because we feel 'How could that happen to a man?'”

"The sense of shame, admitting as a man that you're being abused, that embarrassment, that social stigma, that feeling that they're unable to protect themselves, that they'll have a loss of independence. But there's also a fear of being laughed at, of ridiculed.”

Ben says he sought help from the NSW Department of Human Services hotline for domestic abuse, but was turned away.

He says he then wrote a letter to the Human Rights Commission but found they weren't able to help.

"(I) got a phone call back from them saying they only look at women and children being abused by men, and it's not in their charter to try and fix or even look at men being abused by women.”

At the time, Ben says he found two pilot programs for gay men on the police website, but nothing for men who were in relationships with abusive women.

That was in 2009.

Today, there appear to be more potential avenues for men to seek help, such as dedicated men's mental health help lines and programs run by independently funded NGOs.

But often references to programs on government websites for men relating to domestic violence, for example, are still directed at men who need help addressing their violent behaviours.

Mr Andresen says the options for male victims are still too limited.

"All of the domestic violence lines are advertised as if they're for women only," he said.

"They fear there's nowhere to escape to, often with children. No shelters for men. They feel that their experiences will be minimised. They might be blamed for the abuse.

“They fear they may be arrested if there's a situation where it's not clear who was the abuser and police may arrest them."

Mr Andresen believes it's time for state and federal governments to step in with funded awareness campaigns.

"Those campaigns have to be carefully designed so that the complement campaigns about violence against women and don't damage the effectiveness of those campaigns.”

“We also need, at least, a modicum of support services for those men who, when they do come forward, they have the support they need - whether that's counseling or accommodation, assistance through the legal process."

TOMORROW: Women from multicultial backgrounds speak out on the difficulties they face when tackling domestic violence.

Readers seeking support and information can contact:

Mensline: 1300 78 99 78

National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line: 1800 737 732

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800

Click here to join the discussion on the SBS World News Facebook page.

Monday
Sep152014

One third of domestic violence victims denied services

Following last week’s launch of Our Watch – a new national initiative aimed to prevent violence against women and their children – the One in Three Campaign has released a new analysis of the latest Australian data on male victims of family violence.

Senior Researcher Greg Andresen said, “We are very glad to see violence against women being taken so seriously by the Australian Government. However we are extremely concerned that one third of victims of sexual assault and family violence are excluded by Our Watch and its sister organisation ANROWS simply on the basis of their gender.”

The analysis of the ABS Personal Safety Survey and the AIC Homicide in Australia, 2008–10, published today by One in Three, challenges the claim that the vast majority of family violence is committed by men against women and children. Using the same data sources as Fact Sheets recently released by ANROWS, the new data analysis paints a very different picture of gender and family violence in Australia.

“The statistics presented by ANROWS have been designed to over-inflate female victimisation by using lifetime experience of violence instead of current rates, while downplaying male victimisation by taking only the female perspective,” said Mr Andresen.

“75 males were killed in domestic homicide incidents between 2008-10. That’s one death every 10 days,” said Mr Andresen. “1.2 million Australian men have experienced emotional abuse by a partner, almost half a million have experienced violence by a partner and almost a third of a million have experienced violence by a girlfriend/boyfriend or date. Where are the services for these men and boys?”

The vast majority of domestic violence services in Australia are closed to males. There are no shelters for men and their children, no safe rooms or legal support at courthouses, no community education and prevention programmes, no support groups, no perpetrator programs for women or health service screening tools for men.

One in Three is calling upon the Australian Government to comply with its international human rights obligations and provide programs and services for male, as well as female victims of family violence.

“There is simply no excuse for this kind of sexist discrimination in Australia in 2014,” said Mr Andresen.

Male victims of family violence: key statistics

  • More than 1 in 3 victims of domestic homicide were male (38.7%)

  • 2 in 5 victims of physical and/or sexual child abuse were male (39.0%)

  • 1 in 3 victims of current partner violence were male (33.3%)

  • Almost 1 in 3 victims of violence from a boyfriend/girlfriend or date were male (27.9%)

  • More than 1 in 3 victims of partner emotional abuse were male (37.1%)

  • 1 in 3 victims of stalking were male (34.2%)

  • Almost 1 in 3 victims of sexual assault were male (29.6%)

Male victims of family violence were:

  • 2 to 3 times more likely than women to have never told anybody about experiencing partner violence

  • Twice as likely as women to have never sought advice or support about experiencing partner violence

  • Up to 40% more likely than women to have not contacted police about experiencing partner violence

  • Half as likely as women to have had a restraining order issued against the perpetrator of partner violence.

MEDIA CONTACT

Greg Andresen, Senior Researcher, One in Three Campaign, 0403 813 925 or info@oneinthree.com.au

Download PDF version of media release here.

Tuesday
Sep092014

Research into sexual abuse by a biological mother

A researcher at the University of Canberra is collecting information from Australian males about males’ experiences seeking and/or receiving counselling for sexual abuse by a biological mother.

This research has been given approval by the University of Canberra’s Committee on Ethical Human Research.

This is a 40-question, online survey.

Your response will be anonymous, and only seen by the researcher and research supervisors.

Practitioners are invited to complete a questionnaire online at http://canberra.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3PH3S8VTl59n5xH. The online survey is now open, until 12 December 2014. This survey focuses on practitioners background and approach to counselling males.

Males who have been sexually abused (possibly still undisclosed) and sought and/or received counselling support are invited to complete their own questionnaire online at http://canberra.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1zd1ZwJetVexXud. New questions have been added to this survey, as suggested by male victims of sexual assault.

Open from 22 July 2014.

Being part of this research is your choice.

Sunday
Aug032014

One in Three's submission to Senate inquiry into domestic violence

On 26 June 2014, the following matter was referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by the 27 October 2014:

  1. the prevalence and impact of domestic violence in Australia as it affects all Australians and, in particular, as it affects:
  2. women living with a disability, and
  3. women from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds;
  4. the factors contributing to the present levels of domestic violence;
  5. the adequacy of policy and community responses to domestic violence;
  6. the effects of policy decisions regarding housing, legal services, and women‘s economic independence on the ability of women to escape domestic violence;
  7. how the Federal Government can best support, contribute to and drive the social, cultural and behavioural shifts required to eliminate violence against women and their children; and
  8. any other related matters.

You can read One in Three's submssion to the inquiry here.

Friday
Jul252014

Senate inquiry into domestic violence in Australia

On 26 June 2014, the following matter was referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by the 27 October 2014:

  1. the prevalence and impact of domestic violence in Australia as it affects all Australians and, in particular, as it affects:
  2. women living with a disability, and
  3. women from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds;
  4. the factors contributing to the present levels of domestic violence;
  5. the adequacy of policy and community responses to domestic violence;
  6. the effects of policy decisions regarding housing, legal services, and women‘s economic independence on the ability of women to escape domestic violence;
  7. how the Federal Government can best support, contribute to and drive the social, cultural and behavioural shifts required to eliminate violence against women and their children; and
  8. any other related matters.

Submissions closing date is 31 July 2014. The reporting date is 27 October 2014.

The committee will not be considering or examining any material that relates solely to personal cases or grievances. The committee process is not a forum to resolve these issues but to explore the adequacy of policy responses and the effects of policy settings regarding housing, legal services and women’s economic independence on their ability to escape violence.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senate Finance and Public Administration Committees

PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3439

Fax: +61 2 6277 5809

fpa.sen@aph.gov.au

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Finance_and_Public_Administration/Domestic_Violence