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.

Monday
Dec012014

Men are victims of domestic violence too (Hawkesbury Courier)

With White Ribbon Day focusing primarily on domestic violence against women, violence against men rarely gets recognised, despite research showing it's a serious problem in the Hawkesbury.

Males are generally the perpetrators of domestic violence (DV) but a 2011 statistical review in the Hawkesbury revealed there was one male reported for every five female DV victims.

Nationally males are the victims in one in three family violence incidents.

In the Hawkesbury, the most common violence is between parents and children.

A lack of policies and funding for men's health has prompted Hawkesbury District Health Service men's health co-ordinator, Stephen Lillie, and Hawkesbury DV officer, Constable Lesley King, to develop a Yellow Card program which focuses on male DV victims.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov112014

Why Men Remain Silent About Domestic Violence (UK)

Why are male victims of domestic violence more likely to suffer in silence? One man explains why he kept the problem to himself...

I’m task-oriented. I will discuss my aims, my projects, my achievements with anyone.  But if you asked me how I was feeling, the answer you would get would be , “I’m fine,” even if I wasn’t.

It just wasn’t part of my nature to talk about my feelings and emotions.  If I felt hurt, I wasn’t going to make an issue of it – I certainly wouldn’t let anyone know – I’d simply dust myself down, pick myself up and carry on.   I would talk about what I could do or what I was going to do, but never about how I felt or the circumstances behind emotions.  I would say that this is true for most men that our innermost angst remains locked away in our psyche.

For a long time, I didn’t recognise the violent assaults on me as Domestic Abuse.  I’d made a wedding vow that included the words, “ for better or for worst, in sickness and in health.”   The actions perpetrated against me, I reasoned, was because of some undiagnosed illness caused by the stress of bereavement and maybe even physiological changes due to childbirth.  My pleas to my ex-wife to seek medical attention for her extreme anger outbursts were ignored.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov052014

Domestic violence group White Ribbon Australia in domain name dispute

Leading domestic violence prevention group White Ribbon Australia is considering legal action against a US men's rights group which has launched a rival website named whiteribbon.org, claiming that abuse against women is overstated at the expense of men.

White Ribbon Australia chief executive Libby Davies accused the Texas-based group, A Voice for Men, of trying to undermine its campaign to prevent violence against women and children.

"A Voice for Men is using almost fraudulent practices to guide people away from White Ribbon by using a url called whiteribbon.org," she told a Senate committee hearing into domestic violence.

White Ribbon Australia, which uses the domain name whiteribbon.org.au, has sought legal advice to see what action can be taken against the US site which is asking for donations to fund its defence.

A Voice for Men founder Paul Elam denied fraudulent use of the domain name, saying that he was the legal owner.

"The term 'white ribbon' is not trademarked except by a wine company in the United States," he said.

"There is no trademark infringement here. The domain whiteribbon.org is legally owned by me. I fail to see where any notion of fraud might be."

Speaking at the public hearing of the federal inquiry, Ms Davies claimed an Australian men's group, the One in Three Campaign, was also trying to derail the domestic violence message.

"We find their strategies very disrespectful," she said. "We have not used similar strategies to undermine them."

One in Three Campaign representatives Greg Andresen and Andrew Humphreys told the hearing they were speaking up for male victims of domestic violence whose plight was ignored due to the focus on women, calling for more male-only support services.

"We want to see male victims acknowledged . . . male victims need to feel more comfortable coming forward," Mr Andresen said. "There is a stigma."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' personal safety survey found that 16.9 per cent of women had experienced partner violence since the age of 15 compared with 5.3 per cent of men.

Mayet Costello, research manager of Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety, acknowledged that men also suffer violence but were at lower risk than women.

"Resources should be directed to where they are most needed," she said.

Larissa Waters, the Greens senator who initiated the inquiry, said it revealed the widespread prevalence of domestic violence despite a national plan to reduce the problem.

"We are seeing escalating violence against women and their children and when you look at the budget, it cuts many of the services women need to escape violence," she said.

"The cuts to housing and to community legal centres will keep women in violent situations. They have nowhere to go and that is the most tragic thing."

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Tuesday
Oct282014

New Anglicare WA Report finds over half of DV victims are male for some forms of abuse


Anglicare WA have just released their Community Perceptions Report 2014: Family And Domestic Violence.

The report found that between 18 per cent and over 50 per cent of victims of domestic and family violence were male, depending on the kinds of violent and abusive behaviours surveyed.

Percentage of victims that were male for different behaviours:

  • Isolating behaviours - over 50% (exact figures not published)
  • Shamed on social media - over 50% (exact figures not published)
  • Being pushed, slapped, punched, choked or kicked - 42.6%
  • Being induced to physical or emotional exhaustion - 41.0%
  • Mind games and manipulation - 41.0%
  • Being stalked or followed - 35.7%
  • Forced sexual contact or coercion - 18.2%

The report also found that between 14 per cent and 35 per cent of perpetrators of domestic and family violence were female, depending on the kinds of violent and abusive behaviours surveyed.

Percentage of perpetrators that were female for different behaviours:

  • Threats, put-downs, insults or shouting at someone - 35.0%
  • Belittling someone’s views or opinions- 32.0%
  • Verbally shaming, humiliating or degrading someone - 23.5%
  • Being overly critical of daily things - 23.1%
  • Threatening physical violence or harm - 22.2%
  • Played mind games on another - 14.3%

Despite this overwhelming evidence that male victims and female perpetrators of domestic and family violence make up a substantial proportion of affected persons, they were completely excluded from Anglicare WA's recommendations - as if they didn't exist at all.

Here are some quotes from the Report's recommendations (our emphasis):

"A scoping and mapping exercise in Western Australia, to determine where the needs are in terms of service provision for men’s behaviour change programs."

"The provision of adequate resources and funding for services by state and federal government, in order to promote appropriate early intervention opportunities to men who use violence and abuse against their families."

"The alignment of any men’s behaviour change program with standards associated with evidenced based best practice principles and cultural competence."

"Abusive men are capable of using non-abusive ways of relating. Our community needs to promote values associated with high expectations of evidenced based behaviour change."

"Anglicare WA advocates that long-term strategies and partnerships in relation to crisis, medium and sustainable accommodation need further funding and resourcing to provide more safe places for women and children."

You can download the report from here.

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.