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'How is that any different?' Fitness guru Michelle Bridges argues domestic violence against men 'is just as important' as the abuse of women

Fitness guru Michelle Bridges has weighed in on Australia’s domestic violence crisis, arguing that violence against men should be taken just as seriously as abuse on female victims.

On Tuesday morning while appearing on Channel 10 morning show 'Studio 10' the Biggest Loser trainer took part in a panel discussion on female perpetrators of domestic violence.

The presenters discussed a viral video experiment, which found bystanders are more likely to intervene if a man slaps a woman in public than if a woman strikes her male partner.

When host Jessica Rowe pointed out that one woman dies every week in Australia at the hands of her partner, Michelle argued that the victim’s gender is unimportant.

‘I think it's violence against humanity, whether it's a man or a woman, when you see something like that,’ Michelle told her co-panelists.

‘It's jarring and I'd like to think that I would step in even if it's a man hitting a guy, I think that we need to discuss this topic with a more open-minded forum.

She argued that the domestic violence crisis needs to step back and focus on violence as a whole, including when a man or woman strikes a man.

‘I think it’s about all violence – all violence, whether it’s violence against children, women, men, animals,' she said. 

However, presenters Jessica Rowe and Joe Hildebrand both argued that the ‘crisis’ Australia is facing is violence against women and children, particularly at the hands of their partners and fathers, and it can be ‘distracting’ to focus on other less prominent issues, such as the less frequent circumstances in which women are the perpetrators.

This year alone it's understood at least 76 women have been killed by their male partners, according to Counting Dead Women.

When Joe Hildebrand argued that violence against men is ‘so rare compared to the amount of violence that men heap upon women’, Michelle interjected: ‘does that make it any less important?’

Joe shocked his co-panellists by confessing ‘instinctively I feel repulsed by (watching) the man hit the woman but did not have as visceral a reaction from watching the woman hitting the man'.

‘I don’t understand, how is that any different just because there’s a woman giving the violence than a man giving the violence?’ probed Michelle.

‘I suppose it’s because men are physically stronger than women,’ Joe responded, to which the personal trainer argued: ‘not in every instance!’

‘One woman will die every week in Australia at the hands of her partner so sometimes we can muddy the issue by saying we don’t look at the violence of women against men enough,’ said Jessica.

Joe argued that focusing on domestic violence against men can be ‘distracting’ when ‘it is so rare compared to the amount of violence than men heap upon women.’

‘We do need to face the fact that overwhelmingly men are the greatest perpetrators of violence against women and often children as well,’ said Joe.

‘I know people are right in saying there are mothers who kill their children too and that is, of course, unspeakably terribly but we need to address this problem.

‘It’s clearly a big problem and it’s a problem which puts a lot of other problems in the shade.’  

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Reader Comments (7)

To say it is something that doesn't need to be addressed simply because the numbers are not as high is such a irresponsible response.
Let us remember, that yes there aren't the numbers, but men are the highest statistic on those who end their own lives.
We are likely to not know why they have chosen to end their lives and with the parent alienation that occurs, I would say a high number of men are ending their lives because the family law system is quite skewed against men.
There is NO, yes NO shelter for men to go to in Australia when they are fleeing their abusive home environment with their children.
Even if they did report the abuse, it would be highly likely they will be seen as the abuser, and then charged and be away from the children with a female who is abusive. So most men do not report because there's nowhere for them to go or they will be laughed at by the authorities because they have not been "man enough".
I have had many discussions with people who make the statement that the number of women who are affected is too high to not deal with it and that men need to wait till "we" sort that out.
My argument to that response is... what do we do with the men and children till we sort out one problem, do we just allow those children to live in their violent environments, while their fathers are being abused and having nowhere to go?
Family violence is not recognised in Australia, violence against women is, children seem to come as a second thought, just ahead of pets.
Men are treated with such injustice.
Australia doesn't even have a Minister for Men's Health, how can we be in the year 2015 and this not be addressed?

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Rarers ? The violence rate is more on less equivalent in heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples.

We just don't want to hear about violence against men and boys. It disturbs Feminist narratives...

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterOliver

A lot of male domestic violence goes unreported due to the shame they feel about being abused by a woman! In turn a lot of them turn to suicide! All violence needs to be dealt with!!

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJenny A

Single mother households are at an all time high, young boys from those households are exposed mostly to female teachers growing up. These boys are also exposed to the feminist narrative like no other generation before. So if there's a rising crisis of men attacking women, and if most male prison inmates come from single mother households, who exactly teaches them to behave this way? Two thirds of all child murderers are mothers, the vast majority of these child victims are boys. When you factor that into the DV stats women don't look so good.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I salute Michelle for her open preparedness to advocate the position that gender in any domestic violence situation has absolutely no relevance. Too often those persons who are prepared to deny that violence can take place against men do so on the basis that men are the stronger sex but what they regrettably fail to appreciate is that, frequently, the violence perpetrated against men is less physical and more often psychological. This being so, it doesn't thereby mean that the "damage" inflicted is any less more hurtful and often is, more prolonged than the scars of physical abuse.
Its certainly about time that society focused its attention on both genders and stopped its unjustifiable ignorance of the long term psychological "damage" that can and is being inflicted on male partners.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRicardo

So remembering Rosie Batty's son who is male was killed by her ex-husband. She should be speaking up against ALL forms of domestic violence.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commenternicole

There's an empathy gap. The obsession with ridiculously fake feminist historical narratives pushing ideology and crushing facts and logic has created armies of deluded cliche-heads.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPlainOldTruth

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