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May152015

'It is not funny': Jeremy Kyle berates audience for laughing at family violence | Sydney Morning Herald

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Host Jeremy Kyle, left, chastised the audience for laughing at a male victim of domestic violence on his talk show. Photo: Youtube

He has been accused of deliberately choosing poorly-educated guests to make the British ashamed of their national identity and preying on dysfunctional people under the guise of entertainment.

But this week, social media users applauded British tabloid talk show host Jeremy Kyle for berating his audience after they laughed at a male victim of domestic abuse who appeared as a guest.

During a segment titled "You're a violent cheat but I hope your baby's mine!", The Jeremy Kyle Show guest Geoff recounted how he ended up in hospital after jumping from a third-storey balcony to escape from his ex-girlfriend Danni.

When the audience erupted in laughter, Kyle accused them of having double standards.

"I don't want to upset anyone in the audience but if a woman was sat here and a bloke had locked her in a flat and she'd been forced to jump out and injure herself, you lot would not be laughing," he said.

"You would be saying he is a total nightmare, he should be locked up and this is disgraceful. Just because it happened to a bloke, it is not funny."

Social media users hailed Kyle's intervention, with one Twitter user writing: "Hate Jeremy Kyle, but the man's speaking the truth" and another tweeting: "I think Jeremy Kyle is a complete tool and his show is awful but I have to give credit where it's due."

The reaction of the Jeremy Kyle Show audience was not surprising, said Greg Andresen, senior researcher and founder of the One in Three campaign  to support for male victims of family violence.

"As a society we still have trouble coming to terms with the fact that a man – who is supposed to be strong and tough … and all these things we cherish about masculinity – is able to be abused and assaulted by a woman, who is supposed to be smaller and weaker," he said.

Public health messages that portray domestic violence as "something men do to women", combined with a lack of services for male victims of family violence, compounded their sense of isolation, Andreson said.

Shame and embarrassment meant men were much less likely to report abuse to police. "And when they do they're told to go home, man up and grow some balls," he said.

One in 19 men and one in six women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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