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.

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President Obama: Stop Discrimination Against Male Victims of Domestic Abuse (Survey, USA)

It is said that college is supposed to be the best time in life. For me, it was far from that. Shortly before my high school graduation, my mother began to take out her problems on her family in increasingly severe ways. She would frequently become angry at my father and me. While the severity of the problem waxed and waned over the years, during the worst periods I was yelled at every single day, in some cases as much as 5-10 times per day. She also became very controlling of our behavior. An action as simple and innocuous as walking from one room of the house to another would require obtaining her permission. It was not until I had endured this treatment for three years that I heard a report on the radio about verbal and emotional abuse, a subcategory of domestic abuse, and realized that I was a victim of it.

When I finally came to the realization that I needed professional help, I had to wait due to difficulty finding the money to pay to see a psychologist. I finally got the help I needed after being subjected to the abuse for five years. Yet, the effects caught up with me several months ago and I developed an anxiety problem severe enough to cause physiological symptoms that required a trip to the emergency room.

Now, help is finally on the way for victims of domestic abuse. Under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the administration recently instituted regulations requiring services for domestic abuse to be covered as preventive care. Screening questionnaires will be used to identify patients who may be victims of abusive relationships. Insurance plans are now required to cover this screening, as well as psychological counseling for victims, without copays or deductibles. There’s just one catch: The regulations only require that these services be covered for women, and I am a man. Even worse, this discrimination extends not just to those like me who have been emotionally abused but also to those who have been physically or sexually abused.

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Power and control; breaking the cycle of silence « Karen Woodall

Working in the field of family separation it is never possible to be far away from the problem of domestic violence. Whether it be an issue which is real or alleged or an issue which is under or over reported, family separation and domestic violence appear, at least from the stories we are told, to go hand in hand.

In many ways the issue of domestic violence is a thorny one within the overall landscape of family separation. For some, domestic violence is at the heart of family separation and must drive all policy and practice around it, for others it is a problem which causes false allegations and is used as a tool to prevent relationships between children and a parent (usually a father). For practitioners who work with family separation, understanding domestic violence and the way in which it is responded to is a serious business. Serious because it can, at the outer extremes, mean the difference between life and death for parents and children or the complete and utter destruction of the relationship between parents and children through false allegations. Either way, domestic violence is an issue that must be taken seriously across all of its manifestations.

Taking domestic violence seriously however does not necessarily mean having to listen to the exhortations of the domestic violence lobby groups. These groups, made up as they are of women (and some men) who believe that domestic violence is only to be understood within a paradigm of patriarchal control, are extremely powerful and determined in their arguments. The core thrust of these being that violence is an issue which is created within a society dominated by patriarchal power and control over women and that liberation from this requires a zero tolerance towards any act of domestic violence across the universe.

For these groups, domestic violence is primarily viewed as being an issue which is perpetrated by men against women and the response to this is to treat every act of violence as a danger signal of the highest magnitude. For these groups, educating women to understand their conflicted relationships within an understanding of being oppressed, is key to liberating them from the dynamic that puts them in danger from ‘their perpetrator’, the use of the possessive term in this culture being akin to the way in which survivors refer to people who abused them as being ‘my abuser.’

But domestic violence does not have to be considered in this way for it to be taken seriously and in fact, to pursue an understanding of domestic violence in this one, narrow focused way, can put men, women and children at serious risk of harm. There is a huge body of research, both in this country and across the world, which has focused upon a much more nuanced understanding of the ways in which violence in families is present during and after separation and it seems vital, to me, that in working with family separation it is to this, more sophisticated way of understanding and responding that we look for guidance to our own policy and practice development.

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Male Victims of Domestic Violence

A great article by Dutton and White in the latest edition of New Male Studies available free online.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic violence (DV) is often framed as a “woman’s issue” or “violence against women” generating the perception of males involved in violent relationships as the aggressor and more capable of inflicting injury or causing harm to their partner. Due to this set of beliefs called the “gender paradigm”, male victims are often met with disbelief or suspicion when they attempt to gain protection from a female partner, or access services. Male victims may also report difficulty in locating services specific to their needs, as help lines or shelters are targeted exclusively towards female victims. These issues and the implications for male victims will be discussed.

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Dating violence starts early, UGA researchers say (USA)

Nearly one in three middle and high school students who date say their relationships include violence, according to University of Georgia researchers.

Girls were more likely to perpetrate violence than boys, but girls were more likely to be the victims of sexual violence or incur injuries, said UGA professor Pamela Orpinas, who led the study.

“That’s surprising to most people, but to anyone who works in this field, it’s not really surprising,” she said. “What happens frequently is that it’s not as serious when a girls hits a guy. The consequences are not as serious, and people don’t take it as seriously.”

Other researchers also have noticed the same gender difference, but Orpinas and her colleagues found out violent behavior patterns persist over time.

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Dating Violence in Teen Years Can Have Lasting Impact: MedlinePlus


Teenagers who experience dating violence could be more likely to get involved in violent relationships and have health problems as young adults, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed surveys of nearly 6,000 teens across the United States that were taken when the teens were between the ages of 12 and 18, and again five years later. The surveys asked about physical and psychological violence in romantic relationships, and also about feeling depressed, having suicidal thoughts, drinking and doing drugs.

"What stood out was, across both genders and types of victimization, teens who experienced teen dating violence were two to three times more likely to be re-victimized by a partner in young adulthood," said study author Deinera Exner-Cortens, a graduate student in the department of human development at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

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