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.


Ombudsman finds domestic violence campaign 'misleading': men's groups call for changes

On the first anniversary of the launch of the South Australian government’s Don’t Cross the Line campaign, the Ombudsman has found the Office for Women guilty of unreasonable and wrong administrative action after failing to correct false and/or misleading information on the campaign website.

The Ombudsman asked the Australian Institute of Criminology to investigate the errors after a complaint by Men’s Health Australia showed that statistics on the website misled the public about the nature of violence in young people’s relationships.

Men’s Health Australia spokesman, Greg Andresen said “The research evidence shows that, as far as young people are concerned, the experiences of males and females with regard to relationship violence are quite similar.”

“Around a quarter of young people have seen either mum hitting dad or dad hitting mum, and it’s more likely they’ve seen their parents hitting each other than seeing one-way violence from either parent. Young males and females are also equally likely to say ‘yes’ to the statement ‘I’ve experienced domestic violence’.”

“As far as the attitudes of young people go, the research does show that some young people hold unacceptable attitudes to violence against women. For example, 8% of young people agreed with the statement ‘it’s okay for a boy to make a girl have sex , if she’s flirted with him, or led him on’ and 11% agreed with the statement ‘if a guy hits a girl he loves because he is jealous, it shows how much he feels for her.’

“However, many more hold unacceptable attitudes to violence against men. For example,

  • Young people are more likely to say a woman ‘is right to’, or ‘has good reason to’, respond to relationship conflict by hitting (68%), than a man in the same situation (49%)
  • While males hitting females was seen, by virtually all young people surveyed, to be unacceptable, it appeared to be quite acceptable for a girl to hit a boy (25% of young people agreed with the statement ‘when a girl hits a guy, it’s really not a big deal.’)
  • Female to male violence was not only viewed light-heartedly, it was also seen as (virtually) acceptable.”

Instead of presenting such data on the Don’t Cross the Line website, the Office for Women instead presented erroneous statistics such as “95% of domestic violence involves a male perpetrator and a female victim” (the data shows that overall, at least one in three victims are male). While some of these errors have now been corrected, the website still contains a page of inappropriate statistics about violence against women only.

In an interview on ABC Radio on September 2nd, Minister for Women Gail Gago claimed that the campaign “is not a contest about who is the biggest victim.” Men’s Health Australia is hopeful this means that the campaign will be altered to present a balanced picture of relationship violence.

Mr Andresen said, “Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research recently found that the NSW Government had published eight ‘statistics’ in need of correction in their Domestic and Family Violence Discussion Paper. There appears to be a widespread culture within women’s departments that downplays or denies the existence of male victims of relationship violence and abuse.”

A coalition of thirty men’s health organisations and individuals has written to the Premier asking that the Don’t Cross the Line campaign and future respectful relationships and family violence campaigns be moved from the Office for Women to a more suitable government department.

Toni McLean, a counsellor for men and women who use violence said, “The consequences of the government’s one-sided view of relationship violence are devastating for young male victims who don't speak up because they think their circumstances are unusual. Equally, the vast majority of boys who are non-violent could grow up with the distorted and unhealthy view that many of their peers are abusive to females.”

Micheal Woods, adjunct fellow at the University of Western Sydney, said “The Government has a public duty to present facts honestly and with integrity when releasing information in the public domain, especially about such an important area as relationship violence. We fear that the Office for Women may be ill-equipped to continue a role in designing and implementing respectful relationship and domestic violence policy because of their demonstrated bias.”

html#ixzz0n5xrz7qv Read media release


Four in ten domestic violence victims are men (UK)

Four out of ten victims of domestic violence are men, a report claimed yesterday.

But it added that men who complain of being attacked at home are often ignored by police who prefer to believe that a woman is the real victim.

The study comes at a time of complaints that men are treated unfairly by the justice system.

A new set of guidelines for judges on fairness in the courts has been criticised for playing down the likelihood that women attack men and pushing for judges and magistrates to go easier on women offenders.

The study by the Parity campaign group based its assessment of the number of male victims of domestic violence on Home Office statistics and the British Crime Survey.

It said that the average proportion of male domestic violence victims was 40 per cent.

The charity report added that more than 41,000 men were prosecuted for domestic violence in 2008/09 but only 2,700 women.

More than half the male victims of domestic violence suffer injury.

The report comes amid protests over the latest guidelines published by the Judicial Studies Board, the body responsible for training judges.

Its revamped court manual states that domestic violence ‘consists mainly of violence by men against women’.

Mark Brooks, of the ManKind campaign group, which supports male victims of domestic violence, said: ‘For a document that claims to be about gender equality, it leaves the impression that male victims are seen as second class.’

html#ixzz0n5xrz7qv Read full story


Stopping the Violence… and the traffic in Alice Springs

Earlier today I witnessed the most powerful and (hopefully) effective public event I’ve yet seen in my short stay in Alice Springs.

Alice Springs is a town where men – particularly Aboriginal men – rarely make mass public statements that address the issue of greatest concern to most people living in Alice Springs – domestic and inter-personal violence. But thanks to the concerted efforts of a determined group of men that is changing.

The “Stop The Violence” march held today saw several hundred men and boys march through the centre of Alice Springs to join a large group of women and supporters to rally at the Alice Springs Town Council lawns. The march stopped the traffic in town and hopefully lifted just a little of the malaise and downheartedness that often seems to be the dominant sentiment in this troubled town.

html#ixzz0n5xrz7qv Read full story

Darren Hayes from Santa Teresa community at the front of the march


Ombudsman finds domestic violence campaign 'misleading'

A national men's group is claiming victory over what it calls a feminist agenda on domestic violence. An independent investigation has upheld the group's complaint about a public awareness campaign in South Australia. The Ombudsman's inquiry found parts of the $870,000 campaign contained errors.

The Don't Cross The Line campaign has been running in newspapers, on television and radio and on a website. The Ombudsman in South Australia found some statistics initially published on the site were false and misleading.

Advocacy group Men's Health Australia made a complaint against the Office of the Status of Women over 10 matters on the website. The Ombudsman's final report substantiates seven of them and another two in part. The Government had said one in 17 women was a victim of domestic violence annually, but the figure related to violence generally.

Michael Woods is one of the men's group's supporters and is from the Men's Health Information and Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney. "It is a shame that a government department is unable, despite being notified a year ago, to address its own shortcomings and it required this sort of action," he said. "The ideological commitment of people in that department must be so strong that they would reject scientific data in favour of their own biases."

html#ixzz0n5xrz7qv Read full story

html#ixzz0n5xrz7qv Listen to longer story on ABC Radio's The World Today program (MP3)

html#ixzz0n5xrz7qv View transcript of The World Today broadcast


Grief-stricken dad asks: 'How can you not get life?'

An evil mum who drugged and murdered her two sons should have been jailed for life, the boys' father says.

Donna Fitchett, 51, yesterday was jailed for 27 years, with a minimum of 18 years, for the "chilling, callous murders" of Thomas, 11, and Matthew, 9.

"How can you not get life for taking two innocent lives, under any circumstance?" ex-husband David Fitchett pleaded to the Herald Sun.

Earlier, outside court, a grief-stricken Mr Fitchett choked back tears as he said: "My boys. I love them, I miss them." Fitchett has already served five years, meaning she could be released as early as 2023.

Prosecutors had wanted her jailed for life, which would have made her the only woman in Victoria serving a life term.

In 2008, Fitchett was sentenced to a hospital security order of 24 years, with a non-parole period of 18 years, for the murders. She successfully appealed, and faced a retrial.

"Having been through the ordeal twice, and seeking what I thought was justice for my boys after the first one (trial), going through the appeal process has been an absolute nightmare and a horrendous time in my life," Mr Fitchett said outside court.

"Thomas and Matthew deserve justice. Life by two was the only thing that would satisfy me." Fitchett drugged then strangled or smothered her boys at their Balwyn North home on September 6, 2005.

html#ixzz0n5xrz7qv Read full story