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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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.’

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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.

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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."

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

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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.

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Beliefs on violence 

Letter to the editor, Adelaide Advertiser, 1st September 2010:

Your article "Domestic abuse shame" (The Advertiser, 20/8) claimed that "the poor attitude of Australian men to violence against women is evidenced by a 2006 Victorian survey which found one in 20 believed women who were raped often 'ask for it'." This survey actually found that 6 per cent (about one in 20) people (not men) agreed with the statement "Women who are raped often ask for it". So, yes, there are still a few people who hold unacceptable beliefs about sexual violence against women.

However, there are far more who hold unacceptable beliefs about violence against men. The National Crime Prevention survey found that young people are more likely to say a woman is right to, or has good reason to, respond to a situation by hitting, than a man in the same situation.

Overall, for situations where men might hit their female partners, 49 per cent of young people said that he would be right to, or have a good reason to hit her, in at least one of the situations presented. In situations where women might hit their male partners, 68 per cent of young people said that she would be right to, or have a good reason to, hit him in at least one of the situations presented.

And 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 per cent of young people agreed with the statement "When girl hits a guy, it's really not a big deal").

The Advertiser, however, failed to publish the following letter to the editor:

Miles Kemp's article "'One in three' domestic abuse victims" (20/8) contained the following errors of fact:

1. "'One in three' domestic abuse victims / One in three women at risk" The correct statistic is just less than one in six (16.8% of) women have experienced violence by a current or previous partner since the age of 15. This is HALF the rate reported by Mr O'Connell. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) Personal Safety Survey Australia, p16. The article also contained the following unnecessarily gender-biased statistic:

2. "A quarter of Australian children had witnessed violence against their mother." The correct statistic is 23.4 per cent of young people have witnessed physical domestic violence against their mothers/stepmothers and 22.1 per cent have witnessed physical domestic violence against their fathers/stepfathers. Source: National Crime Prevention (2001). Young people and domestic violence, pages 96-7.

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