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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Domestic Violence Act: Women can be charged (India)

NEW DELHI: In the wake of the raging debate on whether the Domestic Violence Act, enacted for the welfare of women, can be used against them or not, with different high courts expressing “conflicting views”, a trial court has set the record straight by holding that female members of a family can be charged under the Domestic Violence Act in case of harassment of a woman.

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Newer Perspectives on Domestic Violence (USA)

Domestic Violence (DV) and all its consequences is a terribly sad, troubling, and potentially destructive part of our national life and identity. DV not only poses physical dangers but also takes a terrible toll on families and the important relationships of our lives. One would have thought that we, as a nation, would use reason, science and logic to solve—-as much as full solution is possible—-this scourge. Perhaps naturally and understandably, considering how emotional these issues are, science, perspective, study, and thoughtfulness have often been put aside while warring camps, political concerns and emotions have carried the day. Domestic violence can be seen in many different ways but certainly a medical/scientific approach is warranted, with much to offer if real solutions are to be found.

A variety of women’s groups have seen it as central to their mission to highlight domestic violence, and have generally couched the issues in a gender specific way. Women, in their view, are the victims of DV; and men, the perpetrators. By extension, the more radical of these groups saw all men as potential abusers, waiting for certain conditions before striking. (“All men are potential rapists and that’s all they are”, said Marilyn French, author of The Women’s Room).

In the view of such groups, there was no room for studies of varying motives, circumstances, or perpetrators. The act was criminal, and the motivation was assumed to be exclusively the patriarchal attempt at dominance over women. By extension, since these were criminal acts, they should be dealt with through the criminal justice system; eg, by means of arrests, restraining orders, and the registration of males accused of being “batterers” (accused, not proven). Furthermore, in this view, these alleged batterers should be removed from their homes, their mates, and their children. Increasing criminalization was thus seen as the means of preventing and coping with DV.

Men were seen as hopelessly aggressive by nature -- predatory, and controlling. Many men reacted by joining the cause and becoming the “enforcers”--outdoing women in their zeal to protect womanhood and rid society of batterers at all costs. Other men reacted passively, unaccustomed to being adversarial toward women. And still others reacted sympathetically, but were outraged by the attack on civil liberties and constitutional rights such branding of men as batterers entailed, often with minimal due process. (“Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the experience” said a Vassar College Assistant Dean of Students). Many men felt themselves, as a group, being degraded and bashed, much as blacks had been a generation before-- when, if you were black, you were a priori deemed capable of any crime, any aggression. Men felt themselves discredited--many of whom had fought for years, and through their families, for generations, for equality and justice for all.

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Can men be victims of domestic violence? (USA)

Many organizations are studying the incidence of domestic violence among heterosexual and homosexual couples and finding that men can absolutely be victims of abuse, with male and female partners as perpetrators. The fact is, male-victim domestic violence is easy to miss, particularly among hetero couples – common stereotypes make it incredibly difficult for a man to admit that his partner has abused him in any way.

Women can hit just as much as men can. In fact, according to one source , the overwhelming mass of evidence indicates that half of all domestic violence cases involve an exchange of blows and the remaining 50% is evenly split between men and women who are brutalized by their partners.

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Self-help for men's abuse in demand (NZ)

A group of Gisborne fathers is determined to stop family violence.

The ideas and work of Tairawhiti Men Against Violence - formed in the aftermath of domestic violence incidents in 2006 - are in demand, with communities all over the country looking to follow suit.

Domestic violence and deaths plagued communities, with many men unable to get help without feeling threatened, group founding member Tim Marshall said.

The 2010 Family Violence Death Report highlighted the depth of the problem - 12 men, 16 children and 13 women so badly abused by their own family members that they died.

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Aid for male victims of domestic abuse (Scotland)

A helpline for male victims of domestic violence is being set up next month.

Callers to the Men’s Advice Line will be able to speak to trained advisers who offer confidential, practical advice and support to people being abused by their partners.

People worried about friends or family and frontline workers can also call the anonymous helpline for advice. More than 7,000 men in Scotland reported being abused by a partner last year. Some 14% of cases investigated by police involved a man who was being abused by a female partner.

A separate arm of the helpline called Respect, also going live next month, will offer anyone who is worried that their own behaviour towards a partner is abusive a chance to stop and change it. The helpline will also be a key source of information on the scope and severity of abuse experienced by men and what support men need. Communities Minister Alex Neil said: “Domestic abuse is unacceptable, whether it is carried out by a man or a woman.”

Mark Ward, national co-ordinator for the Men’s Health Forum Scotland, said it is delighted that the SNP is supporting the development of male domestic violence support services.

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