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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Respectful relationships or 'boy-bashing'?

Media release from the One in Three Campaign.

Respect is a two-way street – but Wednesday’s announcement of Federal funding from the $9.3 million allocation to “respectful relationship” programs appears designed to target only boys as potential perpetrators of violence in relationships. Yet Australian research shows that girls are as likely to practice dating violence as boys – and that violence by girls towards boys is seen as more acceptable than is violence by boys against girls.

University of Western Sydney researcher Micheal Woods said, “By appearing to focus upon gender as the cause of relationship violence and abuse, these programs ignore the internationally accepted evidence that other causes play a much larger part. The social determinants that can lead to abusive relationships include social disadvantage, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and inadequate conflict management and affect regulation skills.”

“The approach behind this campaign is at odds with the Prime Minister’s preference for evidence-based policies – this roll-out of funding appears to support biased gender ideology, not social good. The denigration of boys as belonging to a “violent” gender – and the implicit approval for violence by girls against boys – undermines the intent of reducing violence in relationships,” said Mr Woods.

Melbourne psychologist, Dr Elizabeth Celi, said, “Do we want our young girls thinking that slapping a male friend or boyfriend, throwing objects at him, kicking or scratching him with her nails is OK? Research clearly shows that females as well as males, at school and university age, are violent toward their partners and schoolmates. Why are we staying silent about this issue? Young women saying ‘Stop!’ to their girlfriends slapping or verbally abusing their male friends or boyfriends is just as important a message to teach our kids.”

Anti-violence campaign One in Three spokesperson Greg Andresen said, “Respectful relationships education is an essential part of the school curriculum. However, conflating ‘respectful relationships’ and ‘violence against women’ implies that disrespect in relationships only leads to males abusing females. Why is the government ignoring the 50 per cent of relationships in which girls physically and psychologically abuse their boyfriends? We are concerned that these ‘respectful relationships’ programs are really just boy-bashing exercises in disguise.”

Data released today by One in Three reveals that:

• 21 per cent of physical violence between dating partners of university age during 2005-6 in Australia was perpetrated by females only, 14 per cent by males only and 64.9 per cent was mutual violence (where both partners used violence against each other) [source]

• Young males and females aged 12 to 20 were equally likely to have experienced domestic violence or forced sex by a partner [source]

• Young people were just as likely to have seen Mum hit Dad as they were to have seen Dad hit Mum [source]

• 25 per cent of young people agreed with the statement “When a girl hits a guy it’s really not a big deal.” 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 [source]

• Young males were more likely than young females to have experienced bullying, punch-ups between people at school/college, drunken fights in pubs/clubs and racial violence [source]

• Young females were more likely than young males to have experienced rape/sexual assault & ‘bitching’ [source].

pdf Read full media release


Woman charged with killing husband is lobbyist (USA)

A 45-year-old woman, charged with ending a domestic dispute by killing her 26-year-old husband of five days, is a registered lobbyist for a group fighting domestic violence.

Arelisha Bridges was ordered held without bond in the Fulton County Jail. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing later this month on charges of felony murder, murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Officials said Bridges claimed she was unemployed. But records show she is a lobbyist for an organization called the National Declaration for Domestic Violence Order; its Web site says the group is pushing legislation to create a database of those convicted of sex crimes or domestic abuse.

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'Staggering' report shows 41 Kiwis killed by family (NZ)

Figures that show at least 41 New Zealanders died at the hands of family members in 2009 have been labelled "staggering" by some working to stop family violence.

The Family Violence Death Review Committee issued the figures in its annual report to Parliament. But it says the number could still get higher, as some deaths at the end of the year have not yet been included.

The figure is made up of 16 children, 13 women and 12 men – 10 deaths above the national average of 14 women, six men and 10 children killed each year.

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Reid unapologetic for linking unemployment to violence against women

Advocates for men are calling for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to apologize for suggesting Monday that men are more likely than women to commit domestic violence, especially when they’re out of work for long periods of time.

Advocates for men are calling for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to apologize for suggesting that men are more likely than women to commit domestic violence, especially when they’re out of work for long periods of time.

But Reid’s spokesman told on Tuesday that the Nevada Democrat is not apologizing for arguing during Senate debate a day earlier that the $15 billion jobs bill he is sponsoring should be passed to help prevent an uptick in violence.

Marty Nemko, co-president of The National Organization for Men, described Reid’s comments as “irresponsible,” citing numerous studies that show women are just as likely or even more so to commit domestic violence against their male partners.

Nemko also noted that that the police reports women advocacy organizations use are misleading because “men are embarrassed to say their wives beat them over the head with a frying pan.”

“Instead of looking to try and find men jobs, he’s bashing men completely unfairly,” Nemko told

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Spotlight on male victims of domestic abuse

A support group is claiming that a man dies every three weeks in the UK because of domestic violence.

Those who suffer abuse are now being urged to seek help as part of a nationwide awareness week.

Ian McNicholl told Sky News he had been trapped in a terrifying violent relationship.

He described how his former partner, Michelle Williamson, squirted bleach in his eyes, forced lit cigarettes up his nose and burnt his arms with a hot iron.

She also smashed his shoulder with a hammer with such ferocity that the handle snapped.

"It gets worse without you realising," he explained.

"You can't seem to think for yourself or separate fact from fiction. You just want to keep her happy by complying and keeping her happy.

"As bizarre as it sounds, I still loved her."

As Mr McNicholl found himself on the brink of committing suicide, a concerned neighbour alerted the police and his 10-month ordeal came to an end.

In April 2009, Williamson was sentenced at Grimsby Crown Court to serve a total of 18 years in prison.

Mr McNicholl is now slowly rebuilding his life and is about to have reconstructive surgery on his fractured eye sockets.

He told Sky News: "The fear of repercussions certainly stops people from reporting things.

"At one stage I was walking into the same newsagent with a new black eye or injury every day. Nobody said or did anything."

A new TV advert will be part of a week-long awareness campaign.

Dr Steve Connor from the National Centre for Domestic Violence said: "As a man, it can be difficult to admit that you are being abused.

"As the advert points out, a man might feel ashamed, embarrassed or worried that he may be considered less of a man by speaking out against his abuser."

The NCDV can be contacted via, telephone 0844 8044 999 or text "NCDV" to 60777.

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