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 Service returns funding - saying they cannot help men

The Central Coast service, Domestic Violence Intervention Response Team (DVIRT), was last year ordered by the Department of Community Services to change its core function to include helping male victims of domestic violence. The group had been negotiating with the Department of Corrective Services (DoCS), but talks broke down last month and the program is being temporarily run by police until another group willing to comply with the orders is found. "We are not prepared to compromise the integrity of our service by continuing to operate DVIRT under the onerous and inappropriate conditions being imposed by DoCS," a letter to the department, co-signed by Ms Gaunt, read. The letter said changing the program to work with men was in conflict with DVIRT's constitution and would breach a funding agreement with Legal Aid, therefore risking future funding for the scheme. "Our safe room at court can contain more than 30 women... and would not be an appropriate place for male victims to be supported," she said.

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Aid to male victims (Taiwan)

New rules passed by the Legislative Yuan included welfare aid to male victims of domestic violence and the families in which the children are in the care of their grandparents. The reduction of tuition for children of such families and those with low income attending colleges or universities will be raised to 60 percent from the current 30 percent. Lawmakers voted to extend assistance to more families in view of the increasing male victims of domestic violence and grandparents faced with financial burden when taking care of the third-generation children. Such financial support will now not be limited only to female victims.

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Reaction to Women Abusing Men in Public (USA)

A fascinating public set-up to demonstrate how people's attitudes towards male and female violence are very different.

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Battered men jostle for space in crowded Danish shelters (Denmark)

Copenhagen — Battered women in Denmark have a multitude of shelters to choose from but men in need of a haven after divorce, losing their job or fleeing abusive wives have to elbow for room in just three brimming crisis centres. Overlooking a canal in the picturesque Christianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen sits a red brick building with large bay windows: Mandecentret, the Scandinavian country's newest centre for men in distress. Inside the 650-square-metre (7,000-square-foot) building, the ambience is tranquil, with modern furniture, paintings on the walls, 12 rooms equipped with televisions and Internet connections, and professional counsellors to help men in need. Two other such centres exist in Denmark, but Mandecentret is the first in northern Europe to offer professional help to men fleeing from psychologically or physically abusive wives or floundering after a divorce.

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Dads on the Air: the Erin Pizzey interview

Domestic violence is not a gender issue, says the founder of the world’s first refuge for battered women. Back in the UK from Bahrain where she recently opened the first purpose-built shelter for women and children in the Arab world, Erin Pizzey spoke today with the Dads on the Air radio program on radio 2GLF, Liverpool.

Ms Pizzey said that domestic violence treatment has to move out of the courts into the mental health arena, “because most domestic violence is [mutual] - both parties are violent. One party may not be physically violent to the other but in those relationship addiction situations they don’t leave each other. The violence is perpetual. It’s quite simple: if children are born into violent families, both boys and girls will be infected.” She believes eventually we will have to concentrate on an alternative strategy of love and hope for these problem families. We will have to abandon the model of idealising the “victim”, demonising the “perpetrator” and politicising the issues.

Asked what she thinks of current domestic violence treatment programs, Ms Pizzey replied, “They basically miss because they’re politically based. The programs are there to punish men better. Well, you can’t do that. There’s no recognition that women can be equally complicit in the violence. All women going into refuges, which are largely feminist, are told they’re victims. It doesn’t matter what happens: if she murders a man she’s a victim, if she batters and abuses him, she’s still a victim. And that is getting us nowhere.”

Ms Pizzey also talked about the “Violence Against Women – Australia Says No” campaign that portrays perpetrators as male and victims as female. Asked whether the campaign does more harm than good, she said, “Absolutely, because it’s a lie apart from anything else.” She went on to talk about the problems male victims face in society. “You can wake up one morning and find out you’re involved with a nightmare, and then there’s the nightmare of trying to get out of it. A woman waking up with a nightmare next to her has all sorts of avenues for escape, and immediate sympathy and protection. But just as likely it’s going to be a man, and he is going to get ridiculed and laughed at. Just like my father [who] was six-foot-four and my mother was a traditional four-footnine. No one would ever believe what my mother got up to behind the front door.”

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