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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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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The male victims of domestic violence (UK)

Men experiencing domestic violence is rarely reported. But according to the government and various voluntary agencies there has been a dramatic increase in the number of calls received by men who claim to be suffering physical and mental abuse at home. Many men are too afraid to admit to being victims Last week, BBC News Online and BBC Radio Ulster broadcast moving and very dramatic stories of women who have suffered physical violence at the hands of men. But what about men who suffer at the hands of women? We received many messages from men asking us to look at this taboo subject. For the past week, I have been investigating this hidden issue, many of the men I spoke to about their experiences did so for the first time. Many men are too afraid and embarrassed to admit to being victims of domestic violence.

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Men railroaded by corrupt family violence research

For thirty years now, researchers have known that wives kick, punch, stab, or shoot their husbands about as often as husbands kick, punch, stab, or shoot their wives. But federal law ignores the facts and instead uses the power of the purse to get states to impose Kafkaesque policies that punish victimized men and reward violent women.

Back in 1975, the First National Family Violence Survey turned up results that surprised even the sociologists conducting the survey. Wives attack husbands about as often as husbands attack wives. And wives attack first about as often as husbands attack first, which is strong evidence that women’s assaults on men can’t be explained away simply as self-defense. But battered women’s advocates were intent on portraying domestic violence as something only men do and only women suffer from. So they’d conveniently leave out the part about women’s assaults on men whenever they cited the study’s results.

Susan R. Paisner is a criminologist and longtime advocate for abused women and men. She recalls being stunned by the hostile attitudes toward male victims that she encountered at one of the nation’s first conferences on domestic violence. She naively thought that “we were all there to do good -- for all who needed it.” Yet when she mentioned having read a brief newspaper article about male victims, many of the other women at the conference turned on her, saying, “This is OUR issue, OUR cause. If men are battered, then let other MEN do something for them.”

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