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Human Rights And Wrongs

Myths about domestic violence


Reading Time: 57 minutes

A set of wrong beliefs

Some of this article is an adaptation from a conference presentation made at Biel, Switzerland, on 14 August 1991. Sadly, despite being presented almost 30 years ago at a world forum, these myths and nonsense are still circulated. If anything, now they have been around for so long, they have become “common sense”. While these myths may be common, there is no sense to them, as unbiased practitioners in the field are aware.

Do you still believe in any of these? If so, you are probably a victim of Woozling.

Terminology

There is some jargon used in this field, like in most areas where a lot of money is to be earned, or spent. We’ll rush you through some of it, starting with the most comprehensive coverage to the more detailed, without getting bogged down in technical language.

Domestic Abuse (DA) — An over-all term for all kinds of abuse that occur in a domestic setting, or because of an existing or past domestic relationship.

Family Violence (FV or DD) — Abuse or violence that happens within, or to, a family. Not all Family Violence is Domestic Abuse but the vast majority is. Some Family Violence happens from strangers, such as in home invasions. Family Violence can be between grand-parent and child, between siblings, aunt and nephew, etc.

Domestic Violence (DV) — Domestic Abuse that has turned violent. ‘Violence’ used to mean physical action, as the dictionary says, but is being used to mean a wider range of matters, blurring any distinction between it and Domestic Abuse.

Intimate Partner Abuse/Violence (IPA/IPV) — Abuse, or violence, between two people who are in an intimate (usually sexual) relationship. Note that while most of this is Domestic Abuse, it also covers situations for abuse or violence before a couple are domestically involved.

Child Abuse — any abuse experienced by a child. Most of this is discussed in terms of Domestic Abuse but it may occur outside of the home, too.

Sexual Abuse — abuse of a person in a sexual manner. When done by a man, this is usually for sexual gratification. When done by a woman it can be for sexual gratification or as a means of power and control.

You will see that many of these terms overlap. There are some distinctions which may indicate the focus of research or care. Sometimes, the wrong terminology is used, particularly by the popular media.

Domestic abuse is a crime of the poor and uneducated

Not True

“A woman that has great education and training and a great job is not susceptible to this kind of abuse by men,” said Oregon’s 2016 Republican nominee for governor. In March 2017, a British judge gave a suspended sentence to a man who admitted beating his wife with a cricket bat and forcing her to drink bleach, because, the judge did not believe his victim was vulnerable as she was “an intelligent woman with a network of friends” and a college degree.

In truth, domestic abuse has no regard for age, sex, ethnicity, financial status or educational background. Lesbian relationships have a higher incidence of domestic violence than others but all kinds of relationships experience it. The problem is learned behaviour, often going from one generation to the next.

The Washington Post made it clear in their article sub-titled ‘No, abusers are not poor and uneducated‘:

…examples of smart and successful abusers abound. Just think of Ike Turner or Chris Brown. Last year, former South Carolina state legislator Chris Corley pleaded guilty to felony domestic violence charges…

Tony, 56, was the director of a transport business when he found himself in an abusive marriage. His wife, Tracy Hannington, was a carer in an old people’s home but had no difficulty punching Tony so hard he had loose teeth. His five-year marriage included weekly violence which included him being doused with hot tea and having a kitchen knife held to his throat.

There’s a type of person who abuses, and is abused

Not True

While there is much written about just what sort of person it is that abuses another, and what kind of person puts up with it, there is actually very little evidence for what can be said about the people as a group.

What we do know is that most people who abuse experienced abuse in the home (not necessarily towards themselves). People who tolerate abuse, particularly those who go back to an abuser once free of them, or who seek another abusive partner, have often been abused as a child.

Erin Pizzey, who set up the world’s first refuge for the care and treatment of battered women in Chiswick, London, UK, discovered that the women she cared for were often as violent, if not more violent, than the men they were leaving. Her first study, and many studies since, indicates a link between violence in childhood and the re-creation of violent relationships in adult life.

That’s the closest any evidence goes as to the ‘type’ of person. End domestic violence in one generation, both done by men and by women, and the next generation will be much calmer. Keep pretending there are ‘types’, or that women’s violence doesn’t count, and the next generation will be just as violent.

Domestic abuse is a complex issue

True

It is easy for politicians and policy makers to want to make it simple. Simple things can be solved with ease. Difficult things, like the economy, foreign relations, and domestic abuse, take a lot of time, effort and accurate study. And even then, political opinion and ideological stances get in the way.

How much more complex, then, is domestic violence when the majority of practitioners have both financial and ideological requirements to make it simple, and influence policy on their own behalf.

When people are stressed and tired, tempers flare more easily. Domestic unhappiness, and even abuse, may never be able to be stamped out entirely. There are some things that can be done to cut it way down, though, and the first of these is to accept that there is no one simple answer.

Domestic abuse is only physical

Not True

Because coverage of domestic violence overwhelmingly focuses on physical abuse — think of the photos, the police reports, the restraining orders — many people have difficulty self-identifying as victims of its verbal and emotional forms.

A common line of thought was voiced by a woman who told Britain’s Independent newspaper about a relationship with her teenage boyfriend, “He never physically hit me, so I didn’t think of it as abuse.”

Asher told of the abuse of his mother towards her own mother. “My mother started abusing my grandmother again, turning her into her slave, making her do things you wouldn’t make the most menial laborer do.” Yet she wasn’t violent towards her. She was only violent towards her boyfriend.

Andrew spent seven years being abused. “I always knew I had a difficult marriage,” he says, but it took a neighbour’s description of what she saw as domestic abuse before he started to see it. “At first, I tried to discredit it: maybe my neighbour was just over-reacting? But the more I reflected on it, the more I started to ask myself important questions.”

Domestic abuse does not always include physical violence. Women’s Aid UK defines domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner. These incidents can include coercive control; psychological and/or emotional abuse; physical abuse; sexual abuse; financial abuse; harassment; stalking; and/or online or digital abuse.

Anastasia was shocked when her therapist told her that the lack of violence from her mother was not important: the disregard for her feelings, needs, health, and existence as a separate person was what makes her so toxic.

The United Nations does not have an overall definition of domestic abuse, because they only care about violence done against women. They also confuse the terms ‘abuse’ and ‘violence’ in all languages. Nevertheless, we can adapt their definition of “intimate partner violence” if we ignore the blatant and inexcusable sexism against men and accept that this defines intimate partner abuse:

Intimate partner violence refers to behaviour by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.

United Nations

Domestic violence is a women’s issue

True

Some men use a cheeky ‘bad boy’ image to hide a genuine psychopathy

According to the US Department of Human Services, one in four women will go through intimate partner violence. But it’s not only a women’s issue. Men experience abuse by women more than you might think (and more than the media shows). Studies suggest that one in nine men will be abused by a female partner. While this number may say high, the real number is likely much higher. Researchers believe that the fear of being seen as “weak” can make men less likely to report.

“Failing to acknowledge that abuse occurs across genders and sexualities only leaves more people in danger.”

Men are the only abusers.

Not True

The language and thinking around this issue (“battered woman syndrome,” for instance) are extraordinarily gendered. A male engineer married to a female physician recounted to the Salt Lake Tribune in 2001 the time he called a domestic violence shelter after one especially brutal beating from his wife. “We’re here to help women,” officials told him. “We don’t know what to say to a man.” One posting on the website of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism is titled “Not a Two-Way street: Men are NOT the victims of what is meant by Domestic Violence and Abuse.”

But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 7 men in the United States have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, and 29 percent of heterosexual men have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner.

In 2008, it took four battered men and a lawsuit by the National Coalition for Men for the California courts to recognize that men are entitled to equal protection and advocacy support from domestic violence shelters. A different breakthrough happened for the USA in 2015, when the nation’s first domestic violence shelter for men opened in Arkansas.

Often people are willing to make outright lies on this issue, including senior politicians. They have financial or ideological reasons for only wanting male perpetrators to be recognised despite the wealth of information that women are about as violent as men.

Whilst men can hit harder, women, adult women can hit very hard when the victim is a child.

Domestic Violence in New Zealand – A Masculinist Perspective

Even the idea that “men can hit harder” is a stereotypical myth. In roughly a quarter of couples, the woman will have greater upper-body strength than the man.

Angela Alsobrooks, State’s Attorney at Prince George’s County, Md., said that in a two year period, the number of male victims was “amazing” and included men being run over by their wives.

Domestic violence is a men’s issue

True

Men are often exhorted to step in and help on domestic violence, but only for helping women. This is men’s natural inclination. Men, generally, do not care anything like as much about men as they do about women. This is one of the reasons why men are ignored in society and why there is the infamous gender empathy gap.

But men need to care about all forms of domestic violence. As we have already covered, there is no “type” to domestic violence. Any man could end up a victim, perhaps initiated by illness or overwork. Society is bearing down on men so hard that more boys and men are finding themselves the victim of female abuse in all manner of ways.

The UK public has an opportunity to learn of the severity of the problem

What we try to do is to ensure that all male victims of domestic abuse – and their children, if they have them – can escape from the situation they’ve found themselves in. We also want to ensure that recognition and support for male victims is fully integrated and mainstreamed in society’s view of domestic abuse and in the statutory delivery of domestic abuse services. This would include making sure domestic abuse is not seen as a gendered crime.

Society tends to hold the view that only women can be victims. This feeds into the whole issue that being a man and admitting or claiming that you are a victim is one of Britain’s last taboos.

Mark Brooks OBE, Mankind UK.

In recognising the need for action to eradicate violence against men, the violence against women, including by some of the same men, should not be forgotten.

Women are the only victims

Not True

Skylar Baker-Jordan, a gay essayist based in Chicago, wrote last year: “When my ex-boyfriend assaulted me, I found my friends — particularly my male friends — minimizing the abuse or excusing it as a ‘scuffle’ between boys. When I sought support, they got uncomfortable and told me to ‘man up.’ ” For gay men in the USA, “the lifetime prevalence of severe physical violence by an intimate partner (e.g., hit with fist or something hard, slammed against something, or beaten)” was 16.4 percent, the CDC says. This is well below the average but should not be dismissed for its relative rarity.

Women are the victims in around as many instances of domestic abuse as men are. If one counts things like parental alienation, being divorced without any breach of marital vows, having ones children forcibly removed from your life, etc. then men are overwhelmingly the majority of victims of domestic abuse.

Most domestic violence is two-way. Women tend to suffer more from domestic violence, which is thought to be a reflection of men’s typical extra strength and learned fighting ability.

Domestic violence against men is very similar to domestic violence against women. It can come in the form of physical abuse, emotional, verbal, or financial.

Domestic violence is not about size, gender, or strength.

Jan Brown
Executive director and founder of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men, USA.

The Canadian government admit that there is too little research on violence against males to really know enough about it. Most studies on domestic violence start with the presumption that violence is done to women and done by men, so are unable to give any true indication of what is really going on.

Women are not violent

Not True

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study (Dunedin Study for short) has been ongoing since 1972-73 in New Zealand. Its findings expose the truth about domestic violence. Women hit men just as often as men hit women.

The danger of feminist insistence that domestic violence is a problem with males, as the Dunedin Study exposed:

The study found that domestic violence was fairly evenly split between male and female perpetrators, and many ‘domestics’ involved both male and female partners being violent.

However if police attend domestic violence incidents they will usually treat the male partner as the violent person.

The Dunedin Study that found this was controversial and internationally shunned because it didn’t fit the modern ‘male violence’ focus. But it was later supported by studies done elsewhere in the world.

Domestic violence and gender

The feminist-run domestic violence industry spends a considerable amount of the money donated to it to perpetuate the myth that women are not violent.

Boys and men can’t be victims

Not True

This myth is perpetuated by much of the domestic violence industry. It is also instilled through gender socialisation, of both boys and girls, where mothers often declare that males, even young boys, are not supposed to be victims or even vulnerable. We learn very early that males should be able to protect themselves. In truth, boys are children – weaker and more vulnerable than their perpetrators.

Power is also exercised from a position of authority, using resources such as money or other bribes, or outright threats – whatever advantage can be taken – to use a child for sexual purposes.

Domestic abuse of men is nothing new, nor is making a joke of it.
  • One in every six men will be a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime.
  • One in every five men suffering abuse at the hands of their partner, do so for more than one year.

Jennifer Michelle Greenberg, author of Those Who Weep, says of those she found to interview for her book:

To my surprise, of the nearly 60 survivors who have interacted with me, over half have been men. Based on statistics from the CDC and RAINN, I had expected most of my sources to be female. Instead, I had men of all ethnicities, ranging from teenagers to seniors, confiding in me under the stipulation that I would never reveal their names.

None of them have ever reported their abuse.

At least a dozen of them had never told a soul, before me, about what had happened to them. Because of this, I have come to believe that gender abuse statistics are severely flawed.

The Bleak Reality of Male Abuse Survivors

It is easy to believe that men have all the power when it comes to domestic violence. But not only is that belief not true for many couples, the thinking excludes the reality that domestic violence often has mental and emotional aspects to it. The victim loves their partner; the last thing they want to do it lash out and hurt the other person, even though they are being hurt themselves. It’s not about capability to defend: it’s about the willingness to do so.

Few if any victims of domestic violence are men so male victimisation can be safely dismissed

Really? Are you serious?

There are a number of ways in which the evidence for gender symmetry in domestic violence is ignored by people who insist on seeing domestic violence as part of a program by society to oppress women. These include just not mentioning the facts on male victimisation, not asking questions about male victimisation, not citing studies that show male victimisation, and citing studies as supporting ideas that women are not violent when the studies in fact contradict that claim.

It is important to check that a report is not using one of the preceding techniques before taking it at face value.

One of the cognitive problems people have on imagining a man as a victim is that men are generally (note: only ‘generally’) more powerful than women. Yet even feminists will admit that physical power is a small part of the picture: mostly it is about emotional and psychological control. Most men have been brought up from a young age with the mantra that a boy/man never hits a girl/woman. Never.

‘I’m a big, strapping bloke. Who would believe I was a victim of domestic abuse?’
Domestic violence against men is far from a niche concern. The most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated that around 800,000 men – five per cent of the male population – had experienced domestic abuse in 2011-12, compared to 1.2 million women – or seven per cent of the female population. Since about 2005, around 40 per cent of domestic violence victims have been male.

Theo Merz,
Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2016

Think about it, if you’re a woman: did you teach your sons not to hit a woman? Did you make that conditional on whether he is being attacked by a woman? What boys learn early, tends to stick.

Anyway, since when was it right to ignore a minority? Often, a minority needs especial attention.

Boys and men are less traumatised from experiencing abuse than girls and women

Not True

While some studies have found males to be less negatively affected, more studies show that long term effects are quite damaging for either sex. Males may be more damaged by society’s refusal or reluctance to accept their victimisation, and by their resultant belief that they must “tough it out” in silence.

When it comes to the reception of violence, boys and girls experience pain at roughly the same levels. If it seems less for boys, this is because from a young age, they care conditioned not to show it, whereas girls in ‘advanced’ nations are conditioned to work it to their advantage.

Some women also do not feel much pain, if any. Both sexes can experience loss of sensation as a result of anything from hypoesthesia and congenital analgesia to depression. An inability to feel pain does not lessen the abusive behaviour.

Men have generally been brought up never to strike a woman. This inhibition to defend themselves adds to the feeling of helplessness when they are victimised, making the mental aspect of abuse even worse.

There are indications that men may on average experience physical pain at a generally less rate than women, just as they experience physical pleasure at a lower rate. But they do experience pain and older men will experience it at a generally higher rate than younger women. So the idea that abuse of boys or men doesn’t matter because they experience pain less is rather immaterial. They experience pain: it matters.

If it was that bad, they would leave

It’s not that easy

Domestic violence has many layers. Abusers may exert their control by creating isolation, financial dependence, and through emotional manipulation, as well as physical fear.

Men and women stay in abusive relationships for many different reasons, and it can be very difficult for them to leave an abusive partner – even if they want to. Like any other relationship, one that ends in abuse began with falling in love and being in love.

Abusers use warped logic to brainwash their victims. Subversive manipulation of the mind and destruction of the victim are the perfect tools to enable abusers to succeed.

Abusers often isolate their partners from family and friends in order to control them, making it even more difficult for an abused person to exit the relationship, or even recognise it as an abusive relationship. The victim may be prevented from having a job, or keeping the money they earn, and have day-to-day necessities restricted. An abuser can even limit the victim’s transportation, further cutting off contact with the outside world.  If there are kids involved, a simple threat to take them away or to hurt them can stop an attempt to leave ice cold.

Abuse rarely starts at the beginning of a relationship, but when it is established, it is often harder to leave, not easier.

A man faces extra difficulties. Not only does he face the difficulty of being believed, and therefore getting any help, but he is unlikely to have any support systems available. He also knows that if he leaves, he will have a major struggle to keep his children with him: they are quite likely to end up with the abusive mother unless he can fight his case well.

An abused man is likely to still be in love with his partner and believe her when she says she is sorry and it won’t happen again; he may be frightened for his life or for the safety of his children if he leaves; he may have nowhere to go; he may be financially dependent on her. Most men are so brainwashed by upbringing and social lies that they don’t even believe that men can be victims, even as they suffer.

If you think battered women are stuck in their mess, you haven’t seen “stuck” until you have met a battered man. To me, it is so very sad. I attribute their being as stuck as they are to the fact that they have little to no social support and resources to assist them in ushering themselves to safety as do battered women.

Even worse, the social system surrounding them encourages then to shut up and stay put, because “no one will believe you anyway!” They are convinced that their victimization will be laughed at, ignored, ridiculed and dismissed. The conclusion these abused men draw from what they are told is: “why bother.” And so, they remain stuck.

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Tell-Tale Signs of Battered Men

Extraordinary as it might seem to people who have never been abused in a relationship (or at least, have never thought themselves so), one of the struggles in leaving is to realise that is what they should be doing.

Men and women in abusive relationships need support and understanding – not judgement.

Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by homosexual males

Not True

Adults who molest boys are not expressing a homosexual orientation any more than those who molest girls are. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the majority are not male and not homosexual. They are paedophiles or ephebophiles.

If a male experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, this means he was a willing participant or enjoyed it

Not True

In reality, males can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. Therapists who work with sexual offenders know that one way a perpetrator can maintain secrecy is to label the child’s sexual response as an indication of his willingness to participate. “You liked it, you wanted it,” they’ll say. Many survivors feel guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical (and visual or auditory) stimulation is likely to happen in a sexual situation. It does not mean that the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant at the time.

If a female experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, this means she was a willing participant or enjoyed it

Not True

In reality, females can respond physically to stimulation (getting wet) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. Therapists who work with sexual offenders know that one way a perpetrator can maintain secrecy is to label the child’s sexual response as an indication of her willingness to participate. “You liked it, you wanted it,” they’ll say. Many survivors feel guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical (and visual or auditory) stimulation is likely to happen in a sexual situation. It does not mean that the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant at the time.

Boys sexually abused by males are or will become homosexual

Not True

Many boys who have been abused by males erroneously believe that something about them sexually attracts males, and that this may mean they are homosexual or effeminate. Not so. Many girls who have been abused by women wrongly believe that they have something inherent that attracts females. Again, not true. Paedophiles often admit that the lack of body hair and adult sexual features turns them on. The paedophile’s inability to develop and maintain a healthy adult sexual relationship is the problem – not the physical features of a sexually immature child.

While there are different theories about how the sexual orientation develops, experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation. It is unlikely that someone can make another person a homosexual or heterosexual. Sexual orientation is a complex issue and there is no single answer or theory that explains why someone identifies himself as homosexual, heterosexual or bi-sexual. Whether perpetrated by older males or females, boys’ or girls’ premature sexual experiences are damaging in many ways, including confusion about one’s sexual identity and orientation.

If the perpetrator is female, and the victim a boy or adolescent, he should consider himself fortunate to have been initiated into heterosexual activity

Not True

In reality, premature or coerced sex, whether by a mother, aunt, older sister, baby-sitter or other female in a position of power over a boy, causes confusion at best, and rage, depression or other problems in more negative circumstances. To be used as a sexual object by a more powerful person, male or female, is always abusive and often damaging.

There is a sense in society that the boy is “lucky” to have been abused. Indeed, if ‘rape culture’ exists at all, it is in a sexist perspective of child abuse. This is perpetuated in the mainstream media, who will report a girl assaulted by a man in terms of ‘rape’ yet will report a boy assaulted by a women in terms of ‘seduction’ and ‘tryst’ .. that’s when the child himself isn’t held to be the guilty party!

Domestic violence is all about “Power and Control”

Not True

While abusers are often mentally controlling, their violence is often not about power or about control. Like any bully, a regular domestic violence perpetrator is most likely insecure in themselves and unsure how to fit in. Most violence is two-way: it is an argument that turns ugly and gets physical. Most intimate partner violence is perpetrated by both partners at the same time; it is often through feeling powerless and failing to control oneself that these things happen.

The Power And Control model is wrong, it doesn’t help, and it won’t help stop domestic violence. It’s almost a trademark of the lucrative domestic violence industry, who would suffer if domestic violence were ever cured in society.

A very small amount of domestic abuse is planned, intended and thought through. This is in many ways the ugliest side of humanity, perpetrated by men and women with severe problems. Thankfully, this model is the rarity but can end disastrously for the victim.

Domestic abusers/abused saw their mother or father abuse their partner

True

A great many of (but not all) those involved in abusive relationships as adults grew up with violence in the home. However, they are as likely to end up as the abused as the abuser. It depends on who the home violence was directed at and it how they processed the experience.

It is important to distinguish between the statements that “most people involved in abuse as adults, grew up with abuse” and “most people who grew up with abuse, end up with abuse as adults”. Many people experience abuse at home and quite a few of them process the experience such that they ensure that they will never abuse and will never allow themselves to be abused.

Growing up with domestic abuse is never an excuse to abuse another. Growing up with abuse should not be taken as an indication of normality in being abused. The normalisation of violence by many feminists sends entirely the wrong message, in that it might seem to women who believe them that if they want relations with a man, they have to accept violence. In reality, few men are violent towards women and any lapse is likely to weigh heavily upon him.

She must have provoked him. He must have provoked her.

Not True

This myth is widespread and deep-rooted. When the abuser is male, it may be based on the belief that the man is the head of the family, and that his role is to punish his partner or children if they act in a way he doesn’t approve of, or it is his right to be obeyed. When the abuser is female, it is often based on the belief that the woman should be queen in the domestic sphere and deserves whatever she demands, or it is her right to be obeyed.

The myth is dangerous because any reference to ‘provocation’ means that we are blaming the victim and relieving the abuser of responsibility for her actions.

Abuse or violence of any kind is never the victim’s fault. Responsibility always lies with the perpetrator alone. We should recall that in most circumstances, both partners in intimate partner violence are simultaneously perpetrator and victim.

People care just as much about violence against men as they do about violence against women

Not True

That anyone could have the sheer gall to suggest this is astounding. Yet it is suggested, even in parliaments. Try to find an equivalent to the United Naitons campaign to end violence against women for men, even though men suffer more violence than women. Try finding battered men’s shelters comparable to even a tenth of the available women’s shelters, even though men are around half the number of overall victims.

Society – particularly its men – does not accept violence against women. Society – particularly its women – accepts violence against men. There have been several academic studies on this point and below is an illustrative video, where actors pretend violence against one another on different days.

One problem with this, as Erin Pizzey points out, is that the next generation learns from the current generation. Acceptance of violence against men in the current generation will result in a continuance of violence in the next generation.

The feminist movement has long resisted the idea that domestic violence against men is a significant social problem. In 1975, when sociologists at the University of New Hampshire published a study suggesting that women were just as likely as men to assault their partners, the researchers faced widespread criticism — including death threats and bomb scares.

Los Angeles Times August 5, 2017, reporting on a new shelter for men, one of the first in the USA.

When Joshua Miller’s girlfriend attacked him, smashing their son’s toy guitar against his forehead, he was the one that police officers put in handcuffs.
Fortunately in Joshua’s case, a a neighbor backed up his story and the police removed the cuffs. Most men in his position aren’t so lucky as to have witnesses to the real events: everyone just assumes that it is the man being bad. Even in Joshua’s case, it was still he who had to leave the house – with his son – rather than his girlfriend being removed.

Women are just as abusive as men

Yes, and no

Most domestic violence is bi-directional, it’s an out-of-control mess where a couple – possibly a dysfunctional couple, and not for the first time – are having a go at each other. They probably started by yelling at each other and the point at which it turns physical would only be clear to an observer, if they could stand just observing.

What is very surprising to most, yet consistently supported by research across decades and countries, is that where domestic violence is uni-directional, it is most often started by the woman. In accordance with this finding is that homosexual male couples experience the least proportion of domestic violence, while homosexual female couples experience the highest proportion of domestic violence.

Males are far more likely to be charged and convicted of domestic violence than women. Part of this is because men who lash out typically do more damage (though women are more likely to kill in anger), and partly because men are proportionally far more likely to be charged and convicted of any crime.

Women are more likely than men to experience sexual abuse. Men are more likely than women to experience financial abuse. Men are more likely to be threatened with false accusations, and with never seeing their children (because the state will often support an abusive woman in these areas). Women are more likely to be threatened with violence.
These are, however, just generalisations and are not statements connected with any specific case. Your situation (or the situation of someone you are helping) may be completely different.

Domestic abuse does not just exist as part of the ideological and financial programme of “violence against women”. Men who are abused have little in the way of social, financial or legal support, which just adds to the abuse they endure. Children, the most vulnerable, suffer far more than women, whether they are male or female.

This is just some peculiarity of the English-speaking

Not True

India has a long struggle even accepting that men can be victims at all. in 2017, what should have been an important decision was reached by an Indian Court. In practice, while it has made some women more wary of making false accusations, others are emboldened by the relative lack of punishment for doing so. Men still do not have protection.

The German magazine Manndat reports (translated):

It is known from numerous international studies that women are no less likely to be perpetrators of domestic violence than men. As part of a German study on fathers in separation and divorce situations (Prof. Amendt, 2005), it was found as a “by-product” that in such stressful situations women are even more prone to [domestic violence] than men. As is also the case with domestic violence against children.

Manndat, 2011

Hungary has been experiencing growing domestic violence. Seeing that Western countries, after 50 years of feminists running the domestic violence industry, is still complaining of high levels of domestic violence, they are trying a different track, which includes the domestic violence against men (about 40% of the total). The current government is seeing if making it as socially unacceptable as it is to smoke cigarettes will put enough social pressure, along with counselling services offered for free. It is too soon to know whether they have a formula that works but it certainly will be cheaper and can hardly be less effective.

Domestic abuse happens wherever there are domestic homes and people who are stressed, tired, lacking social support or mentally ill. It is worldwide.

She can be a good mother (or he can be a good father) even if she abuses her partner – the parents’ relationship doesn’t have to affect the children

Not True

An estimated 90% of children whose parents abuse one another witness the abuse. The effects are traumatic and long-lasting, leading to a proportion of them learning the wrong message and taking the violence – or taking an acceptance of it – into their own adult life.. When a child witnesses domestic abuse, this is child abuse. Too often, if one of the partners is abusive to the other, the children are also abused.

We believe that where a case of uni-directional abuse is proved (not merely claimed to gain advantage in court), the non-abusive parent should be the default sole custodian of the children. The non-abusive parent should, however, also be given counselling as they may well be attracted to the wrong kind of woman/man and need to recognise their own part in allowing the abuse and have the ability to avoid it in future.

If there was a lot of domestic violence against men, there would be a lot more research on it.

There has actually been an academic study to determine why there are not so many academic studies on male victimisation as there are on female victimisation!

In 2007, Graham-Kevan’s paper raised the question of how an explanatory theory and treatment modality for domestic violence could have persisted for 30 years (and still persists today), despite hundreds of studies which provide evidence that domestic abuse has many causes, not just male-dominance. Given that this outdated and disproved theory has obviously failed to correct the problem or even — according to the practitioners of it — helped at all, one has to wonder why government agencies continue to fund it. For fund it they do, to the tune of several billions of dollars worldwide. One researcher states:

Although there are many causes of the persistence of the patriarchal dominance focus, I believe that the predominant cause has been the efforts of feminists to conceal, deny, and distort the evidence.

Processes Explaining the Concealment and Distortion of Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence

There is a great deal of money being made out of domestic violence programs that do not work. If the programs started to work, the source of all that money would start to dry up.

The seven methods described have created a climate of fear that has inhibited research and publication on gender symmetry in PV [partner violence] and largely explain why an ideology and treatment modality has persisted for 30 years, despite hundreds of studies which provide evidence on the multiplicity of risk factors for PV, of which patriarchy is only one.

Because of space limitations and because I am a researcher not a service provider, I have not covered the even greater denial, distortion and coercion in prevention and treatment efforts. An example is the director of a battered women’s shelter who was terminated because she wanted to ask the residents whether they had hit their partner and the context in which that occurred. An example of governmental coercion of treatment is the legislation in a number of US states, and policies and funding restrictions in almost all US states that prohibit couple therapy for PV.

Murray A. Straus

But even in the USA, there has been research and reliable figures available from non-feminist sources such as the Centers for Disease Control, who more than eight years ago said “More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime”

Male victims of domestic violence have been seriously neglected in public policy, outreach and services. But they are not rare at all. They’re just less likely to report it, which makes crime statistics unreliable especially for men.

The National Coalition for Men, USA

Believing these myths can be deadly

So long as society believes these myths, and teaches them to children from their earliest years, sexually abused males will be unlikely to get the recognition and help they need.

So long as society believes these myths, sexually abused males will be more likely join the minority of survivors who perpetuate this suffering by abusing others.

So long as boys or men who have been sexually abused believe these myths, they will feel ashamed and angry.

And so long as sexually abused males believe these myths they reinforce the power of another devastating myth that all abused children struggle with: that it was their fault. It is never the fault of the child in a sexual situation – though perpetrators can be quite skilled at getting their victims to believe these myths and take on responsibility that is always and only their own.

For any male who has been sexually abused, becoming free of these myths is an essential part of the recovery process.

I do not understand the motivation of those who want to dismiss male domestic abuse as a non-issue or pretend it does not happen. Every victim of domestic abuse, be they male or female, should receive support based on their need as an individual. Their gender, race, sexuality etc are obviously important factors and may influence the type or style of support that they receive, but there shouldn’t be limitations placed on what support is available depending on how you fit into each of those categories.

Mark Brooks., Mankind, UK

Dealing with such serious matters by adherence to ideology and financial interest is literally killing people. Most of the myths here are dangerous to someone: a female victim of her female lover, a boy being groomed by his female teacher, a woman who thinks she isn’t abused because her partner doesn’t try controlling her, a man shivering in fear trying to protect his children. All are harmed by falsity and greed. Sometimes, that harm is severe. Sometimes it kills. These myths are deadly.


Realise, plan, and act

There are many ways that men and women can be abused.

It can often start off small, with lots of different events that gradually chip away or erode your confidence. It can sometimes make you feel that you are losing your “sense of self” and that you can’t trust your own judgement or feel you don’t have the right to make decisions. People often describe being made to see, think or do things the perpetrators way or changing their behaviour to avoid making their abuser angry.

Recognise domestic violence

Whatever the sexes of the partners, abuse can mean a partner or spouse will use a number of means to maintain dominance:

  • Your partner uses verbal, emotional, psychological and/or physical abuse to get her way. It’s her means of establishing and maintaining control in your relationship.
  • Continual criticism, name calling, or shouting at you.
  • Your partner may punish and/or manipulate through the use of battering that can also involve threats of separating you from your children.
  • Threaten to hurt you or a family member or pet.
  • Punish or deprive your children when angry at you.
  • Your partner is extremely jealous of your contact with other men/women, even when there is no basis for belief in an extramarital affair.
  • Your partner seeks to control your time, attention, and your social life.
  • Your partner demands that things go her way or no way, leaving you with no other options other than to acquiesce. This can be done in an apparently very passive way; but you will be in no doubt of her displeasure should things not go her way.
  • Withholding approval, appreciation, or affection as punishment.
  • Regularly threatens to leave or to make you leave.
  • Destroys furniture, punch holes in walls, break appliances (this can be sign of severe stress; is it directed at you?).
  • Hits, kicks, shoves, punches, bites, spits, or throws things when upset (even if you have not yet been the target, this behaviour needs to stop).
  • You are blamed for any communication mistakes between the two of you, whether it was you speaking or you listening.
  • Your partner insists that you assume blame for all discord in the relationship including her abusive behavior toward you.
  • Your partner may seek to isolate you from all sources of support outside of your intimate relationship with her.
  • Manipulates you with lies and contradictions. You may think it is you getting confused, but if your partner is the only person who confuses you, then it is not you that is the problem. If you think you do have a problem, talk to a doctor about it.
  • Your partner demands your compassionate understanding of her, yet fails to offer empathy toward you.
  • He/she takes away your car keys or money, or denies you food or sleep.

Get the help you need to escape an abusive relationship

Men Abused by Women in Intimate Relationships, a digital booklet published by the government of Alberta, Canada.

The One In Three Campaign have a resources page where you can hopefully find someone to give you the support you need. If you are being abused, don’t hide from it any more: reach out for help.
http://www.oneinthree.com.au/servicesandresources/

Canada is a feminist state, so you have to be careful who you approach for help. Not all helplines for men will even accept at a man can be a victim.
The Centre for Men and Families operate a help service.

The New Zealand government is keen to see all services offered to men as much as to women. While that isn’t as easy as it sounds, it does mean that if you need help, you should have access to help whether you are a man or a woman. If you are in immediate danger, call 111 now.

UK Helpline: 01823 334 244
(open 10am to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm weekdays)
Website: www.mankind.org.uk Digital leaflet

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