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Men who face domestic abuse

Rod McKenzie Rod McKenzie | 10:20 UK time, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

It's a depressingly familiar scene. Police at a family's doorstep; a woman inside, tearful, bloodied and bruised; the officers were called because she was being attacked by her partner - now she won't, or can't, take the matter further and press charges.

Shocking - but perhaps not surprising. We know it happens often. But what if the victim in such a case was a man - a young man?

New statistics suggest that men in their early 20s are MORE likely to be abused by their partner than women the same age. It's not a subject that's much talked about. On Newsbeat, we're changing that.

The official definition of partner abuse includes non-physical forms like emotional bullying as well as physical force. But men in this age range have been on the receiving end of all forms, including sometimes severe violence.

Across most age ranges more women are abused than men. But analysis of the latest figures from the Home Office shows the problem is more evenly spread between the sexes in the early stages of a young relationship

So why are men in this age at such risk? Are 20-something women becoming more aggressive? Are men less able to defend themselves? And is this a taboo that's now being talked about for the first time?

Our journalism started with a piece on Radio 1 from our special reporter Jim Reed. 5Live's phone-in with Nicky Campbell picked up the story also.

Mark Brooks from the men's health charity Mankind reckons the issue of male domestic abuse is often ignored by the government, social services and the police. There simply isn't enough help available for men, he says.

Reporting the crime carries risks too. Some men clearly feel that telling police can lead to the finger of blame being pointed at them. One, who wants to stay anonymous, texted us to say "ex girlfriend pushed me down the stairs ,i called the police and they locked me up for three hours and made me walk home with dislocated toes cos they did not believe me". Others say they were threatened with assault charges - even though they were the victim.

The response from the Radio 1 audience appears to fit the stats, too: "She knocked me to the ground and then started punching, kicking and biting me." Another one told us: "My ex broke my arm with a metal pole ... when the police came round, I ended up being arrested."

And perhaps most movingly: "My dad was stabbed to death by his girlfriend in a drunken unprovoked attack. She had been attacking him randomly for months. He would never talk to us about it but we knew she had a violent temper. He was a wonderful dad and we miss him every day. More should be done to encourage men to report domestic abuse."

Covering this subject has provoked a flood of stories and experiences - and from many a desire for something to be done to help young male victims. We're now following this up with a full length documentary - coming soon on 1Xtra.

Rod McKenzie is editor of Newsbeat and 1Xtra News.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    I know your job is radio news, but couldn't you kick up a fuss about how 'Newsround' is being shafted by having the 'Weakest Link' on BBC One !? It is a bit of a scandal, and as Parky might have said 'You've nicked our pitch from under us..'

    Just as iPM got shafted by having its slot moved to quarter to six IN THE MORNING I think you news bunnies should stick together or you will 'hang separately'...

  • Comment number 2.

    nagging is provocative and abusive
    a women hitting a man happens often
    a man reacts its called domestic violence
    women can lose their mind after child birth
    taking out their frustrations on their partners
    & use a baby to act a victim like chimpanzees do

  • Comment number 3.

    Yes I have been the victim of domestic violence by an now ex-wife and later by another partner.

    Strange because at 18 and a half stone, I am well able to hit a lot harder than they could - but thats not much use against a knife.

    My divorce lawyer said that it was a good thing that I did not hit back, as that would have been used against me. If I had mentioned in court that she had attacked me, then (he said) people would have been amused.

    So thats the current state of affairs. I hope by being open about it, people might not be inclined to think domestic violence only happens to women and children.

  • Comment number 4.

    Having been raped and abused by an ex wife i know how it feels. Try telling a policeman that. I was laughed at when i reported it. It was not until the violence happened in public that the police even bothered attending, the took her away and told her not to do it again and then gave her a lift home!!

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    don't forget the lawyers on legal aid who encourage clients to lie and rack up fees
    to prevent the real issues in court trails

  • Comment number 7.

    These new statistics don't surprise me at all. However whenever I've tried to challenge the stereotype of women being the victims of domestic abuse only, I get told that 95% of domestic abuse is male on female. I have worked for 2 men who have been affected by this and both were stabbed by their partners. Both men would never have dreamed of raising a hand to their wives, they were gentle giants. I hope that their awful experiences will now be taken seriously. How would a man feel about approaching Women's Aid, I know they would be very sympathetic but it does epitomise how we see women as the victims in this. As a woman, I find it shaming that the Zero Tolerance campaign didn't address the issue of men affected by domestic violence. Domestic violence happens in all sorts of relationships, including between siblings. We need to look at how we address this issue in many more contexts than we do at present.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well done for reporting this.

    The domestic violence industry - everything from Harriet Harman, through women only refuges to police units staffed only with women have dealt with this issue in a discriminatory way and got away with it unchallenged for too long.

    Domestic violence to women is a serious issue.

    So is domestic violence to men.

  • Comment number 9.

    lordbedgelert - can you talk about the actual discussion please which I found an important and touching story. We dealt with domestic violence on my university course and it it disgusting how men get treated by the criminal justice agencies in these cases.

  • Comment number 10.

    What is disturbing is how many people lack emotional self control and feel that resorting to violence is a 'reasonable' response to a situation.

  • Comment number 11.

    What gets me as can be seen by Denise Cullums remarks is that men that are abused are told by the women that they brought it on themselves, but of course these are the same women that say it women have it brought on them. The remark from the same person also states men can get out of it, well i would beg to differ, my ex was 16 stone and worked out in a gym i was 11 stone with a hereditary back disease. Afraid Denise you have it wrong again.

  • Comment number 12.

    Ever noticed how many TV programmes have women violating men? Seems throwing things at men, throwing things in their faces, slapping them, punching them, tazer-ing them, that's OK. But heaven help the world if a man was to hit a woman.

    Its all part of the same corrupt disease percolating through our society. We have no freedom of speech anymore, no justice, a persecutory government, communist spies everywhere, and a constant drip feed of ridiculing anything that is decent or wholesome.

  • Comment number 13.

    It has also been found that men over 65 are more likely to be the victim of domestic abuse. Sadly this country has lost it when like today a woman is found guilty of manslaughter after a 2 year old girl suffers years of abuse at her and her partners hands.


    Violent people are Violent people irregardless of gender. Too many people in this world telling others to, do as i say not as i do.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well done for broaching this subject - doubly surprising coming from the BBC. However there's some forelock tugging at the start that you really don't need. For example

    "Across most age ranges more women are abused than men."

    This is misleading. As you report - and many men confirm - men who do try to report domestic violence are at best dismissed, usually laughed at and at worst arrested on the say-so of their abuser. This naturally leads to massive under-reporting. Add in the fact that the figures for female victims are artificially inflated by feminist pressure groups and women using false accusation of domestic violence as a tactic to get their own way in a break up and the quote becomes worthless.

    Given the institutional sexist bias against men that pervades this subject, the fact that statistics are nevertheless showing that "men in their early 20s are MORE likely to be abused by their partner than women the same age" demonstrates that the problem must be very bad indeed.

    I wonder how long it will take for Jacqboot Smith to make domestic violence against men a police priority?

  • Comment number 15.

    Many, many, many thanks to the bbc ofr finally reporting on the scandal of how male abuse victims are ignroed.

    I expect just as many older men as younger ones are abused too, but they refuse to come forward as they don't feel they will be taken seriously.

    The fact that younger males are more willing to report their abuse shows attitudes are changing.

    The government really do have to take most of the blame for this - certain man hating feminists constantly want to pretend domestic violence is a gender issue rather than something that happens to anyone. They have politicised the issue.

  • Comment number 16.

    I would also like to comdemn the police for their role in harming male victims. Several months ago many police forces went around wearing white ribbons on their uniforms. These are part of a sexist campaign to end "men's violence against women".

    Imagine being an injured male victim who has finally had enough after years of abuse and actually calls the police for the first time.

    It's little wonder that the polcie are falsely arresting male victims instead of female perpetrators when even their uniform indicates he must be the guilty one!

  • Comment number 17.

    apparently people will start arguing and fighting
    with their partners when they are feeling guilty
    about having an affair with somebody else,
    or because they witnessed violence as kids

  • Comment number 18.

    sometimes it's like they have the devil or an evil spirit inside them
    or is it due to a feeling of trapped helplessness or a change of heart
    women can bear grudges forever until it grows out of proportion
    there is no such thing as an amicable break up or it is very rare

  • Comment number 19.

    I hope you documentary will look at the awful funding bias that male victims face -

    The charity commission website shows that the Mankind Iniative charity who you mention in your article had an income of £18,917 in 2007.

    For the same year one charity, Paws for Kids, which just houses the PETS of female victims had a income TEN TIMES higher.

    To make matters even worse - Mankind is an important national chairty for male vicitms, whereas the one looking after pets only operates in the North West!

    That prives how much we despise male victims as a society. If we extrapolate the figures nationally, then in financial terms they are 50 times less worthy of help than a woman's dog.

    Much of the funding for Paws for Kids came form Children in Need so the bbc are significantly responsible here.

    Would be interesting how much money bbc related charities have given to help male victims and their children - perhaps these can be remedied in comic relief please?

  • Comment number 20.

    the trend for domestic violence has swung the other way now
    just like women liberation, rights and bias in the family courts..

    also empowerment, loyalty, sexual faithfulness, going out drinking
    at least the children can discern the truth when authorities can't

  • Comment number 21.

    If a woman was to hit me I would first look her in the eye ask what is wrong.

    If that woman hit me again I would then restrain her and demand she stops.

    If she hit me a 3rd time I would stare her down to let her know she is taking a bg risk.

    And if she hits me any number of times after number 3 I will put her down on the floor. simple as that, self-denfence is your legal right.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi-

    I’m a senior professional working in this area, or more specifically in the area of Safeguarding Children, and have long had very serious concerns about the way in which this is handled officially. I am aware of many situations in which men have been abused in relationships, and children manipulated and abused in order to try to get at their fathers (or even stepfathers). I myself have suffered quite serious abuse in relationships, and can relate directly to many of the points made by previous posters.

    What made it worse for me was the approach taken in the official (ie Government – in this case Home Office and Department of Health – sanctioned) “training” on this issue, which can only be described as official propaganda. The figure, mentioned above, of “over 95%” of domestic abuse being perpetrated by men against women comes directly from such training, yet closer analysis of the statistics used to back it up shows that it cannot possibly be true. Indeed, many studies show a remarkable similarity in the number of physical assaults between the sexes, and the figures for domestic homicides (presumably the most reliable, since the reporting of a death is relatively black and white) show that in about 25% of them the victim is male – despite men generally being larger and stronger, and so more able to defend themselves. And, as I have tried to point out many times, emotional and psychological abuse – often far more damaging in the long run than physical abuse – does not require superior physical strength.

    All of this has a direct impact on my work with children. Every day, the assumption that women are victims and men aggressors leaves children vulnerable. In the Baby P case, recently in the news, part of the problem seems to have been a belief that the baby was living with his mother alone – is this why the significance of the injuries recorded was downplayed – after all, a woman couldn’t possibly be so violent, could she?

    I work with police officers and social workers on a daily basis, and have the greatest of respect for what they do, often in the most trying of circumstances. However, the training they (and I) have been given on this matter is so appalling that I’m afraid that abused men are absolutely right not to trust official services. I, for my part, do what I can to challenge, but what I can do is severely restricted by the need not to appear a single issue zealot and so turn off my target audience. Media interest in this aspect of domestic violence is very welcome – more power to your elbow!

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    they are too many toss of the coin decisions
    lack of evidence and statistical court judgments
    biased social workers and corrupt processes and
    fixed-up expert witnesses corroborating politics

  • Comment number 25.

    Part of the problem here is that Government statistics are based on reported abuse. For all sorts of reasons - many have been movingly described here - men are far less likely to report abuse by a partner than women.

    There are other ways of acquiring statistics. A good one involves random sampling and asking members of both sexes - with an assurance of confidentiality - whether they have been the victim or the perpetrator of domestic abuse. I'm not aware of the Government having commissioned research of this type.

    Where research of this type is carried out the differences between male and female in terms of aggressive behaviour shrink substantially. A recent piece of research of this type showed that about two thirds of women in the sample thought that it was OK to hit a man during an argument.

  • Comment number 26.

    Rod:

    First...Thanks for bringing out into the open this story!

    Second: I have been mentally abused by family members...And, I have contacted the [Telephone Hot lines] for assistance and they have simply told me that they could not help.....

    And, when I have phone the Police Services they were pretty much told me in that they were not able to help out because..I would have to file Criminal Charges against them.....

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 27.

    For what it is worth; I have spent nearly 38 years in the law in Australia and have lost count of the cases where the male spouse/partner is charged with assaulting the female notwithstanding that the female was assaulting/asaulted the male. Not to mention the many many false allegations of a sexual nature alleged against the male by a female, including false allegations by children, especially in the 12-15 year category.
    The again, many males belt the females!! Bit of a problem, so much injustice, as someone said, 'the toss of a coin".

  • Comment number 28.

    I noticed one article is titled "Male abuse is 'being ignored".

    It's actually far worse than that - there' plenty of evidence out there that many organisations are actively trying to cover it up and thus assist female perpetrators.

    For example, the charity The Women's Aid Federation of England has various statics about male victims on their website.

    This is an English charity, yet their main source is a survey from Scotland (a country in which they do not operate) with a minuscule sample size which supposedly proves that many men made false allegations of abuse and thus lots of men aren't really abused at all.

    Incredible that they go to such length to deny the extent of male victims.

  • Comment number 29.

    It is somewhat irksome that the TV ads on this subject (that we see in Scotland anyway) show only male perpretrators of mental and physical abuse.3 years ago I found myself for the first time ever in my life in a situation where my partner was removed from the home for a breach of the peace (not at my instigation)through drink. I have stuck by her and tried to work things through with some improvement.When my wife was at court her lawyer could barely stop himself from laughing when he met me- probably because I am 6ft1 and she is 5ft 2.
    My serious point is that I think a pre-disposition to inflicting "domestic" abuse can be determined as much by historical family behaviour than by gender.Those members of my wife's family that have distanced themselves from the old family home and have learned the value of the subtle art of negotiation do not resort to aggression to get their way, those that haven't (mainly on the female side in our case) DO resort to it in one way or another.
    Sadly, drink is a significant aggravating factor in the Glasgow area, which no doubt makes the Police's jobs harder, and no doubt from time to time they may make the wrong call.Perhaps one day they will make that mistake with me?
    What we have is a hideous weave of alcohol, and family driven conflict resolution issues. The agencies that commision the TV adverts that I referred to earlier are scoring an own goal if they do not broaden the scope of their message to both genders, people may take the ads more seriously,it might actually provoke a little more soul searching accross both genders, rather than being percieved as another patronising over simplistic lecture delivered by another self serving quango.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think because we look at violence so very leaning in favor of the female species. The society generally looks at women as the one vulnerable so when it's the male who are physically, emotionally and psychologically attacked so very few think that it is significant.

    The society's foremost inequity to the males is too much expectations for them to be the provider of the family. Because women can also be providers of the family especially when the male is not capable of. If a male cannot provide economically then at least they should work in nurturing the children.

    We should as a society develop a perspective wherein violence should be identified accordingly and appropriately address concerns for both females and males.

  • Comment number 31.

    This isn't a case of man against woman. It's people abusing each other within a domestic setting and being dealt with by a one size fits all system. Why is that so hard to understand?

  • Comment number 32.

    Surely this is actually about women wishing to be portrayed as victims.

    Although women have equal rights in our society we still hear so many reports about how women are treated unfairly.

    Women get made redundant more than men, women get paid less than men, etc, etc we all know them by now.

    In actual fact these stories are not true in the context of equality, but are rather social issues regarding the sort of work women CHOOSE to do in general.

    Part time, low skilled and low paid work to fit in with the lifestyle they choose.

    Secondly there is an inherent bias in this country towards the mother role model and against the father figure, how many adverts portray men as buffoons or idiots. How many jokes are made at the expense of men but if used in the same context at women would be described as sexist.

    Men are the new women, we can be marginalised, abused, have our rights taken away and no one, not the media, not parlianment and certainly not the police bat an eyelid.

    I personally do not object to women having the same opportunity as men, but along with rights come responsabilities and not behaving like a victim is one responsability that women seem unable to take on board.

  • Comment number 33.

    further to my previous comment iw ould like to say that i did have an abusive partner.

    The first reaction i had was shock, i had no experience to draw on in how to deal with this.

    On the one hand i had been taught never to hit a woman and on the other, this person who supposedly loved me was screaming maniacally at me saying she was going to kill me.

    eventually after several outbursts (followed by profound apologies, tears threats of never seeing my son again ets) i called the police after being threatened with a knife,and only after she hit my 2 year old son at the time, big mistake. I was arrested, charged, released on conditional bail and refused "permision" to return to my home.

    inherent bias, i should say so.

    I left my former partner soon after, i still have a strong relationship with my son, and the only advise i can give to any man in a similar situation is leave immediately and without hesitation.

  • Comment number 34.

    As little boys we are indoctrinated with how nice little girls are and how rotten little boys are; little girls start out in life with the advantage of knowing that this is not true but is a myth that they can use throughout their lives to get better treatment.

  • Comment number 35.

    It is interesting to see that the very people who recognise the myth of women as victims are happy to perpetuate it and surprising that such comments have not been moderated.

  • Comment number 36.

    What can I say other than a great big thank you. For so many years as Chair of Grandparents Apart, I have tried to highlight this issue.

    I managed at one-stage years ago to have a small inquiry carried out within Scottish parliament. This was given to an English university to carry out and they stated surprise that few men could be found.

    It does not surprise me that men are embarrassed in this situation and other than, the very few they will not retaliate. They would be the first to be accused of wife beating if they did.

    Much work is needed in this area. All I can say to the men out there is think back a few years to when women started to highlight domestic violence, they were ashamed, but now they rule the world. Talk, ask for help, if you do not this will go on for generations as little girls will and do watch their Mum’s actions and copy.

    I have complained regularly that any funding is spent to highlight domestic violence against women. Children too suffer in the middle of domestic violence and they too are ignored.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    I am appalled that people are using this serious issue to attack charities which do important work to protect female and child victims of domestic abuse. I am sure that more can be done to help men who have been subjected to violent attacks. However this should not mean carte blanche to denigrate women victims and those who do vital work supporting them.

    The Women's Aid site does not deny the existence of male victims at all: on the contrary it provides information and many links to support organisations. What it does do is point out the difference between men and women's experience of violence in a relationship, which is quite right. It IS a gender issue and of course there should be decent funding for support for any victim of crime. The fact is that there is not, whether that victim is male OR female, and that incidents of violence against women suffer from under-reporting just as much as those against men.

    Someone wrote about a charity for pets receiving more donations than a charity for victims of male violence. It is well documented that animal charities receive far more money than those for humans of either gender - eg. the Donkey Sanctuary is far richer than the NSPCC.

    Some of the comments on here go so far as to insinuate that female victims either brought it on themselves or were most likely abusing their partners themselves, which is a horrendous attitude.

    More support for male victims but without the accompanying kneejerk hatred of women?

  • Comment number 39.

    > 38. At 5:16pm on 12 Feb 2009, mackemcath wrote:

    "I am appalled that people are using this serious issue to attack charities which do important work to protect female and child victims of domestic abuse."

    Does that include child victims of female perpetrated domestic violence? No, I didn't think it would.

    "I am sure that more can be done to help men who have been subjected to violent attacks."

    Well, yes. It's not hard to improve on nothing, is it? In fact just stopping the police practice of arresting the victim merely because he is male would be a good start.

    "The Women's Aid site does not deny the existence of male victims at all: on the contrary it provides information and many links to support organisations. What it does do is point out the difference between men and women's experience of violence in a relationship, which is quite right."

    Seriously? So, it points out that while women have access to a network of hundreds of well funded refuges, men get nothing? Does it also point out that she is guaranteed that the police will believe her story exactly as she tells it, but that he will be ridiculed (if he's lucky) and arrested (if he isn't). It says all that?

    " incidents of violence against women suffer from under-reporting just as much as those against men."

    No, they don't. I don't doubt that there are women who still don't report domestic violence but they have to be offset against the ones that falsely allege assault to secure advantage in a divorce or just out of spite. No man will ever do this because there is nothing for him to gain, while the genuine victims have compelling, state-sanctioned reasons to keep quiet.

    "Some of the comments on here go so far as to insinuate that female victims either brought it on themselves or were most likely abusing their partners themselves, which is a horrendous attitude."

    No they don't - you need to read more carefully. What they do is report the fact that female abusers will falsely claim to be victims knowing that they will always be believed - particularly if their victim has the temerity to fight back. This has nothing to do with genuine female victims of domestic violence.

    "More support for male victims but without the accompanying kneejerk hatred of women?"

    You have it completely backwards. The problem is kneejerk hatred of men, as peddled by the home office, sexist politicians and the media.

  • Comment number 40.

    even the technical vocabulary of the legally loaded word 'abusive' is only ever applied in the usual one-sided manner

    chuck in words like trigger, alcohol and social services and you have stitched them up for a year in court (fraudulently)

  • Comment number 41.

    It does happen and must more prevalent than the society believes. What stops men reporting is firstly, pride, second still some degree of loyalty, third hope that things might improve an lastly and in equal measures fear that the whole story will be turned around, " I am doing it or did it to protect myself".

    Again, abuse is not just physical but emotional, financial and threat of withdrawing privilege and the right to access to children.

    Solution, I am afraid none. There are more votes to be gained by taking up women's issues than men's.

    State sopnsored tyranny against men, especially separated male partners where by they are denied access and yet are asked to pay the maintenance does not help either.

    Some will remember Mr Blair our ex PM's comment, 'absent fathers are costing the nation billions'. I am sure that there is an element of truth but has any one the time or the courage to ask a simple question why. No.

    State sponsored single parenthood ensures that the trend continues.

  • Comment number 42.

    Chauvinism is not the preserve of one sex against the other; it has always been apparent on both sides although the rise in feminism once served to level the playing field.

    Unfortunately the "blame culture" along with the aggressive pursuit of "absent fathers" has served to neuter far too many men, especially as their cases are not seen favourably in the eyes of the law. Female chauvinism is every bit as distasteful as its male counterpart.

    You need zero physical strength to be an effective psychological bully in a way that can destroy even the toughest character. The subtleties in human relationships have infinite possibility or potential and it should never be the case that we dare to make assumptions based on gender or any other convenient "pigeon hole". Yet that is precisely what we have been doing for much more than a generation. Positive discrimination has been an abject failure in seeking to balance the differences between men and women, differences that nature has designed in order to fulfill the perpetuation of the species.

    Both sexes have lost big time in this comedy of errors. Perhaps the subject of this blog will be seen by some as an attempt to redress the balance, but I see it for what it is - a piece of unpolished journalism as bad as anything that has gone before because it does not seek to treat both men and women as people instead of unconnected genders. People hurt other people and it is wrong. Enough said.

  • Comment number 43.

    How depressing that that such a subject becomes a competition. I agree with mackemcath that some of the comments on here appear to dismiss male violence against women in order to highlight the (completely terrible, unacceptable and abhorant) crime of female violence against men. And I fear somehow I am going to quote figures make statements that sounds like I am continuing this perverse "battle of the sexes".
    However, how can we avoid the fact that the vast, vast majority of those murdered by domestic violence are women, that the vast, vast majority of repeatedly abused victims of domestic violence are women (men are much more likely not to suffer repeat abuses) and that the vast, vast majority of sexual abuse occurs against women.

    Are they not to get attention because men can also be victims? One man abused, be that by a man or a woman, is one too many, but please don't begrudge women the help they so desperately need - instead try to show solidarity and work together to eradicate the stigma that afflicts all domestic abuse.

    If you want to quote statistics, if those on this blog want to make this a competition, there are plenty of statitics to throw around - however, despite my comments above, this will do the subject a dis-service and severely discount the human cost. This could be your sister, your child, your mother, your colleague, your friend.


  • Comment number 44.

    the point is that the average man and woman on the street can easily discern what is happening whereas idiot experts do not have clue

  • Comment number 45.

    "The Women's Aid site does not deny the existence of male victims at all: on the contrary it provides information and many links to support organisations"

    Ok so how many links are there on the Women's Aid website to the Mankind Initiative (the organisation who started this whoel debate) or men's aid? They are the two most prominent and most effective organisations that help men?

    Why do they use statistics about 22 Scottish men to to "prove" that half of men actually falsey claimed they were abused? Where are all the mentions of the huge numbers of females who make false claims to get custody of their children?

    Women's Aid is so sexist they even pretend male refuges do not exist, and they have a whole site set up to "educate" chidlren about domesitc vioelnce. Take a look at this poster aimed at children

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    "a refuge is a safe house where women and children come to stay".

    It's bad enough to pretend that shelter for men do not and cannot exist - but to try to endoctrinate chidlren with such a message is sick beyond belief.
    They also have "educational" videos ont he hideout site aimed chidlren. In all they feature 9 depictions of domestic abuse - every single one has a female victim and male abuser - not even one token male or gay victim.

    Men aren't even allowed into their board meetings yet and are not allowed to be full membership of the organisation.

    People aren't angry at female victims at all. They are just sick of the organsiations set up to help these victims and the damage their sexist messages do to male victims.

    These once great charities have been taken over by radical feminists who are using the issue of domestic violence for political purposes.

    These aren't just my views by the way, but the word's of Erin Pizzey who founded the first domestic violence shelters in the world.

    Her organsiation, Chiswick Women's Aid is now called R"efuge", though you won't find her name anywhere on their site as her existence has been censored out fo the history of the Uk domestic violence movement.

  • Comment number 46.

    This is no battle of the sexes. Leftist supposed movements have, since the 1970's, attempted to adopt the polarised structure of earlier more successful social movements- eg working class Vs Owner class, black vs white liberations. It is an attempt to create some moral/ power high ground/ basis that has been supplanted nowadays by the politics of my hurt is greater than yours etc.

    Since leaving school, it has only ever been women who have attacked me. The one with a carving knife who ran out of the kitchen screaming whilst I was writing an essay almost made me shite myself. But even my wife has attempted to goad me into hitting her after a night out with the girls and a belly full of wine. Yesterday, some 50yr woman eco-fascist on a bike stopped in front of my car whilst I was trying to drive my wife to work and started to scream "drive around me go on Drive around Me" whilst physically blocking my path and giving me no room to manouver. I was in a half mile long traffic tailback and hadnt moved for 5mins and have not a single clue why I should b singled out- I guess I am male and white and that was provocation enough.

    Stepping out of autobiography I would like to suggest that mayb the case of Neil Lyndon, the noted writer and broadcaster should be discussed here. This poor man's life was destroyed by agitated female activists for his opinions. His childeren were removed from him, his career destroyed because of his opinions. Now what type of society is that? One ruled by the zeitgeist of the rude and ignorant I suggest.

  • Comment number 47.

    #43

    Surely you make the very big mistake of isolating the conclusion of a dysfunctional relationship from what has gone before. Unless a person has instability from some chemical imbalance in their metabolism, their actions may simply be that of someone struggling to stay alive. That may include the illogical reasoning that it is better to kill the whole family (including themselves) than to continue the cycle of decline. That it may be one gender rather than the other is to enter the trap that goes nowhere. Two people and their offspring have dysfunctional issues that have to be dealt with in a much more sensitive and profound manner than simply determining or apportioning blame for them. In doing this we then completely ignore potentially much more crucial events where no violence occurred.

    Our one size fits all approach to domestic abuse is painfully short sighted and sexist by design and by political interference. It is the whole that makes a unit dysfunctional not a particular member of that unit. If people are not able or willing to be honest about their role in dysfunctional relationships then there will never be an end to abuse. Is that what we are trying to achieve?

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    I believe a US study showed that around 40 per cent of domestic violence was started by the woman. Around 40 per cent started by the man, and the remaining 20 per cent was pretty much a case that both parties admitted they were at least in-part responsible.

    There was a second outcome I saw from the study, that man on woman violence was generally done without weapons. Women tended to use a weapon - be it a rolling pin a knife, or a saucepan full of boiling water.

    Only a few TV programmes (e.g. Hollyoaks, and I recall Casualty) have ever really addressed men being the victims of issues. Perhaps if the BBC could do more to address the issues and if Red Nose Day could back a charity that provided for male victims, then a proper debate could be satrted.

  • Comment number 50.

    I posted a comment here earlier based on my experience of the issue. I am not here to score points, and I ceratinly don't care whether the person who's life is being destroyed/threatened is male or female.However, I am exasperated by the perpetuation in some posts of the "you lot are worse than us" arguments.
    Once upon a time there was an orthodoxy that male abuse of female partners was a "domestic" matter and no-one's business outside the marriage, and that any suggestion that society's attitude should change was viewed with irritation, scepticism,amusement,and blaming the victim.
    It is the way of public /media/government policy that one now discredited orthodoxy is in time replaced with onother one which itself becomes inflexible,develops it's own vested interest groups,and just like it's predecessor, views it's detractors with irritation,scepticism,amusement,and blaming the victim.
    But this is an inevitable downside of a liberal democratic society trying to do the right thing, I don't think it is a conspiracy against men, just an unwilingness or inability for many in the public policy domain to think outside their particular "comfort zones"-fixed views of the world that they had hoped would last them for life! Result? Pedestrian politicians (naming no names), and public servants trot out the usual mantras rather than contributing anything new (that, I'm afraid, guys and gals is up to us to do on sites like this and elsewhere).
    I wish we wouldn't go down the road of generalising about women and men, in spite of the hurt and anger we may feel.It doesn't help the next person to be beaten, threatened or wrongly arrested one iota when we do this.

  • Comment number 51.

    the authorities should not have the powers of interference in peoples family lives (Article 8 ECoHR). It is abusing their liberty, goals, hopes and dreams and chances of progression in life

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_8_ECHR

    it is criminal to be violent but the social services and family courts start with the wrong politically biased assumption and work backwards to prove it.

  • Comment number 52.

    I know I'm just going to get attacked, but hopefully this information will help those who are just seeking to be informed, not coming here with their own agenda.

    I have absolutely no connection to Women's Aid or any other organisation supporting victims whether male or female.

    However I do hate to see hyperbole and unfairness.

    Women's Aid are not trying to disguise the picture at all. They link to several websites and helplines of organisations dedicated to supporting male victims, and actively call for organisations to add their details to the list. Surely the question is - why have the Mankind Initiative not approached them to ask for a link?

    There may be a problem that needs resolving before they link to the MI - the MI's website reports statistics incorrectly (I make no judgement on whether this is deliberate or not). For example they say that "the same number of men (1.7%) and women (1.8%) in a relationship were victims of ‘severe force’" If you follow the link to the actual figures, they do not refer to the population as a whole and all men and women in a relationship, they refer to percentages of recorded crimes. I am sure this is an unintentional error but it makes a huge difference statistically.

    They might also want a link in return which would be difficult as MI by contrast do not link to any women's-only organisations.

    Yes, Women's Aid exist solely for female and child victims of male violence, which is why their support only makes reference to situations which are applicable for those it helps.

    They certainly do not pretend that men's refuges do not exist, and actively link to organisations providing this information.

    I would not consider it at all strange if MI support only had pictures of men abused by women - in fact it would be downright odd if they showed pictures of males abusers to victims of female violence.

    Nowhere does the Women's Aid website say "half of men make false accusations of being approved". They simply (correctly) state the statistics. Any inference is your own, but that one is simply not there.

    The full board of trustees' membership is anonymous (for good reason). Men can be members and do anything in the organisation except activities that bring them into contact with female victims (again, for obvious reasons). The key ambassadors listed are mostly men: Will Young, Gordon Ramsey, Kevin Whately...

    I have never met a single person involved in supporting women's victims of domestic violence who does not want male victims to also have access to services, and indeed I have frequently heard comments along the lines of "why don't men do more?" I am sure that there is much that the MI could learn from long-established organisations for female victims in how to get information out there (putting info in libraries etc - it doesn't just appear there on its own!) and set up shelters etc. I would personally give any help to any men's organisation that approached me for advice - of course!

  • Comment number 53.


    I wholeheartedly agree with # 50.

    Perhaps the BBC will now produce a realistic documentary about ALL victims and what can be done to help each and every one.

  • Comment number 54.

    men only have the legal right to go to court
    which is not even a right it is taking the pee
    if the legal complaints services commission
    would not close cases without investigations
    and courts showed 100% transparency by
    reviewing their own records for past cases
    the indicators and statistics would be freely
    available for all to see and judge equally and
    fairly. this includes property and asset thefts.

  • Comment number 55.

    and legal charges placed on matrimonial homes by the legal aid services commission for annual practice certificates given to fraudulent lawyers.

  • Comment number 56.

    Male victims of domestic abuse - The challenge they face
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Key statistics
    http://tinyurl.com/aocym7

    Ignoring male victims of domestic abuse
    http://tinyurl.com/av5qs8

    Hopefully we will see more than a blog entry.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    #52

    I am not in the business of attacking anyone and I am sure, from what you write, that you are sincere and genuine in your regard for Women's Aid. For what it is worth someone had to do something about domestic violence and isolating partners so that a period of respite was available on both sides. Perhaps the Women's movement was just faster off the mark (as usual some may add ;-)).

    My perspective is rather different because I am anxious to see an end to the differentiation of gender when it probably has little to do with what happens to a troubled family or a problem partnership. My anxiety is carefully reasoned on what outcomes we want from our work with people. Splitting and apportioning blame (either through criminal action or by depriving a partner of access to their children) is never a way to act if, at the end of the day, restoration of a functioning and hopeful relationship is the key. I am also concerned that we will never see the end of abuse as long as we deal with the parties involved in totally different ways.

    Even in relatively civilised problem relationships it take a Relate counsellor many hours of work to get couples to begin meaningful communication again, if they wish it to be so. Both sides are dealt with in the same way and no one has any inferred blame bestowed upon them. Although there are posts here which claim, morally, that there is no excuse for domestic violence, this does dismiss the use of "passive" bullying over a long period of time by the "victim". Often this "bullying" is so subtle that the partner is totally unaware that they are doing it. But the consequence of it can be horrendous.

    Human relationships more than any other single thing we may do are balanced on what we are within and if we have any kind of emotional baggage, issues or problems with ourselves then all our external relationships are also at very high risk. The answers are in empowering people to control who and what they are so effectively that they do begin to "love" what they have become; as "love" begins so does the acceptance of responsibility for responses to others i.e. blame ends.

    Men and women may have many chemical differences but we are, in essence, highly compatible partners for each other and it is staggering just how many relationships prosper given the huge variables involved. I would suggest that it is more likely that a female partner will "control" a relationship than the male, but the "control" must be subtle and persuasive not crude and domineering. At least ninety out of every hundred women I have known have this unique feminine ability to "control" in such a subtle way that neither partner need be aware that it is happening. Tap into this rich vein of sustaining relationships and we may begin to see an end to abuse in all but the most isolated cases.

    I would like all children to have their mother and father around them but that is impractical. What we can do is to ensure that permanent splits to not carry the venom that penalises one side or the other. Getting rid of that venom, is not in my humble opinion ever going to be solved through Women's and Men's Aid - we need People Aid and shared responsibility.

  • Comment number 59.

    "Perhaps the Women's movement was just faster off the mark"

    Actually the feminist swere very slow off the mark indeed and had nothing to do with the formation of the first shelters whatsoever.

    Erin Pizzey (along with some hard working colleagues) created the first shelters. She raised large sums of money as well as getting people to donate properties.

    The government tried to close her down as the existence of her shelters highlighted their failing , but she she won every time.

    Pizzey had nothing to do with any sort of feminist movement whatsoever - she wasn't interested in gender, or race or any sort fo discrimination - all she wanted was to help vulnerable people.

    She was so far ahead of her time that she relasied there were a huge number of male victims and treid to help them too, but no one would donate money or resources for men, only for women - (terrible how exactly the same problem remains 40 years later).

    When the feminist movement eventually became involved in the issue most of the most prominent ones were the sort that went round chanting that "all men are rapists" etc so the chance of male victims getting help thus became even more remote.

    Pizzey noted that of the first 100 women she helped, 62 were as violent as their partners if not more so so it's clear this is not a gender issue and wasn't even back then.

  • Comment number 60.

    Dear Rod,

    I did not know about such violence towards younger men by the women (in the UK). Yes, women can be difficult! (I am one). I have noticed their behaviour here when they go drinking in pubs, shouting and so on. Women I met also like "to wear the slippers" which I do not like. They command the men around. He obeys then because he is afraid of losing her. He should do what he wants - & violence is the last thing! Very bad.

    It is good when people (men) can share experiences like here.
    Greetings from mid-Wales.

  • Comment number 61.

    #59

    Thank you for the history lesson. It was needed.

  • Comment number 62.

    A refreshing, if disturbing article. There is a huge anti-male industry now (vested interests, self-promotion, status etc) built by certain sour women and bullying everyone relentlessly (male and female). Some enlighted women see this, but they are also bullied by this one-way, unstoppable movement . In reality a victim is a victim, male or female. The word 'woman' is not a pseudonym for 'victim'.

    Too many women only see the good things about being male, and the bad things about being female (the grass is always greener). They then call this illlusion 'sexism', and strive for 'change'. As a man, I can see all good things about being a woman and bad things about being a bloke, it seems totally unfair to me. Despite claiming to want 'equality', women still want all the good things that are exclusive to woman, to be kept exclusive to women. But blokes do not complain as much, and so society has become completely imbalanced.

    I would ask why so many charities are set up to help women, as opposed to help 'victims'? Why is rape often termed 'a crime against women' rather than a crime against 'victims'? It seems these organisations are more interested in women than crime.

  • Comment number 63.


    # 62

    Grow up!
    There are both men and women who want equality, ACT with equality and don't blame some ridiculous stereotype for their problems. Likewise there are violent and abusive men and women.

    I see human beings, why can't you?

    "Despite claiming to want 'equality', women still want all the good things that are exclusive to woman, to be kept exclusive to women." Absolute rubbish!

    Women is the plural of woman and each and every one of us is different. I suggest you open your eyes, take the big chip of your shoulder and maybe you'll see a huge big world of real people not "stereotypes"

  • Comment number 64.

    Many years ago whilst working as a policeman I first became aware that women were by far the more violent if they start. I had occasion to arrest a number of young men for affray. I was later to find out that one of the men I arrested had previously be arrested for carrying a knife.

    But it was the women who were the most agrressive when the lads were arrested. More injuries were sustained from womens shoes than from the lads. I was later to learn that women can be extremely dangerous ranging from false accusations to actual violence.

    Women know quite well that they will be defended either by their partners will to to prevent to humiliation. "After all men can handle themselves". They can also use their silence, their attitudes and their actions. My own experience leads me to believe that both women and men should be far more aware of their actions and their effects. There are times when everyone inadvertantly offends their partner but many times these things are never verbalised.

  • Comment number 65.

    MK_Steve @ 62

    You make a good point about the word 'woman not being a pseudonym for victim'.

    In fact, in any role in life, domestic or otherwise, the first step to escaping from an abusive situation is to believe that you can. I would never decry the excellent work done by many women's charities in helping women escape abusive situations, nor the idea that men should have access to the same kind of help, but the danger with lalellinf people as victims is that it is too easy to believe that they are helpless to escape.

    A culture, encouraged by the media and (often) by pressure from family and friends, that every effort should be made to 'save' marriages and other domestic co-habiting arrangements is far too simplistic.

    Yes, some relationships are worth saving, but others are most definitely not.

    Those in the situation should be encouraged to take control of their lives, and be given all support in doing so. Abusers, male and female, thrive on making their partners feel worthless, deprive them of their self-esteem, and make them feel they have no choice but to continue.

  • Comment number 66.

    SuperJulianR
    you sound like a woman but do you think men
    should be thrown out of their own houses or
    should they stand their ground.

    ".. effort should be made to 'save' marriages
    and other domestic co-habiting arrangements
    is far too simplistic".

  • Comment number 67.

    # 63 veryfaraway

    I rest my case; you have proved me right, and proven yourself wrong by getting so bent out of shape and over-using adjectives, insults and exclamation marks rather than good argument. You like to say it's me making assumptions and being stereotypical, but read your own posting....

    "I see human beings, why can't you?"
    "I suggest you open your eyes, take the big chip of your shoulder and maybe you'll see a huge big world of real people not "stereotypes"

    I just express rational analysis. If I believe that 2 + 2 = 4 it's not because I have a 'chip on my shoulder' against the number 5. Similarly, I believe that many women often misattribute the actions of men to be 'anti-women' when they are not, in the same way you have done (whether you be male or female.. ). Look up 'fundemental attribution bias'.

    If I'm wrong in the way you state, why did the struggle for women's rights in the 20s not quote figures from the Titanic sinking to build their case (since it's easily shown, even factoring for exposure statistics and classess) that the odds of women being saved were many times higher than men. This was hard evidence of non-equality. So did women really want equality? No, they wanted gains without losses, understandably. That's my point.

    Analysis you see; not hysterical insults and exclamation marks.



  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    It is a great pity that in leading with "violence against men" this article sharpens a particularly unpleasant and divisive knife. You can spoil a very decent contribution by trying to defend something that does not need defending #67; "generalising" on either gender immediately enters the realm of stereotyping regardless of any arithmetic involved. We cannot regard "all" women as the same anymore than we can "all" men. We cannot even be clear what the "majority" is either, since everything is "degrees relative" to a realistic starting point. All in all it is far easier to relate to the individual and avoid the gender trap all together.

    The Suffragette movement had something rather significant to struggle for but they were a small minority of people fighting as much for themselves as for other people. If women gained recognition then so too would the men in their lives. As for the Titanic then it is/was tradition to "save" women (child bearers) and children (future of us all) as a rational. Women float much better than men (BMI) and will withstand hypothermia better (also BMI). So there may have been lots of hidden factors involved in the survival figures.

    As far as more recent feminism is concerned, and whether we agree with it or not, it is perfectly reasonable for a group of like minded people to get together with a mission. What is more important for the rest of us is what changed as a result of the mission.

    There are more women in work, but their wages are (generally) pitifully low; to counter this more men are out of work as a proportion of the total unemployed figure. There are many other factors that will be regarded as successes, failures or "jury out" depending on how we, as individuals, see them. Has any of this contributed to domestic violence or a decline in the stability of relationships? The debate literally has no end which is why I think it is pointless trying to differentiate on the basis of gender.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.


    #62 + 67

    This is your expression of rational analysis:
    "Too many women only see the good things about being male, and the bad things about being female (the grass is always greener)."
    "As a man, I can see all good things about being a woman and bad things about being a man, it seems totally unfair to me."
    Isn't that also a case of the grass is always greener? Or what is your point, because you seem to be saying it's unfair you do what you say women do.

    "Similarly, I believe that many women often misattribute the actions of men to be 'anti-women' when they are not, in the same way you have done"
    Where did I attribute the actions of men to be anti-women? Nowhere.

    There are plenty of self-respecting men and women walking about who neither bully nor feel bullied. They take control of their own lives and make their own choices.
    Why do you have such a need to control the lives of other people?

    Take a look at your own "over-use" of adjectives before you "rest your case"




  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

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  • Comment number 76.

    #72: Veryfaraway

    Stated: "Why do you have such a need to control the lives of other people?"

    I'm just posting discussion on a forum, like you are; niether of us is trying to control people's lives. I said that 'the grass is greener' affected me too, it affects men and women.

    #69 In_for_me

    I agree with much of your posting. But really I'm arguing against the culture of modern feminism, not against women, not at all. These are two differnet things. Hence it's not divisive. Many women argue against this too. One can argue against race laws while embracing other cultures. And I believe this inabilty to argue without being deemed divisive is problematic. By the way, virtually all survivors were already in lifeboats.
    But I have nothing against women having advantages in life, in fact I'd argue for it. I believe that the feminist movement was necessary, and good. But as well as doing a lot of good, it has vicious side-effects which have been largely ignored. We must look at how young men are effected by this cultural phenomenon. A forum is too small for high-fidelity argment, so I come across crudely, admittedly.

    My point is that feminists (note: not all women) have been dishonest about wanting equality. If they really want equality then why are they doing nothing to redress the balance of attainment in education now, which is in favour of girls? The feminist argument is that if girls do better it's because they're cleverer, if boys do better it's the unfairness of the situation. This is unhealty. It seems that it is a more 'comfortable' kind of inequality for society. I'd just like them to acknowledge that feminism does not always have the moral high-ground, and is not always sensible.

    I belive that this issue of treatment of domestic violence is one of those side effects of the feminist movement, and so I think it's a valid debate. I would equality or equality of difference. Fairness.

    Sorry for such a long posting! All the best



  • Comment number 77.

    I blundered as a man into the Women's Aid website and helpline around 2004. I had a year earlier tried to discuss women-on-men domestic violence, including physical assault, with a police DV hotline, following incidents from 2001-3. The police hotline turned out to be an answerphone system which never returned calls from men. The police website anonymously linked to the WA website and phone number. I found the WA "assistance" was extremely offensive. I was told that calls from men "usually" turned out to be from men who were "perpetrators" who were trying to disguise their offences by falsely claiming to be a vicitim.

    I abandoned this route entirely, returning instead to deal with the case as a medical matter, in which I am married to a woman with a behaviour pattern on the bipolar/borderline spectrum, notably sudden onset spontaneous violent rages with lethal intent, coupled to compulsive false allegations of rape and abuse. However, even this promising route was littered with traps. First, female therapists insisted that this bipolar/borderline behaviour must have been induced by abuse during the sufferer's own childhood (the Teicher theory). Next, female social workers from the local authority upon hearing of this hypothetical abuse intervened, claiming that "the abused becomes the abuser", and removed the children in order to "break the cycle" of abuse. Finally, in the resulting court battle, other female expert witnesses claimed that female bipolar/borderline behaviour can only be caused by present-day male-on-female spousal abuse, thus incriminating me as a suspect, despite overwhelming evidence of the behaviour long pre-dating our short relationship.

    My current conjecture is that most of the child protection, domestic violence and mental health system has been taken over either by mass neo-Freudian hysteria, or by a huge financially lucrative industry of abuse diagnosis and recovery by female new-age therapists, gender-led political activists, government-funded charities and litigation specialists.

  • Comment number 78.

    My god has it come to this, that we are trying to justify either a male or female position because of what we are. It has almost become a crime in this PC world and its not helped by the Harriet Harperson's of this world who are determined to do something because they can, which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't at someone else's expense. If that particular minister cannot be accused of being Homophobic- sorry I had better spell that Hommophobic as the BBC thinks its a rude word- I don't know who can. Just because Germain wrote the female Eunuch does not mean that ALL women must feel the same way. I wrote in a previous post that I once saw a card in a greeting shop saying "A dog is for life- which is more than can be said for a man". As a man it sums up how I feel that the world percieves us at the moment. I don't want a man concious world- I just want women to give it a break and , us too.

  • Comment number 79.


    # 73
    This is a blog for those (male and female)who wish to comment on male domestic abuse. Whether anyone wants to moan and/or be constructive is their choice.

    # 76
    I don't think anyone on this blog has suggested that domestic abuse of men doesn't occur, nor that it doesn't need to be addressed.
    Where we seem to disagree, in my opinion, is that I believe in empowering the individual through equality to take charge of their own life, rather than blaming any gender (or any other) stereotype.
    Indeed all feminists are not women. My father was one and his 4 children, 2 of each, are. All of us taking responsibility for our own decisions and our own shortcomings.
    I don't think domestic abuse of men is a side-effect of feminism. It has always existed and is very slowly being recognised. Insisting on stereotyping, I would imagine, only reinforces the old way of blaming violence on men and women as victims, rather than supporting individuals to be responsible.

  • Comment number 80.

    #77.

    I have a friend who had similar issues to yours. Lost his kids through false allegations and this same agenda. I do believe that there is a movement of 'some' women whose intention is to make society unpleasent for men. As an academic (not in this subject), I know that publishing science is subjective. Most gender-based research is done by women and I'm suspicious of 'some' of their motives for being in that field. I once had a relationship with a female PhD student (not my own!) who I became aware was articulately anti-male, and biased all her research to this end. I don't know any men who are anti-women. I previously stated that there are vicious side-effects of feminism, and your story is a strong example (as also my friend). I hope things improve for you. The state should be ashamed.

  • Comment number 81.

    #79 Veryfaraway,

    Actually we don't disagree. I think our arguments are in 'severe danger' of converging! I believe the same as you...

    "I believe in empowering the individual through equality to take charge of their own life, rather than blaming any gender (or any other) stereotype"

    Of course this is also an argument against certain strands of feminism, those that blame male stereotypes, rather than taking charge of their own lives (a minority, please note). It is my opinion (only) that this is a very vocal and damaging minority and that their effects on vulnerable men particularly have become increasingly harmful, because it is not easy to criticise these ideas without one's criticism being labelled chauvenistic. Just as it's difficult to stand up for oneself in society if one doesn't have the vote, it's also difficult to do so when the interpretation of the law and culture favours a particular gender in certain applications (whether men or women). I am all for empowered women, actually I'm for most women! My argument is not with women. I dislike the minority of women who unjustly blame men for their own ills. One can't deny these women exist (I know a few who readily admit it).

    I also agree with you that domestic abuse of men is not a side-effect of feminism (not my comment I think), however I believe the unfair treatment of the consequences of it by our society are. That's my issue.

    I think we've bashed heads and come to some common ground.. all the best and thanks for the debate.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.


    # 81

    Indeed I am glad we have found common ground.
    Inequalities abound and hopefully the BBC's documentary will make some headway in dispelling the myth that men are never victims of domestic abuse. Perhaps they will be able to demonstrate the impossible situation some, like #77, find themselves in.

    Definitely agree we need less gender bashing, less radical extremes and more social justice.
    Then we might find some more balanced solutions as to the rights of all involved, children, women and men.

    Thank you for staying with the debate so we could both clarify our viewpoints.






  • Comment number 84.

    #81 Veryfaraway,

    Thanks a lot. Good on you!

  • Comment number 85.

    Regarding the gender asymmetry in supporting victims of domestic violence, I have just noticed the following article on the BBC News website:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/7891489.stm
    "Course for domestic abuse victims". It is, naturally, only open to women.

  • Comment number 86.

    #76

    We agree that feminism has not delivered what it promised and has been guilty of perpetuating much of what it criticised men for from a "new" female perspective. I also agree that the feminist movement has been patently dishonest with society generally in much that it has stated about the "aggression" demonstrated by men towards women. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to bite my tongue when in discussions with these people.

    However, my main point is that we should not solve bias by one gender by bias to the other. We have already had that with the feminist movement. What we need now is a people movement which will have much of its weight delivered towards the "common" person for whom far too little emphasis has been made for over thirty years. That will include the vast majority of people who find themselves involved in domestic violence and abuse. It will also include large numbers of secure relationships from which we may learn something about why some relationships are always likely to be weak.

    Although I would agree that far too much attention has been paid to feminists in dealing with violence and abuse I am not sure that it needs to be attacked head on. I believe that inconspicuous investigation of violence will yield results that will speak much more loudly than any indignation from men. I have little doubt from my work with many, many women that they are not at all "sugar and spice...". What we do not have at the moment is a serious will to investigate violence and that is why we are in a mess. Assumptions were made by male chauvinists but they pale into insignificance when compared to those made by female chauvinists. Hopefully when we start to look seriously at dysfunctional relationships we will begin to learn things that will not only let us end abuse they may also lead us to prevent some shocking deaths of children too.

  • Comment number 87.

    Lots of interesting points being made - one major few seem to have mentioned is that men suffer a lack of recognition for multiple reasons and there is no one in politics who actually represents them

    Most people have mentioned the obvious problem of awful extremist feminists with all their lies and hatred for men. This is the main cause of the lack of help for men and something we associate with certain members of the present government - but the issue is more complicated than that.

    One big problem is that of male chivalry - i.e. men always seeking to be nice to women and always being willing to help them all the time ahead of any of their fellow men. Generally these attitudes are more associated with the Conservative party.

    Thus male victims are in a lose-lose situation. On one side you've got more traditional attitudes towards women - people who think only women are vulnerable and need help. On the other side you've got the sexist feminists who will do pretty much anything other than help male victims.

    No one out there speaks up for male vicitms.

  • Comment number 88.

    It should come as no great surprise that in the event of Police being called to a domestic incident the male partner is the one most likely to be arrested.
    Domestic assaults/disputes almost always have no independant witnesses, just husband and wife each making allegations against each other.
    The number one priority for the Police will be to prevent a breach of the peace recurring so one of the two have to be removed. Especially where there are children in the house we as a society assume the woman is the best person to look after them, removing the man is by far the easiest way to achieve the objective.
    It's not right and it's not fair but that's just the way it is.

  • Comment number 89.

    Hi again

    Its clear that many on this thread are hurting, so a degree of conflict/ raw nerve endings is perhaps inevitable.

    I would particularly like to applaud In_for_me, especially at post #58, about the need to recognise how intermeshed abuse is, and the need to unravel all the strands which cause it - in both/all parties.

    I would also endorse her/his comments about Relate and their counsellors, who do try to adopt a non partisan approach about exploring feelings and facilitating communication. I have had their benefit enormously - most particularly in personal growth.

    Unfortunately, such sensible, serious and balanced an approach is exactly what is lacking in the official training. Indeed, I clearly remember a particularly harrowing part of my training, given by a senior academic from the University of Warwick, who was openly hostile and disparaging of their involvement. I (and I was already feeling belittled and attacked by her) was left thinking, "but who else do I have to turn to?" There are some (very) good poeple out there; just a shame that their message is drowned out by the sectarian feminism which has come very close to being the mainstream.

    If we are ever to make progress on this vitally important issue, it is essential that some balance be injected into the official (governmental) appreciation of this issue. Yes, fund womens refuges, they are needed and necessary. But also fund organisations like ManKind - they are almost more important, given the embryonic (and fragile) state of understanding of the issues they highlight.

  • Comment number 90.

    To be honest it's a shame half the posters here aren't in government (and shame that those in government dealing with this issue aren't elsewhere)

  • Comment number 91.

    #87

    There is apparently sound logic in believing that "male chivalry" may compound the male-female relationship issues but I do not believe it plays an essential role.

    I was taught from very young some very simple manners and courtesies that I have not forgotten. They are as much a part of my personality as feeling sleepy after a big meal! I am (or try to be) nice to everyone, my own sex and the opposite sex. I respect everybody, do not try to be judgmental, and express my joy at being able to share time with them. The sex of the person you are with is only a factor in determining how you behave if you intend it to be so. These are basic skills that become automatic once you have a firm and complete relationship with yourself.

    If you ever have quiet moments after some relationship with another has gone wrong - a row, a fight, a split etc, - reflect on not just what you said but how you said it, not just on what the other said but how they looked and how they said it. Put yourself in the other's shoes and see if you feel what they felt. Put yourself outside for a moment and see if you can understand what you felt from distance rather than from inside.

    All these things help us to understand who and what we are, and what is trivial in life and what isn't.

  • Comment number 92.

    I think that this issue runs over into the rape issues which are causing so much concern at the moment. A woman capable of assaulting a partner might be quite capable of making false rape accusations. If the abuse of young men is more widespread than is generally thought, it could be that many people know of such cases and are sceptical about woman's accusations of rape - hence the low conviction rate.

  • Comment number 93.

    Oh well, looks like bbc Scotland still hasn't got the message yet.

    They've just published this article:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7893135.stm

    In the article the sexist spokesperson states "Many female callers talked about how their partners were taking their money worries out on them".

    What about the male callers?

    Well, given that it is a women only helpline I doubt many men bothered to call - and obviously those that did would have been told to call somewhere else, thus there problems will not be registered in the statistics.

    This is just another example of the incredible power the feminist groups such as Women's Aid have over this issue, and the way they abuse such power.

    The helplines has a webste where it lists what domestic violence is :

    Biting, Bruising, Scalding, Slapping/punching/kicking, Starving.

    Then in the samll section about male vicitms it lists what sort of abuse men suffer:

    slapping, hitting, throwing objects and name calling...such as calling them a coward.


    No mention that women are far, far more likely to use knives and weapons etc

    You really couldn't make it up

  • Comment number 94.

    I was subject to abuse, but never told anyone due to the shame.

    It was occasionally physical but more often emotional. My partner belittled my appearance and my views.

    Yet to the outside world I am a confident, even arrogant man.

    I didn't really appreciate that it was abuse till the relationship was long over.

    I'm still sure that most people wouldn't believe me

  • Comment number 95.

    please sir can you come outside
    to answer some questions
    "how much is how house worth?"
    (true story)

    lets go down to the station
    paddington green is a long drive
    there's a terrorist with the same name
    smile for the trophy pictures
    (true story)

  • Comment number 96.

    let the say what they want to say
    then delete it if we don't like it fraud

  • Comment number 97.

    what can the police do
    apart from practice arrests for trainee officers

  • Comment number 98.

    Like, what yuh tink di police can do, what di hell di police gon do
    YO! A WEH DEM FEEL LIKE?! WEH DEM WEH DEM FEEL LIKE?!

  • Comment number 99.

    trump card
    call di police

  • Comment number 100.

    we'll need a van with 6 officers

 

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