4 décembre 2014

Le silence des victimes masculines

Pourquoi les hommes ne parlent-ils pas de la violence conjugale qu'ils subissent?

Voici des pistes de réponses:

I’m task-oriented. I will discuss my aims, my projects, my achievements with anyone.  But if you asked me how I was feeling, the answer you would get would be , “I’m fine,” even if I wasn’t.

It just wasn’t part of my nature to talk about my feelings and emotions.  If I felt hurt, I wasn’t going to make an issue of it – I certainly wouldn’t let anyone know – I’d simply dust myself down, pick myself up and carry on.   I would talk about what I could do or what I was going to do, but never about how I felt or the circumstances behind emotions.  I would say that this is true for most men that our innermost angst remains locked away in our psyche.

For a long time, I didn’t recognise the violent assaults on me as Domestic Abuse.

(...) I didn’t see the attacks on me as criminal assaults although they clearly were.  I kept telling myself that the violence would end once the grieving had ended or once the baby had arrived.  It never did.  The more I accepted her pattern of behaviour, the worst it became.  Also, how could I even think about involving the Police and pressing charges against the woman I loved?

I felt I couldn’t tell anyone.   Who would believe me?  Most people thought that women are incapable of attacking the physically stronger man.  I wish I’d known back then that women attacking their male partners is far more prevalent than assumed.   Although hit, I’d never retaliate back.  To me, striking a women even under provocation, is totally unacceptable.


However, the attitudes I encountered afterwards were all dismissive about the severity of the abuse.   I suspect though, were I female, it would have been a different story.

(...) Twice as many male victims (28%) than women (13%) do not tell anyone about the domestic abuse they are suffering – highlighting the level of underreporting.

Male victims are three times (10%) more likely not to tell the police they are victim than a female victim (29%) and only 4% of male victims will tell a health professional compared to 19% of female victims.

I looked up the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS)  guidelines for Domestic Violence. I thought that perhaps I could find reasons for why men don’t feel comfortable going to the authorities.  It makes interesting reading:

(...) Although there is a token reference to male victims (recognised that men can be abused by women), the clear emphasis made is that Domestic Violence is primarily committed by men against women.

(...) The truth is that Domestic Violence is no respecter of gender.  These statistics show that while  slightly more women than men suffer DV, the gap between the two genders isn’t that wide:

40% of domestic abuse victims are male: for every five victims, three will be female, two will be male

7% of women and 5% of men were estimated to have experienced any domestic abuse in the last year, equivalent to an estimated 1.2 million female and 800,000 male victims

31% of women and 18% (one in six) of men had experienced any domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures were equivalent to an estimated 5.0 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.9 million male victims

Partner abuse (non-sexual) was the most commonly experienced type of intimate violence among both women and men. 24% of women (3.9 million) and 13% of men (2.1 million) reported having experienced such abuse since the age of 16: for every three victims of partner abuse, two will be female and one will be male.
In 2011/12, 4% of women (675,000) and 3% of men (491,000) experienced partner abuse: a split of 57%. 43% (for every seven victims – four will be female, three will be male)

1.1% of men and 1.3% of women were victims of severe force at the hands of their partner during 2011/12. Over a lifetime the figures are 6.1% and 13.2%

More married men (2.3%) suffered from partner abuse in 2011/12 than married women (1.8%)

More men in managerial and professional occupations (3.0%) suffered from partner abuse in 2011/12 than women with the same occupation (2.6%)

Men with children (3.0%) are as likely to be victims of partner abuse than men without children. The figure is the same for female victims (3.5%)

In 2011/12 – 17 men (one every 21 days) died at the hands of their partner or ex-partner compared with 88 women (one every four days)
Source:  ManKind Initiative

These figures certainly make nonsense of the claim made in the following UK Government’s Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls March 2011 document: The vast majority of the incidents of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking are perpetrated by men on women.

This claim is clearly unsubstantiated and should not be the basis for a Gender-based approach.   All Domestic Abuse is wrong and both sexes are as likely to be victims/ perpetrators.

Men remained silent because their voice is not heard or when it is, it is seldom believed.

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