28 février 2015

Victimes masculines de violence

Une bonne et une mauvaise nouvelle sur le front de la lutte pour la reconnaissance des hommes victimes de violence conjugale.

D'abord, la mauvaise. En Australie, une émission de télé qui traitait du sujet de la violence conjugale a choisi de complètement ignorer le fait que les victimes sont parfois des hommes et les agresseurs des femmes:

Monday night's Q&A programme on the ABC was a case in point. Not only did it work hard on perpetuating stereotypes about domestic violence, but the producers also refused to accept a potential panelist because she was a woman. 

(...) More precisely, they rejected her because she was an eloquent and insightful woman who wanted to speak up for men and children who were the victims of domestic violence. You see, the problem was she didn't fit the stereotype.

Yet there was a place on the panel for my old chum, Natasha Stott Despoja, the Ambassador for Women and Girls.  That's because her perspective on domestic violence is finely attuned to exactly those stereotypes.

The sad fact is that much of the "debate" about domestic violence is not a debate at all. It has descended into a 21st century morality play in which roles are assigned according to gender. Men can have only two roles in this play: they are either the brutish perpetrators of domestic violence, or the courageous men who care for women.

The voices that are drowned out are the men who are the victims of domestic violence - about one in three of all cases - and the children. Australian Institute of Criminology Statistics show that 45 per cent of children murdered by a parent are murdered by the mother, making this kind of domestic violence an equal opportunity killer.

While domestic violence by men against women features large, not once has Ms Stott Despoja mentioned violence against children by women. Why is that? Because it would require admitting women are just as capable of acts of violence as men.

And while one woman dies on average each week as a result of domestic violence, men are not far behind; for them it is one on average every ten days.

Et maintenant, la bonne nouvelle, un premier refuge pour hommes battus ouvre ses portes en Belgique:

Starting in March men who are victims of extreme domestic violence will be able to seek refuge in the country's first shelter dedicated solely to male victims of abuse. Women's shelters have existed in Belgium for many years, but the shelter to open in Mechelen is the first of its kind.

One in twenty men is believed to be the victim of domestic abuse in Belgium. This compares with a figure of one in ten for women.

(...) The location of the Mechelen refuge is being kept secret. It will consist of two flats. Helen Blow: "Only time will tell whether this will be enough."

Flemish Health Minister Jo Vandeurzen noted that abuse of men is an important issue, but it's one that is not always openly discussed."

Une petite note d'espoir, donc. En affrontant les tabous et les fantasmes d'assiégées des féministes, on va peut-être un jour réussir à atteindre la vraie égalité.

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