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  • Jayne Green (B.Ed;M.Ed)

Breaking the Silence: Men Can Be Victims of Domestic Violence Too

When we think of domestic violence, the stereotype often depicts a man as the aggressor and a woman as the victim.


However, the reality is much more complex. Women can also be violent abusers, whether in relationships with men or in same-gender relationships. Unfortunately, due to societal norms and expectations, men often feel shame or embarrassment in seeking help and protection from domestic violence. It’s time to break the silence and acknowledge that men can be victims too. Domestic violence knows no boundaries when it comes to gender. While it’s true that statistically, women are more likely to experience domestic violence, it’s crucial to recognize that men are also at risk!


INTERESTING STATISTICS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN AUSTRALIA (AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS)


Here are some statistics from the Australian Bureau's of Statistics (ABS).


Women were nearly three times more likely to have experienced partner violence than men, with approximately one in six women (17% or 1.6 million) and one in sixteen men (6.1% or

547,600) having experienced partner violence since the age of 15.


One in six women (16% or 1.5 million) and one in seventeen men (5.9% or 528,800) experienced physical violence by a partner.


Finally, with regards to sexual assault, according to the ABS, 83% of victims of sexual assault in 2014

were female, 17% were male.


The ABS 2016 Personal Safety Survey found that:


• One in five women (18% or 1.7 million) and one in twenty men (4.7% or 428,800)experienced sexual violence.


Women were eight times more likely to experience sexual violence by a partner than men (5.1% or 480,200 women compared to 0.6% or 53,000 men).


THE STIGMA THAT CREATES SILENCE!


One of the major obstacles men face when dealing with domestic violence is the stigma attached to being a male victim. Society often perpetuates harmful stereotypes that portray men as strong, stoic, and immune to abuse. As a result, men may feel ashamed or emasculated if they find themselves in a situation where they are being abused by their partner.


Furthermore, the lack of awareness and resources specifically tailored to male victims can make it difficult for men to seek help. Many domestic violence shelters and support services primarily cater to women and children, leaving men with limited options for assistance. This can leave male victims feeling isolated and without the necessary support systems to escape their abusive situations.


It’s crucial for society to recognize and validate the experiences of male victims of domestic violence. Men should not be made to feel ashamed or weak for seeking help and protection from abusive partners. Just like women, they deserve to feel safe and supported in their relationships.


Breaking the silence surrounding male victims of domestic violence requires a multi-faceted approach. First and foremost, we must challenge gender stereotypes and societal norms that perpetuate the myth that only women can be victims of abuse. Education and awareness campaigns should emphasize that domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of gender.


Additionally, we need to expand and improve support services for male victims of domestic violence. This includes establishing more shelters and hotlines specifically for men, as well as training professionals in various fields to recognize and address the unique needs of male victims.


Most importantly, we must create a culture where men feel empowered to speak out about their experiences and seek help without fear of judgment or ridicule. By breaking down the barriers that prevent men from seeking assistance, we can ensure that all victims of domestic violence receive the support and protection they deserve.


In conclusion, it’s time to shatter the misconception that domestic violence is solely a women’s issue. Men can be victims too, and it’s crucial that we acknowledge their experiences and provide them with the support they need to break free from abusive relationships. Let’s work together to break the silence and ensure that all victims of domestic violence, regardless of gender, receive the help and protection they deserve.


Author: Jayne Green (B.Ed; M.Ed)

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