In Nottinghamshire, England there is a multi-agency campaign called ‘Man Enough’ which I highly commend. The target is for 10,000 men across the county of Nottinghamshire to sign up to the White Ribbon Campaign which is a National initiative. Any movement to raise Domestic Violence is to be applauded. The emphasis of this pledge is for men to sign up and acknowledge that male violence against women and children is to be condemned.
The website does contain a link posing the question ‘What about violence against men?’ which is encouraging as there is some acknowledge that men can be victims of domestic abuse too. If you click on the link you will read the following paragraphs as well as information for male victims:
We are also aware that the rates of violence against men has almost doubled since 2005. The BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast obtained figures from the Crowns Prosecution Service showing that almost 4,000 women were successfully prosecuted in the past year, compared with 1,500 women in 2005, a 169% increase.
However, we must remember that men, though, remain by far the main offenders, with the numbers convicted increasing from more than 28,000 in 2005 to just over 55,000 in 2010.
The last quoted sentence reads as if it has been included to remind everyone that while men can be victims, in reality men are the main offenders and the issue to be addressed is domestic violence against women perpetrated by men. This view is further promoted when you pledge to the campaign. As you make your pledge, you are encouraged to complete the following sentence:
I want to help end men’s violence against women because.....
My opinion is that all forms of Domestic Violence is wrong and needs addressing and I am fully convinced that the Gender bias in DV reporting needs challenging. I did sign this pledge and left the following message:
I want to help end men's violence against women because all domestic violence is wrong INCLUDING that committed by women against men. 1 in 6 men are also a victim of partner abuse and 1 man every 17 days is killed by a partner/ex partner. As a male victim of DV, I'm seeking to raise awareness that men can be victims too. I have been blogging my story here: http://thesilenceofdomesticviolence.blogspot.co.uk/
What was being Man Enough mean? It’s not just about being man enough to speak out against male violence towards women. After I had experienced violent assaults on me by my ex-wife and her anger had subsided, I would challenge her about her unreasonable behaviour. I would always receive one of two responses: either denial or the comment ‘you’re a man, you can cope with it’ Was that being Man Enough? I have written elsewhere in this blog as to why I stayed. Being Man Enough for me was protecting my children and trying to ensure that they weren’t seriously affected by what they witnessed. I would talk to them about what they had seen happen, explain to them that it wasn’t normal behaviour and that their mother had problems and didn’t recognise that she needed help.
Domestic Violence awareness campaigns are greatly needed and are to be encouraged. However, I long for the day when they lose the gender bias in reporting. All domestic abuse is wrong irrespective of the gender of the perpetrator or victim.