Sunday, 23 September 2012

Gender Discrimination

This may appear to be a strange topic for @SiVictim to write about on The Silence of Domestic Violence Blog, but it’s an issue that I am becoming greatly concerned about.   I have written about the Gender Bias before, how statistics are used readily to promote the number of female DV victims thus suggesting male intimate partners as the perpetrators and yet the figures (which are readily available ) that highlight men are victims of DV too, are ignored. 

Friday 21st September was the International Day of Peace and in connection with this I organised a drop-in clinic at the local Children’s Centre entitled “Maintaining Peace in the Family and Home.”  This was in connection with my role at President of my Rotary Club whose international annual theme is “Peace through Service.”  As I took-up office, I said that I wanted to use my position to raise awareness to all issues surrounding Domestic Abuse.   As I saw it, planning such a clinic I could link in the concept of keeping and maintaining peace with raising awareness by offering ways and methods to avoid temper-loss etc during those stressful moments at home.   

I contacted local charities and organisations working within the DV field for additional input into the event.  The only support I received was from those who I’d had previous contact with and they knew of my mission.

The organisations that I hadn’t had the opportunity of contact prior to this,  were rather dismissive of a man wanting to raising awareness about DV.  I was even told not to go ahead with the event until I had purchased and attended one of their training courses!

While I was at the drop-in clinic, my partner telephoned me to let me know that the ‘This Morning’ TV programme was featuring male victims of Domestic Abuse.  This was because of an ongoing storyline in the TV soap opera “Coronation Street” where car mechanic Tyrone Dobbs is the victim of Domestic Violence.

I was able to watch the feature later in the day and was quite angered by the coverage.  Two women were interviewed, one admitted to violent behavior and the other lady worked for an organisation that ran programmes to help perpetrators (both male and female) understand and then stop their violent behaviour.  The presenters told the female abuser she was brave in publicly admitting her abuse.  My main issue was that this lady was full of excuses,  “I drank too much… I was so drunk, I didn’t realise how violent I was to my partner.  I’m not violent now because I control my drinking now.”


Watching the interview caused me greater anguish, because it seemed to suggest that there is more support and help available to female perpetrators of Domestic Violence, than there is for male victims.  This is wrong and needs addressing the sooner the better.