Men and Violence
“Men have a primary role to play in the area of exposing, confronting, opposing and transforming the sexism and violence of other males.”
– Bell Hooks (1998)
- It takes courage for our community to look inward at a society that produces men who choose to use violence against women and children and other men at such high rates.
- At Primary Care Connect we don’t believe in shaming men or targeting men as a whole however this page is dedicated to focusing on the most prevalent forms of Violence against Women and that’s Family and Domestic Violence which is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.
- Our Community also needs recognise and acknowledge the diverse experiences of both victimisation and perpetration.
- We have to open to the news that most of the violence experienced by women as well as the majority of violent incidents experienced by men is perpetrated by other men. In fact in Australia nearly 95% of all victims of all violence reported to Police by men and women identified that the perpetrator of that violence was a male.*
- At the same time, we have to understand and acknowledge that D/FV is also experienced and perpetrated by women and people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and gender diverse. In addition, mums and dads can experience adolescent violence in the home from their sons and daughters.
- Violence is the problem and men need to work together to prevent male violence.
Understanding how any Violence against Women is a Male Issue
Whether we believe it or not like or not or think that’s it’s any of our business men’s violence against women impacts all men.
- It’s clear from Victorian Police data and Crime Statistics that family violence is prevalent and a serious social issue.
- Women are overwhelmingly identified by Victoria Police who attend Family Violence incidents as being the victims 75% of the time and that overwhelmingly it is men who are identified as using violence against them 77% of the time.*
- That data is not saying that consequently 23% of women are therefore violent or abusive against men.
- When we look at the figure “77% of men” identified by Victoria Police as perpetrating D/FV against women is not saying that 77% of males are violent towards women. Prevalence rates means that “77% of the time” it is a male using violence. So, its important to know that it’s not 77% of men who are violent rather its 77% of the time its men who are identified as using violence. Crucially there are more men who are not using violence against women than those who are however there are enough men causing enough abuse and harm that their use violence is affecting all aspects of our society for all women, men, girls and boys. This can lead to a light build moment for lots of people when it comes to the issue of men’s violence.
The following quotes and data have been sourced from the following resources:
- 2016 Personal Safety Survey (ABS)
- 2015 Institute of Health and Personal Welfare
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Burden of Disease Studies – 2016
- Australian Institute of Criminology National Homicide Monitoring Program – 2015
Why any Male Violence against Women is a Male Issue
- Hands up all the males who read this page who can identify a woman or a girl in their lives that they love and care for?
- So, by very definition anything that affects women and girls affects men, but men have been too silent on this issue for far too long that we are now experiencing the stigma of other men’s violence against women and children.
- Saying and doing nothing about men’s violence and abuse of women causes its own harms.
- It’s no longer OK for men to separate themselves from men who choose to use violence and abuse by saying things like “look it is a section of men in our society that are doing this” or “not all men are violent” or to say “well I am not violent “and to somehow expect to get a pat on the back as a good guy because men’s violence against women and children is intrinsically link to all men.
- As a gender we can all take responsibility to prevent violence against women before it happens
- Men are experiencing the harmful impacts of how women relate to us as a gender as result of the harms women are experiencing in the private and public lives from violent, controlling and abusive men.
Men as Victims of Violence
The challenge men face is to focus attention on male violence and to listen, validate and believe women who experience that violence .The other challenge men face is to understand how men’s violence against women affects all men.
Men’s use of violence against women can be and is normalised, justified, minimised and excused on a regular basis in our society.
Male to male violence and men’s use of violence against women really means that countless thousands of men and boys who are male family members of women assaulted and abused by men are affected every day.
Let’s take a deeper look at how men too become the victims of other men’s violence against women and their children.
Here’s how men become the unseen and unheard victims of other men’s violence against women
- As concerned angry male friends of women and children living in violent and abusive relationships.
- As worried and frustrated male colleagues of women in their workplaces whose lives are significantly impacted by violent, abusive relationships.
- As concerned angry male family members of women and girls sexually harassed or threatened at home and work and school.
- As confused and devasted fathers and sons of women and girls who have been sexually assaulted or raped by a male partner or ex-partner .
- As new male partners of women who have experienced years of ongoing domestic violence from an ex-partner.
- As a grieving male family member of a murdered daughter, sister or partner or mother.
- As male Doctors, Ambulance and hospital staff providing frequent high level care and medical treatment to women after assaults
- As a frustrated and angry male Police officers with limited options and resources dealing with male violence against women and children every day.
- As a frustrated Victoria Police Custody officer having to listen to prisoners shift responsibility, abuse and blame the victim and justify their violence and abuse
- As a male judge hearing evidence of injury fear and death in our courts every day.
- As male forensic examiners undertaking death reviews each week of women killed by men.
- The stigma all silent non-violent men thinking and feeling that collectively we are viewed by the majority of women as violent and or abusive not to be trusted.
So we can put forth the strong argument that men are victims of other men’s direct violence violence against them but indirectly through the women and children in their lives, families and workplaces they love and care for.
Violence against women can no longer be allowed to be a women’s issue in the same way racism is not seen as an issue for only people of colour. The whole community especially men have a stake in preventing violence against women whatever form it takes.
By working listening to women’s everyday experiences and believing their experiences as a gender we can do much better and we can all prevent this violence from happening in the first place.