September 26th, 2012 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
The men of Wales are starting to speak out about their victimization in domestic violence incidents, and the Welsh news media are taking notice. Read about it here (Wales Online, 9/23/12).
The article doesn’t get close to revealing the reality of domestic violence for men. For example, it says that “[a]ccording to police figures, the number of female perpetrators in Wales and England has increased from 800 in 2004-05 to more than 4,000 in 2010-11.”
That may be true, but the article fails to say that the overwhelming number of male victims never contact the police, so there are no “police figures” on their injuries or the attacks by their wives/girlfriends. Nor does it say that women are as likely to commit domestic violence as are men, a fact that’s shown time and again in hundreds of peer-reviewed studies over almost four decades. That’s also shown in government surveys like the one conducted in Scotland in 2009 and the one for the Centers for Disease Control in the United States earlier this year.
What it does do is describe the education of the producer/director of a documentary film about male victims of DV.
Producer and director Frances Adie said that meeting these men changed many of her own preconceptions.
“I started researching this subject with the assumption that men were suffering in silence because they were embarrassed or frightened of what society would think of them. I soon discovered the reasons are much more complex,” she says.
“Threats to take away access to the children are used against men who are already vulnerable. It’s also difficult to find help due to a lack of support services geared towards the needs of men. This programme, which took more than a year to make, gives a voice to male victims of domestic abuse.”
That the DV deck is stacked against male victims should be obvious to all, but the documentary deals with it.
“The crux of the problem is society accepts these things happen to women but people still don’t believe they happen to men.”
Man B, who was cut with a knife during one confrontation, says he was threatened and abused constantly by his former partner, yet he was the one taken to court on the basis of a “false accusation”.
He admits: “I went to the point of putting a rope around my neck and I was ready to put an end to it all.”
The domestic violence establishment has made countless careers and much money out of the claim that only women are victims. But we’ll never begin to reduce the incidence of DV until we admit that women initiate violence and do so for much the same reasons men do. Until we offer the services of mental health professionals to all perpetrators of violence, we’ll continue to throw billions of dollars at the problem with no chance of a solution. The solution means treating both male and female perpetrators with therapies that work as opposed to the nonsense peddled by the DV establishment according to which, only men commit violence and do so in order to maintain power and control in the relationship.
Put simply, that’s bunk. The issue of power and control is what’s called “intimate terrorism” and occurs in a small minority of cases. The overwhelming majority of DV consists of situational violence, e.g. responses to stress, that occurs only occasionally. That behavior can usually be changed.
But for now, we’re still fighting some very elementary fights, like getting the DV establishment to admit that women are part of the problem. The Welsh film is one small step in that direction.