I was concerned to read the Chad report on the approach to domestic abuse (December 11) as it infers that domestic violence is a gender-specific crime by the post being partnered by women’s organisation.
When this post was first being created, it was heralded as also reaching out to male victims of domestic violence. This new post is not as ground-breaking as was originally implied.
The employment of a female and the partnering with Women’s Aid suggest that this part of the job specification is no longer as relevant, as that service now can’t reach male victims.
The woman appointed, we are told, is highly trained. But the majority of training given in Nottingham is gender-specific ignoring the plight of male victims and female perpetrators. Women’s Aid justify their gender-specific approach by stating that one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes and that two women a week are killed by their partners.
This, however, is only half the story. One in six men will also be victims of domestic violence and one man is killed every 17 days by a partner or ex-partner.
Forty years of research is also consistent in saying that 60 per cent of domestic violence incidents are mutual.
In fact, Erin Prizzey who opened the first Women’s refuge in 1971, is on record as saying that of the first 100 women who entered her refuge, 62 were as violent if not more so than the men they were claiming to flee from.
Studies have also shown that the highest rates of domestic violence actually occur in lesbian relationships.
Such facts make nonsense of maintaining a gender-specific approach to domestic violence.
This gender-specific approach only serves to further highlight the lack of support services for men.
The great tragedy is that there are so few services or provisions that reach out to men.
Without any hope and in a great state of despair, 12 men a day commit suicide.
And yet, no one seems to be concerned about the male suicide rate or the reasons why so many men take their own lives.