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Abuse against men ignored


Abuse against men ignored: researcher

[Men] Just as likely as women to be battered

Journal Staff Writer


Husbands and boyfriends are abused by their partners far more often than most Canadians realize, yet there is virtually no support for battered men, attendees of a two-day conference heard Saturday.

"All we hear about is violence against women and children," says Grant Brown, an Edmonton lawyer who helped organize the conference, held at the Edmonton Art Gallery.

"They just ignore the fact that men are just as likely to be victims of domestic violence. ...They just refuse to address the issue."

The conference, which highlighted the gender bias in Canadians' understanding of domestic violence, was organized by the Gender Issues Education Foundation, an Edmonton-based organization.

"Remember Wayne Bobbit? He actually became a comedy routine," said University of British Columbia forensic psychologist Donald Dutton.

"But we know that young women these days are more violent than their boyfriends. That's what the data shows."

While it is true that women are more often victims than men, Dutton says the number of men is not as small as many believe. According to his research, 4.2 percent of abused women and 2.6 percent of abused men report "repeated, severe battering."

He says researchers routinely ignore this fact because of pre-conceived ideas about domestic violence — namely, that men are always the abusers and women are always the victims.



Provincial policy called one-sided


Continued from A12

This unwitting bias in domestic violence research has influenced policing, custodial hearings and even public policy, Dutton says.

A researcher for 31 years in the field of domestic violence [1], Dutton was not invited to the Alberta-government-sponsored World Conference on the Prevention of Family Violence, which will be held in Banff at the end of the month.

He and organizers of Saturday's conference say that is a sign of the one-sided approach the province is taking to domestic violence policy.

Psychology professor John Archer from the United Kingdom's University of Central Lancashire also studies aggressive behaviour, and his most recent work also shows women and men are equally violent in relationships.[2]

"More of the women than men were injured," he says, "but there is still quite a large number of men who were injured in domestic incidents."

Archer's study found nearly two-thirds of abused women suffer injuries, compared to roughly one-third of men. That number may be low, however, because men are less likely to seek medical help.[3]

"You can't base public policy on half of the data," Archer says.

"If you're going to do something about partner violence then you can't ignore a big group of the victims."


References and notes (not part of the original article):

  1. Dutton D. and Nicholls T., The gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: Part 1—The conflict of theory and data, 2005, Aggression and Violent Behaviour, Volume 10, Issue 6
  2. Archer John, Sex Differences in Aggression Between Heterosexual Partners: A Meta-Analytic Review, 2000, Psychological Bulletin, 2000. Vol. 136. No. 5. 651-680 (0033-2909/00/$5.00 DOI: 10.1037//0033-2909.126.5.65) (A ZIP file of the study (337kB – in English) can be downloaded from the website of the Maenner Buero – Trier, which contains an extensive bibliography on German- and English-language studies and articles on domestic violence.)
  3. See also an example of what comes into play and drives men not to report being violently abused.

See also:

  • DVStats.org — a search engine, aggregating research that examines the impact and extent of domestic violence upon male victims. (Off-site)

    This search facility equates domestic violence to intimate partner violence between men and women in relationships.  It does not provide information on violence between homosexuals, siblings or violence against family members other than heterosexual partners and spouses, such as infanticide, child abuse or violence against elderly in families.

    The primary purpose of the site is to shift public perceptions of such violence away from political ideology, and instead toward objectively verifiable scientific research.
  • Feminism For Male College Students — A Short Guide to the Truth, by Angry Harry (Off-Site)
  • Video on violent women

Posted 2005 10 09
2006 03 04 (added link to Feminism for Male College Students)