Male Victims Deserve Recognition by Sumeyya Ilanbey

Studies show one in three victims of family and domestic violence are men. That’s a whopping 33 per cent of reported domestic and family violence cases in Australia. That’s a whopping 33 per cent of victims who are forgotten and not discussed by the mainstream media. Why is society oblivious to male victims? Why do men struggle to find campaigns on the internet discussing violence against males? And why are men not believed when they report their sufferings because of a social stigma? There are so many questions that should be asked and so many answers that need to be given about domestic and family violence towards men – and the time has come. We live in a democratic country in the 21st century; that should entail equality and freedom for all – regardless of race, colour, sexual preference and gender. Just for a day, at least, let’s acknowledge male victims and attempt to raise awareness of their plight. Contrary to popular perception, violence instigated towards men is a growing social problem. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey (2006) found that: • 30 per cent of victims being currently abused since the age of 15 were male • 24 per cent of victims who were previously abused since the age of 15 were male. • 29 per cent are victims of sexual assault during the last 12 months were male • 26 per cent are victims of sexual abuse before the age of 15 were male Furthermore, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (2005) found that both men and women were reported to have similar injuries following a case of domestic violence. The Australian Institute of Criminology (2013) reported that men made up 39 per cent of domestic homicide and 27 per cent of intimate partner homicide victims between 2008-2010. This isn’t just a national issue, either. The British Crime Survey reported that: in 2006-07 men made up 43

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per cent of all those who had suffered partner abuse, which rose to 45 per cent in 2007-08 but fell to 38 per cent in 2008-09.

I can shove statistics down your throat. I can continue inundating this piece with percentages and factual pieces of information, but that will get me nowhere if you are unwilling to come to the realisation that men need a hand. Women are the predominant victims of vicious attacks around the world, but men are not immune to violence either. They are not the sole perpetrators of abuse and this needs to be recognised. Gentlemen, it’s not your fault you are in an abusive relationship and being a victim doesn’t make you any lesser of a person. Reporting your case, reporting your father’s situation, or reporting your brother’s dilemma will not taint your, or their, manhood. Being a victim of violence is not something to be ashamed of. The only thing that’s embarrassing is your partner’s or parents’ poor behaviour and insensitivity. If you are experiencing anything similar to this, stand up:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Interferes with your family and friend relationship
  • Threatens you with violence or a weapon
  • Executes physical violence
  • Assaults you while you’re asleep
  • Portrays violence as mutual and consensual.

Guys, take action! Stand up to your assaulters and do not comply with the violence because it is NOT normal. It is NOT acceptable and it is NOT your fault. I do not endorse violence in any form. We need to be aware that there are men who are suffering silently, and they need a voice. Sumeyya Ilanbey features

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