The mainstream narrative on domestic abuse and violence will tell you that it is only a woman’s problem. that women are the vast majority of victims, never the perpetrators and the only gender that matters and that men are always the aggressor and are pure evil that should never be viewed in any other way. This narrative is wrong and tiresome, and it needs to change.
The mainstream media paints a grim picture about domestic abuse. According to most feminist leaning and also mainstream outlets, it is women who are overwhelmingly the victims of domestic violence and men are overwhelmingly the evil perpetrators. Even when faced with actual facts the narrative is often twisted to fit a female victimhood mentality.
But how much of this is accurate? If you look at the issue more deeply and outside of a feminist lens, it paints a far more disturbing picture.
Data from home office statistical bulletins, the Office of National Statistics and the Crime Survey of England and Wales show that in 2018 – 2019, 7.9% of women and 4.2% of men experienced domestic abuse, not as large a difference as many women would admit to, and whilst women were far more likely to become victims of sexual assault it was men who were far more likely to be at the receiving end of severe physical assault.
The simple fact is that when it comes to domestic abuse, women are often more violent.Tweet
The mainstream feminist narrative.
There is an absolute mainstream narrative at the moment of male abusers and female victims. Every campaign in the last twenty years has fed this narrative with subliminal imagery always showing the woman as a victim and the man as the abuser, many campaigns have been criticised heavily for this in the past.
Northumbria Police released an anti domestic abuse campaign with messaging that referred to all the perpetrators as ‘he’ and all the victims as ‘she’ or as children.
The ‘If Love Hurts‘ campaign was made specifically to end ‘male violence against women’. Not violence, but very specifically male violence against women.
Gillette’s now infamous ‘me too’ advert famously received one of the largest backlashes in advertising history after portraying men as toxic and abusive by natural design.
Almost every campaign, almost every discussion in the mainstream media have a gendered view of the issue that always see women as victims and men as perpetrators.
There is hope here, many of these campaigns have been successfully stopped, shut down or had such a large backlash in recent years that they have been quietly withdrawn, and new campaigns such as the No Less of a Man campaign and the latest campaign led by the home secretary using language that speaks to both men and women, but these are few and far between.
The truth is domestic abuse campaigns overwhelmingly target women as victims, and demonise men.Tweet
But apart from the fact that the actual crime statistics show the mainstream narrative to be skewed with an extremely misandrist bent, recent research suggests that statistically, male victims of domestic violence are pretty much on parity with female victims when you take a variety of other factors, including the fact that men are less likely to consider any violence as actual abuse, less likely to report it on a scale that makes traditional abuse statistics meaningless, less likely to be taken seriously by the police if they do report it and far less likely to have an outcome where they are protected or looked after or their attacker arrested or charged, contrasted with the much higher likelihood of men being arrested and charged with no evidence based on a woman’s word alone. And when you include a wider range of abuses, including emotional, psychological, financial, sexual and more, women are equally if not more likely to be perpetrators of abuse than they are victims of it.
Not to mention the fact that women can be just as physically violent as men. This is just statistical fact. Often fuelled by a societal judgement that men can’t hit back or respond, or they won’t be believed or be seen as less of a man because they are being ‘hit by a woman’, female abusers are arguable more likely to use force, and when they do it is far more likely to be severe in intent, if not in effect. When there is physical violence involved, men are far less likely to be seriously injured or show any physical markings as a result, which makes it harder to collect evidence, but that does not make it any less physical abuse.
This was highlighted by the #violenceisviolence advertising campaign very well, a campaign that showed the absolute double standards of society when it comes to violence against men and violence against women. When it happens to men by women, people just don’t care or react, when a man attacks a woman then that is a whole different matter.
All of this a a huge problem for men. As more research emerges it is becoming clear that men and women can be equal perpetrators and victims, yet men receive no support. The vast majority of organisations are set up for women alone, the vast majority of refuge places are for women with less than 1% of beds available for men, the vast majority of men needing support end up homeless and the lack of support is a leading driver in suicide rates of victims.
But this is not a point scoring contest. This should never be about ‘we have it worse than you’ or ‘we want equal services’, stating these facts were just to illustrate how ill served men are in the domestic abuse conversation.
Abuse should be seen as abuse regardless of gender and support and help offered whether you are a man or a woman.Tweet
As important as all of that is this is also about how society perceives men and manhood. That we are always the villains and can never be the victim. That these campaigns always focusing on men being the aggressor and women the victim is just another way to demonise men, to say they are all toxic simply by the fact that they are male.
The assumption is not only that it is always men who are the aggressors, but all men are potential aggressors. This is highlighted in the casual misandry of the language used in the campaigns, the imagery used on TV and in advertisements. Men are always the threat, women are always the victim.
You can’t just have sexist feminist organisations casually throwing in male pronouns when talking about those who commit domestic abuse, or saying that men need to learn to stop committing domestic abuse. You can’t have the mainstream media saying men need to do better, or good men need to stop bad men.
This is just one more example of the demonisation of men and masculinity in society. An extension of the erroneous belief that masculinity is inherently wrong and toxic.
Society needs to stop thinking about all domestic abuse as a woman’s issue. It isn’t. It is a systemic, societal issue. Abuse is a crime and should be seen as abuse regardless of gender and support and help offered whether you are a man or a woman. When it comes to domestic violence, gender shouldn’t even come into it.