Monday, October 19, 2015

We continue to not know how to deal with domestic violence against men

A recent story about the Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk presents very common scenario.  I have seen this happen myself, first hand, and over and over. A statement is made about domestic violence.  A comment is made that the statement or initiative embraces only female victims.  Adjustments are made, but very shortly afterwards the gender bias of the DV community reasserts itself.

Domestic violence is, as Palaszczuk notes, one area in which gender is relevant in that there is often a dynamic where the  "issue is the attitude men have to women as their possessions". But gender is also at play when men are victims and the seriousness of their situation is not respected, their experience is not validated, and there may be little of no help available to them as male victims because services and shelters in the area accommodate only females.

Palaszczuk's argument seems to be that we should essentially ignore, or resist paying undue attention, to male victims because they are a minority.  When Australia long history of discrimination should sure teach us that ignoring the plight of vulnerable minorities is a mistake that the government just keep on making. Any initiative to address domestic violence must accommodate male victims as equally 'valid' victims of this crime with equal access to assistance.

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