DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST MENby Hattie treadwell cox DOES IT REALLY EXIST
Abstract Domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, against men is happening far more than what is being reported to the police. Research studies have confirmed that society’s traditional view of males as the stronger sex and females as the weaker counterpart do contribute to the cause of unreported violence against male victims. Because of society’s perspective, male victims of domestic violence are being subjected to life-threatening violence, emotional distress and discrimination. In addition, studies have shown that supportive resources do not exist for male domestic violence victims as they do for female victims, this further contributes to the attacks going unreported.
Facing the Facts cont… Domestic violence against men is believed to be nonexistent. The term Domestic Violence (DV), also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is happening at a far greater rate against men, than what is being reported to the police. In addition, the men that do convey themselves as victims are often not believed, and many times arrested as the persons behind the violence; this contributes to their reluctance in reporting future incidences.
Does Society’s view have an effect on the number of times domestic violence against men will be reported?
Facing the Facts cont… Domestic violence against men frequently goes unreported. Men are not always the perpetrators at the scenes of DV situations, subsequently, in many instances they are the victims. Domestic violence against men does exist, but has not been given the recognition needed to begin resolving this biased problem, based on the number of female offenders reported is substantially low in comparison to male perpetrators. Paraphrasing Simmons, Lehmann & Collier-Tenison (2008), “women constitute a small portion of intimate partner violence arrests in the United States, which is only 15%.”
Does society support women’s self-reporting of past abuse against them as justification to enact violence against men? Male victims are being abused and murdered by women as justification of undocumented abuse against them in their past, which is one of the main reasons DV against men goes underreported. “Clinicians working with female offenders often accept their clients’ self-reports as valid (Henning, Jones & Holford, 2005),” and “a number of theorists posit that most women who are arrested for violence against their intimate partners are in-fact victims of IPV themselves and should be treated as such (Simmons, 2008).”
Studies have proven that women have the propensity to be equally violent as men for the same reasons as male offenders. According to Straus & Gelles (1986), the National Family Violence Survey revealed that, “4.8% of men, or 2.6 million men nationwide, reported being victims of severe intimate partner violence by their wives, violence that includes acts of punching, kicking, beating up, and using a knife or gun (as cited in Hines, Brown, & Dunning, 2007).” Are the perpetrators of domestic violence always men? Are women more violent than their male counterparts?
Facing the Facts Cont… Domestic violence against men viewed as justified retaliation for women Women do carry out DV/IPV against men, without prior history of abuse against them; however, “most practitioners argue that women are usually arrested for defensive actions used in the face of assaults perpetrated by their spouse/partner (Henning, Renauer & Holford, 2006).”
Kimberg (2007), the National Violence Against Women Study (NVAWS) revealed from telephone surveys that 1.5 million women and 834,700 men are raped and physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually. “Should women arrested for using violence against an intimate partner be treated as victims, offenders or a combination of the two (Simmons, C., Lehmann, P. & Collier-Tenison, S., 2008)?” According to Hines, et al. (2007), “feminist argue, domestic violence is a gendered problem of men’s violence against women, and if women do perpetrate violence against their male partners, it is either in self-defense or they are identifying with the male aggressor.”
The views of society dictate how men are perceived in domestic violence relationships, “society perceives male victims as wimps, who are not believed and refused the status of victim (Barber, 2008).
Facing the Facts cont… Domestic violence against men lacks supportive services and resources Supportive services should be created to research society’s traditional implications on male victims of DV/IPV. Men being the stronger sex, and always responsible for inflicting the violence in DV/IPV circumstances cannot be validated based on the research information available.
The police respond to male victims by not believing them, and many times arresting them as the perpetrators. According to Hines, et al. (2007), “researchers interested in the plight of male victims of severe IPV have been unable to study them because there has been no one place where abused men gather.” In addition, “several studies show that the majority of women do not cite self-defense as a motive for their violence against their male partners, but rather anger, jealousy, retaliation for emotional hurt, efforts to gain control and dominance and confusion (Hines, 2007).
Male victims of domestic violence are being discriminated against by society. Ridley & Feldman (2003), reported, “the dearth of research on female aggression may relate to predominant cultural norms which assign women the role of caretaker and nurturer and therefore unlikely to be physically aggressive.”
The current amount of support services provided to male DV/IPV victims reflects society’s view on the issue. The same support and resources available to female domestic violence victims are not available to male victims. Hines (2009) found that, “out of 2,000 shelters in the United States, only a handful offer beds to battered men and their children, and outreach programs targeting male victims are essentially nonexistent (as cited in Muller, et al. 2009).” In addition, “much of the healthcare literature on IPV focuses on women IPV victims, including expert advice and national guidelines on addressing IPV victimization in women in the health-care setting (Kimberg, 2007).”
Discussion on the Facts The research material for this review taken from Argosy University Online Library, and all articles are from peer-reviewed journals. There is a strong need for updated research information on male DV/IPV victims. The journal writings support that domestic violence against men is a prevalent issue that is deficient in research. Supported services for men in this area need to be established, so that a basis of contact to identify victims that would otherwise go unreported to law authorities based on the unfair gender biased treatment they fear will be encountered, or being victimized again from a previous experience.
Discussion on the Facts Women are not the only victims of domestic violence, “it is a gross error to conceptualize and classify spousal violence as a woman’s issue rather than a human issue (Neely & Robinson-Simpson, 2001).” There is little research on how often females perpetrate violence against males that have victimized them in the past; this could be used for future research. All of the researched journal articles agree that the research on domestic violence is sparse and that more research is needed in determining if this problem occurs enough to warrant urgent concern.
Conclusions Society views men as the physically stronger sex, and females as physically weaker; therefore, men are initially assumed the perpetrators in responses to domestic violence. “Feminist typically argue that intimate partner violence is committed only by men against women (Hines, Brown & Dunning, 2007).” Will society’s view on the crime, domestic violence against men have an effect on the number of times reported?
Conclusions Male victims of DV do not have the support services available to them, as do female victims. “Much of the literature relating to DV focuses on women as the victims of abuse and does not address DV against men (Barber, 2008).” When men do not report the DV/IPV against them, they further substantiate society’s claim. Men are discriminated against and are often not believed when they report the DV against them. Society’s idea that men are always the perpetrator of DV against women will have an effect on the number of times violence against men is reported. Without police reports, hospital records, and restraining orders as valid records to show the issue is bigger than what society perceives, men will continue to go unrecognized as victims.
Conclusions Society should pay more attention to addressing impartiality towards men by developing equal support services to male victims. “Intimate partner violence by women against men has been the subject of much debate (Hines, et al., 2007).” One huge consequence of unreported violence against men is women murdering men for alleged violence against them in the past. A second result is the violence against men will increase, as society ignores the situation by upholding traditionally outdated gender biases as it relates to differences in physical abilities of men and women.
Conclusions Therefore, future research should be put to these questions, “will an increase in supportive services and resources for male victims of domestic violence increase the number of times reported,” also “will reporting domestic violence against men have an effect on society’s perception of men as the initial perpetrators. Lastly, more studies are needed on the subject of DV against men to close the huge gaps in the present amount of research available; very little has been investigated on the subject.
References Barber, C. F. (2008). Domestic violence against men. Nursing Standard, 22(51),35-39. Emery, C. (2010). Examining and extension of Johnson’s hypothesis: Is male perpetrated intimate partner violence more underreported than female violence? Journal of Family Violence, 25(2), 173-181. doi: 10.1007/s10896-009-9281-0 Henning, K., Jones, A. & Holdford, R. (2005). “I didn’t do it, but if I did I had a good Reason”: Minimization, denial, and attributions of blame among male and female domestic violence offenders. Journal of Family Violence, 20(3), 131-139. doi: 10.1007/s10896- 005-3647-8 Henning, K., Renauer, B. & Holford, R. (2006). Victim or offender? Heterogeneity among women arrested for intimate partner violence. Journal of Family Violence, 21(6), 351-368. doi: 10.1007/s10896-006-9032-4 Hines, D., Brown, J. & Dunning, E. (2007). Characteristics of callers to the domestic Abuse helpline for men. Journal of Family Violence, 22(2), 63-72. doi: 10.1007/s10896-006-9052-0
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