I am featured on prominent news and culture site The Huffington Post today with a look at the troubling issue of domestic violence against men.
In the article, I discuss how this complex issue rubs up against popular stereotypes of men and women. We see men as strong and self-contained – and women as potential victims in need of protection. This helps to fuel the stereotypes of angry men with fists out and cowering wives. But of course reality is much more complicated.
I look at lingering double standards in the way we perceive violence against men: as a source of uneasy laughter, and how very different the typical reaction to violence directed at women is. The belief that men subjected to violence in the home cannot really be victims is based on a number of misconceptions I suggest: for instance, that physically stronger men could just fight off their angry spouses if they wanted to and that they wouldn’t just be arrested by the police as the perpetrator if they did so.
And in any case, there is one easy way for a determined wife to overcome any physical advantages her husband may have: use a weapon. I mention the shocking case of a woman in Lancashire who received eight years in jail after slashing open her partner’s throat with a broken bottle.
The sobering and frequently overlooked bottom line is found in the statistics: perhaps a third of all recipients of domestic violence are men.
Read Challenging Preconceptions: When Men Experience Domestic Violence on The Huffington Post here.