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Domestic violence against men: challenging preconceptions

Senior Partner Marilyn Stowe has had an article published in The Huffington Post this week.

She explained that despite the common perception of domestic violence being a brutish man abusing a cowering woman, real life is more complicated.

Although the majority of victims are women, “many more men than you may think find themselves trapped in abusive relationships” Mrs Stowe wrote.

There is a “disturbing double standard” when it comes to people’s attitudes towards domestic violence, Marilyn continued, which is probably rooted in misconception.  After all, if “men are stronger than women, then how can they be beaten up by their wives and girlfriends?”

Mrs Stowe wrote that men are socially conditioned to avoid hitting women, as most people feel “a special abhorrence” for those who do. As a result, some women can feel free to strike their partner without fear of physical retaliation.

Other men worry that they will simply not be believed. They think the Police will “suspect them of actually being the perpetrator – or their partners will accuse them of abuse and they will actually be arrested”.

Female-on-male violence is actually treated as a joke by a lot of people, Marilyn explained, but attitudes are slowly changing. She cited the case of model Kelly Brook’s admission that she had punched an ex-boyfriend. Although there was some amusement from people, she received “condemnation from many quarters”.

Mrs Stowe wrote that the reporting of stories about horrific violence inflicted on men by their partners “can only help to raise awareness of male victims and continue to dissolve old stereotypes”.

Read her full article here.

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