Gender parity in violence? – not by a long shot!

Could women be closing the gender gap in their inclination to violence? The answer is a resounding “no way.”

Whenever the topic of domestic violence is raised, I am frequently met with demands that I acknowledge that men, too, are victims. According to a VicHealth report, one fifth of the community believes that men and women are equal perpetrators of violence in the home.

An 11-year summary of domestic violence trends in Victoria Australia by the Department of Justice found that nearly 80 per cent of victims were female and over 90 per cent of perpetrators were male.

Males are disproportionately overrepresented in the ranks  of domestic violence-as they are in most forms of violence. It’s hard to ignore this elephant in the room (despite the fact that most media accounts of violence do precisely that, and speak of violence in a way that glosses over the overwhelming correlation with being male). Statistics show that men are at most risk of violence not from women, but at the hands of other men.

Engaging men as partners in prevention is an important contribution in our efforts to reduce and prevent men’s violence against women. This is significant because it embodies the fundamental recognition that violence against women is a problem overwhelmingly for which men are responsible and that men have a moral obligation to partner with women to address.

 


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