Monday, January 5, 2015

Random, Sporadic Incidences of Men Being ill Treated by Women Cannot Be Classified as Violence Against Men Nor Equated to Violence Against Women

Women experience more violence than men
photo credit Edinah Masanga
...Lets get that right. One social media conversation caught my eye in which the discussion was about "domestic violence against men by women" and  I was like seriously? My natural reaction at first was to laugh of course. Forgive my ignorance.  I did follow the discussion though and read of men being beaten, men being thrown out of homes and mmm what else? Nothing actually. I didn't see anywhere about men being raped, beaten to death with the same propensity as women.

So, we get random, sporadic incidences of men having responsibility issues and all of a sudden there is violence against men.
And by random I mean that in the literal sense in that most cases I have come across of a man having been hurt by a woman it would have been a reaction of sorts. There is the example of a man who was stabbed in Chitungwiza in Zimbabwe because he came home in the morning after squandering his salary with his lover when his four kids were starving. You see that's what I am talking about right there. Most cases, and am also tapping into my own experiential knowledge working in the Women's rights movement for close to a decade now, it will be that women are defending themselves.

Of course I have to make some checks so that at the end of the day I don't take away anything from the men who are 'experiencing violence form women'. I used this search parameter on Google; ''what is the margin of violence against men compared to women'' and here is what I got.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice's Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women in 2000 and among other findings the research found that ;
1. Women experience more intimate partner violence than do men
2. Women are significantly more likely than men to be injured during an assault:
3. The risk of injury increases among female rape and physical assault victims when their assailant is a current or former intimate
In the same report they also note at the very beginning of the document that violence against women had exploded in the past twenty years.

After reading this paper, which is rich in figures and other empirical data, I then changed the search parameter to ''violence against men by women + 2014'' because I am trying to find something to work with. I am looking for proof that there is widespread violence against men by women. But again here the search results are exactly exploding with proof and stats that its in fact women who are at he receiving end, and I end up clicking on UN Women website recent report  which states that;
''According to a 2013 global review of available data, 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. However, some national violence studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner - See more at:''.
''Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives - See more at:''

And again I can't find something here to substantiate the claims that there is widespread violence by women against men. I do not condone violence in any way that is why I keep searching for something, to see if I actually missed this memo somehow. So I change my search parameter again to '' women beating men''. Nothing substantial turns up so I click on Google suggested search keywords ''women beating men domestic violence'' nothing much turns up again. I scan the results up to about page ten and I give up.

Prominent Zimbabwean girls rights advocate Nyaradzo Mashayamombe weighed in saying, ''Thats why for me I say the person who is writing these issues' focus is in the wrong place. it seems to me a very desperate mission to prove that 'men too are being abused', when its in actual fact not abuse, for instance munhu asinga shande (an adult not working) being thrown out, its not abuse, its asking one to be assertive with their life. Even on parenting that is why there is age of majority, when someone reaches 21 or 18 in some countries, they are no longer one's responsibility but are required to be resourceful, if that person is being a nuisance then the only way is to throw them out, the same person can then not claim that i am being abused by my parents or guardian for that. So issues have to be clear here''. She was referring to incidences of men being thrown out of marital homes because they were not working . These are among the incidences being classified as violence against men.

My conclusion then based on the materials that have I read which were about 20 reports and studies I did not find much empirical or scientific data worldwide to substantiate violence against men on equal proportions to violence that women are experiencing. What I did get mostly were of course links to men's organisations apparently urging male victims of violence to come forward or press reports of men who have experienced violence but even those were a drop in the ocean as compared to violence against women in the domestic set up.

I rest my case.

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