BY JOSH KENNEDY
When a man abuses a woman, everyone tries to put a stop to it. But whenever the genders are switched and a woman abuses a man, no one cares or does anything about it.
Domestic violence is seen as a female victim/male attacker crime, but this is not always the case. According to a large-scale Statistics Canada study in 2005, approximately six per cent of men are abused by their female partners, but police don’t take these cases seriously. Male domestic abuse is often never reported because the men are too ashamed to admit it happened because they think it will make them look unmanly and weak. Sometimes, when a male victim tells the police, he is accused of doing something that provoked the perpetrator. Also, the victim has sometimes been accused of being the attacker simply because he is male.
This was the main theme of the 1993 TV movie, Men Don’t Tell, which was based on the true story of Ed MacAffrey who was being terrorized by his wife. He tried calling a domestic violence hotline, but they just scorned him. When MacAffrey finally decided to defend himself, his wife crashed through the front window of their house and was rendered comatose. MacAffrey was then arrested for domestic violence and attempted murder. He was soon let go when his daughter revealed to her grandfather, who happened to be a retired police officer, that “mommy hit daddy,” and the wife was arrested.
Another example involved Ian McNicholl, a man from Hull, who suffered two years of abuse at the hands of his girlfriend, Michelle Williamson. He claimed that Williamson sprayed bleach in his eyes, shoved lit cigarettes up his nose and poured scalding hot water onto his lap. McNicholl told reporters that Williamson would show the scars he received from her to her friends and they would laugh about it, making him feel pathetic. He feared for his life. One night, two neighbours caught Williamson attacking McNicholl with a claw hammer and they called the police, who arrested Williamson and sent McNicholl to hospital where he was treated for his injuries. McNicholl claimed that the main problem he had was that no one would help him because male domestic violence is never taken seriously.
People need to understand that it’s not just women who are being abused. Men can be victims too. There is even a campaign in Australia against male domestic violence called “One in Three,” which helps people see what men go through at the hands of a domestic attacker. For more information, visit their website at www.oneinthree.com.au/.
The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.