Are you a male victim of DV, IPV or a victim of false rape, sexual assault or DV/IPV? Do you know of a male victim? We want to hear from you! Please share this event and help us prevent DV against men, women and children. Face-Book event page here.
Where: 707 Srigley St, Newmarket, ON L3Y 1X4 Map here
When: On July 4, 2015, between the hours of 12:00 pm and 8:00 pm we will be documenting male victims of Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence and victims of false accusations thereof. This workshop will enable us to move our Judiciary in a direction that will enable it to treat male victims of DV & IPV with equal force and effect as female victims.
You can tell your story with full anonymity. The purpose of this event is by documenting, demonstrating to the provincial and federal governments that DV is an issue that affects males not just, women and children. Currently, male victims of DV and IPV are mostly ignored and those men who do call police, are mostly laughed at and mocked. We want to change this ill stigma so that we can truly address DV in its entirety. Domestic Violence hurts everyone.
I have now hosted two consecutive www.TorontoDV.com Symposiums with the finest academics here and here talking about DV and IPV as it affects men, women and children without any funding. We need men and boys to come forward and tell their story of Domestic abuse, be it physical, mental or being falsely accused of rape, sexual assault, DV and IPV. We need this information to show that males are equal victims of DV as 40 years of DV Science tells us.
The worst thing we can do, is remain silent. In order to help you and your fellow man including your sons, we MUST speak up about male DV, IPV and about false allegations.
Please make a much needed donation at the PayPal donate button to the left, to help fund this important event. You can contact me at, Attila@TorontoDV.com about the event or to send an E-transfer donation. Together we can make this happen and stop the abuse of men and boys leading to 8 daily male suicides in Canada compared to 2 women.
The final speaker at the 2015 Toronto Domestic Violence Symposium is Paul Elam, the founder of A Voice for Men. Elam begins his lecture by describing what he sees as some of the obstacles in the way of a broader understanding and solution to domestic violence. According to Elam, one of the main problems is the cultural tendency towards gynocentrism—a tendency where the needs, wants, and desires of women are continually put ahead of all others.
Elam talks about his experience as a counsellor and the hostility he experienced when, like Dr. Ahmed, he openly broached the subject of female-perpetrated domestic violence. “When I started asking my male clients if they had ever been abused recently in relationships I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked by how many of them starting speaking out,” said Elam.
But while the former counsellor was able to discuss his male clients’ experience of domestic violence he wasn’t able to source them the help that they needed. “The first place that I called was a place called W.I.R.E.S (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Service.) There were no men’s programmes – there none to be had… The response was ‘we can put him in anger management…’ That was in the mid-1990s and the situation is still the same; it hasn’t changed one bit,” he said.
Elam finishes his talk by pointing out that violence is a generational problem and one that will not change until it is addressed honestly. As children bear witness to violence in the home they repeat the patterns that they see in their own lives as adults. Ultimately, for Elam, tackling the ideas that support a gynocentric societal view is key to starting a process where domestic violence is addressed in an effective and equitable way.
Dr. Tanveer Ahmed is a psychiatrist and politician from Australia, and during this lecture he speaks candidly about his experience working for The White Ribbon campaign in Australia. While there, Dr. Ahmed was a tireless advocate for victims of domestic violence, even helping to expand the campaign in Pakistan. However, once he attempted to draw attention to the fact that both men and women experience domestic violence, and that ideas of ‘male privilege” didn’t tarry with domestic violence statistics, he quickly found himself dismissed and ostracized. Ahmed was eventually forced to resign.
In addition to discussing his time at White Ribbon, Ahmed addresses a number of related issues. He talks about the crisis in masculinity that is affecting the current generation of men. For Ahmed, the breakdown of traditional values and the family unit is one of the defining causes for the crisis, and one that simply hasn’t been investigated honestly. The changing of power dynamics in relationships is also a contributing factor, according to Ahmed leaving men feeling isolated, unsure, and without anyone to turn to for help.
Ultimately, however Ahmed’s lecture works as a sort of appeal where he makes the argument that men are just as deserving of help as women.
DV Op-ed. By: Dr. Tanveer Ahmed – Gender relations can often be played as a zero sum game, no different from poker or derivatives trading, an advocacy theatre where one sex’s gain is feared as a likely loss for the other.
This is most marked in debates about domestic violence, which often occur around what is known as a feminist paradigm. This model has long dominated public discourse and centres on assumptions that domestic violence overwhelmingly affects women and is committed by men, that female violence is universally defensive and that the underlying causes of domestic violence reflect male entitlement and patriarchal social structures. By this reckoning, inter-partner violence is almost always a way to control women and limit their opportunities.
This is certainly the case in Australia, where a heated discussion on domestic violence is taking place, turbocharged by the awarding of a female victim of domestic violence, Rosie Batty, as the Australian of the Year. Batty’s son was tragically killed by a violent partner.
There are, however, inherent contradictions within this line of thinking. One is that the domestic violence paradigm paints women as fragile victims whereas feminist demands for equality in the workplace rests on assumptions that women are equally capable of dominance and aggression.
The other key problem is that it is inconsistent with much of the evidence coming from scientific studies, the most recent of which suggest female violence towards women is on the increase and that men are much less likely to report it because their place as victims is not socially sanctioned. At worst, male victims are targets for ridicule.
Another key change in the dynamics of male violence towards women is that whereas decades ago men may have committed violence towards women as an assertion of their power, nowadays, and as a direct result of the considerable gains made by the women’s movement, men are more likely to commit violence as an expression of their sense of disempowerment. This is not to suggest that men had any innate rights to such power, but that a sense of loss, isolation and sometimes outright humiliation underscores acts of aggression. Mere acknowledgement of such an experience, rather than an entire focus on male villainy, can be an important plank in addressing family violence.
The nature of this disempowerment, related in Stanford’s Professor Zimbardo’s publication “The Demise of Men”, paints a picture of a marked decline in all of the major statistical markers of functionality, from the worsening figures of boys completing high school to higher suicide rates among males. In Australia for example, the most vulnerable group to suicide are young men living in rural areas, due to their relatively poor educational outcomes in combination with greater rates of substance abuse and an easier access to guns. Men, young and old, are increasingly losing themselves in the online elixirs of pornography and gaming, stimulating but less demanding than the social and occupational demands of the real world.
The sense of disempowerment can also be starkly felt within more traditional ethnic communities, particularly those from South Asian or Arab groups. Much like Canada, Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, But the sheer speed of social upheaval that migration can bring, from the disintegration of the clan based extended family to the dilution of thousand year old cultures and traditions, can be acutely felt in men, who incur the greatest loss in status both in the workplace and at home. This accelerated shift from traditional masculinity combined with much greater female autonomy in the West, can underlie acts of male aggression.
This is not to suggest it is any way an excuse, but the decades old ideas underpinning radical feminism with its focus on male privilege and female victimhood scarcely apply in the twenty first century.
Just as women are more likely to attend university, be the bread winner in the household or use a screwdriver, they are also more likely to have affairs, be distant from their children and commit inter-partner violence. Studies show women are more likely to be violent to the children than the male partner for example.
There are limits to what extent the state can intervene to prevent domestic violence, but age old orthodoxies grounded in dogma do little to help victims of abuse, be they male, female or child. Communities coming together to minimise the effects of confrontation in households need not require gender based confrontation in the theatre of advocacy.
By RICH HAROLD – It is an unfortunate reality, but a reality nonetheless that generally accepted ideas around domestic violence are hopelessly outdated. False perceptions are often strengthened by the insistence of certain groups and individuals who for a number of reasons, are strongly invested in maintaining perceptions that are not only inaccurate, but ultimately incredibly damaging. In some cases the interest is financial, or political, but in many cases it is purely ideological. For those of an ideological bent there is too often a stubborn refusal to take in the full panorama of domestic violence, which includes female-on-male violence. This refusal stems from beliefs in over-arching sociological theories and ideas (like patriarchy theory) which make sweeping generalizations on gender power dynamics. The problem though, is that theories like patriarchy theory are unscientific, reductionist, and simplistic.
Many still believe that domestic violence is simply the act of a man hitting, or physically abusing his wife or partner. This isn’t true. Domestic violence can be psychological and emotional. It can also be directed at men and children, by women.
There are many negative outcomes that arise as a result of this obdurate and wrong-headed thinking. One such outcome, which has already been covered on this site and will be addressed by the speakers at this weekend’s Toronto Domestic Violence Symposium (TDVS,) is that there are no shelters and no help available to men who are victims of domestic violence.
But there is another, more foundational consequence of this thinking. That is to say, there are no shelters or supports in place for men specifically because authorities and government agencies are encouraged to ignore (whether knowingly or unknowingly) the suffering of men. And it is this encouraging of ignorance, in effect, that becomes ingrained in policy.
When police are trained to deal with domestic violence situations they are taught to view it as a male-perpetrated crime. The Canadian Department of Justice issued a handbook to police in 2004 on understanding and responding to domestic violence. On page 6 of the document is something called the “Power and Control Wheel” a diagram that details different forms of domestic violence. One of the forms listed is “male privilege,” under which are the following ways a man can use such privilege to inflict violence upon a woman. They are:
treating her like a servant
making all the big decisions
acting like the master of the castle
being the one to define men and women’s roles
The diagram is taken from the Duluth model of domestic violence, which has been widely criticized for its lack of a gender neutral approach and its incredibly lax scientific standards. It should come as no surprise then, that the Duluth model is heavily influenced by feminist ideology. It is also unsurprising that it is an utterly inappropriate tool for equipping law enforcement officers to deal with the often complex and difficult realities of domestic violence. In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Donald Dutton, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, said that the Duluth model was “developed by people who didn’t understand anything about therapy.” Dutton went on to say that “Feminists don’t like psychological explanations, but they’re necessary if we ever want to stop domestic violence.”
Police trained to view domestic violence in this way, as a male-on-female crime, respond to domestic violence calls with a preordained picture of what they are going to see when they arrive at the scene, and act according to that training.
By teaching police officers to think along these lines we end up with a system that re-victimizes male victims of domestic violence. Too often it is men who are arrested by police even when it is men who make the initial call to seek help.
“The message and mandate given to police has been a damaging one,” says Toronto Domestic Violence Symposium (TDVS) organizer Attila Vinczer. “There’s a lot of advocacy and publicity that distorts the issue. We’ve encouraged police to think that it’s always going to be the man who is the perp and the woman who is the victim. But in my experience, that’s not always the case.”
“You have to remember there are tens of millions of dollars spent on putting out this message. Don’t get me wrong, domestic violence against women is a horrible thing and it’s great that we’re doing something about it. But we can’t keep looking at this in the way we are. It’s not only unfair but dangerous.”
Police and authorities that work within the sphere of domestic violence need to have the complete picture. It’s no longer acceptable to keep pushing the tired, worn-out old narrative that domestic violence is a gendered issue.
When men call the police for help they should get help, not arrested.