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.
Attila Vinczer – It’s a sad, but everyday fact of life that not all relationships are destined for success. The fairytale of high school sweethearts walking down the aisle and raising a loving family together in a house with a white picket fence, is today really just that—a fairytale. There are any number of reasons why relationships can come to an end. Some people just drift apart, eventually coming to the understanding that the partnership is no longer working. But in some cases, relationships can turn particularly sour, and at times, violent; and a relationship turned violent is made all the more tragic when children are involved.
The impact of domestic violence on a child’s development cannot be overstated. Children raised in homes where domestic violence is the norm are more likely to act out and to be hostile to others. They can develop a panoply of emotional and psychological problems as a direct result of the trauma they endure. Issues such as heightened sensations of fear, depression, shame and anxiety are extremely common as are issues relating to self-image and self-esteem. Children can become so traumatized they may seek to protect themselves from what they’re seeing by withdrawing emotionally in everyday life—or in some cases literally running away. Concentration levels are also affected which makes academic success highly unlikely, and increases the likelihood of dropping out altogether.
Unfortunately, these problems are often compounded by a system that does not understand the root cause of the problem. Behavioural issues instigated by the trauma of domestic violence are often categorized as mental or behavioural disorders which are sometimes treated, oftentimes unnecessarily so, with medication.
While the most damaging effects of witnessing domestic violence for children are psychological, they’re not the only ones. Such children can also have a wide array of physical, stress-related ailments. Persistent headaches, stomach aches, rashes and sleep-related problems such as bed wetting and night terrors are extremely common.
But the impact on children doesn’t just stop there. As Children grow and develop so too do the attendant emotional and psychological issues. Children who grow up around domestic violence are far more likely to develop substance issues such as alcoholism and drug abuse. They are more likely to become homeless and far more likely to end up with criminal records. Girls are also at a far higher risk for juvenile pregnancy.
Finally, and perhaps most tragically, is the fact that children who witness domestic violence are more likely to become victims themselves. In relationships where domestic violence is the norm, it is an unfortunate reality that children too can find themselves at the centre of such carnage especially when alcohol and drugs are involved.
But while the realities of domestic violence are horrific, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. The so-called ‘cycle of violence’ doesn’t need to be a cycle at all; there is room for hope. Children who come from such homes deserve to be given the best possible chance at success in life. One of the most important ways of doing this is by making the point to children that violence is wrong and is not an appropriate way to deal with conflict. Children should be made aware that violence in the family is an aberration, and that there is an alternative.
Relationships don’t always work out. Feelings can fade and things can go wrong. But children, who are the very embodiments of the love and care upon which relationships are very often based, should never become victims of such unfortunate circumstances. They deserve so much better.
The story of inter-partner violence is inextricably to the story of gender relations. There has been an upheaval of masculinity in recent decades, with men over-represented in suicide, school drop outs and relationship failure. Fatherlessness is on the rise. While we rightly celebrate the tremendous empowerment of women, there remains a degree of reluctance to fully acknowledge the worsening vulnerabilities being exposed among men. Gender relations is often treated as a zero sum game with advocates fearing that speaking out for men may result in a corresponding loss for women.
In my view, the position that male violence towards women is driven entirely by patriarchy and male entitlement is increasingly bogus. Both the research and my own clinical experience suggests that male violence occurs for many of the same reasons violence occurs in others settings, varying from mental illness, substance abuse and poor regulation of rage. The ethnically diverse migrant nature of Western societies add further complexities regarding the effects of accelerated male disempowerment. Without acknowledging this, the well meaning advocates working to help female victims will lack effectiveness. They also help perpetuate the myth of the universality of male strength and female weakness, directly at odds with feminist demands of equality in other fields.
Women remain disproportionately affected by inter-partner violence but there can be little doubt that female violence towards men is on the rise, as is public awareness thereof. Women are also more likely to be abusive to their children. The issue has importance because male victims lack legitimacy. Worse, they are often figures for ridicule.
Inter-partner violence remains a scourge that diminishes not just the people directly involved, but the environments in which we raise our children. For anybody interested in relationships and wellbeing, the real causes must be highlighted beyond the dogma.
We are delighted to present Dr. Tanveer Ahmed as our 2015 TorontoDV Symposium keynote speaker. Ahmed is travelling from Australia to deliver what will be a spectacular presentation about the effect of Domestic Violence on men, women and children.
His comprehensive balanced approach will drive the direction of Domestic Violence to a closer end, where both men and women will be seen as significant victims and significant perpetrators thereof. Dr. Tanveer Ahmed will deliver insight aimed at our Judiciary as well as the public they officiate over. We desperately need to better understand the entire dynamics of DV and IPV.
Articles such as this one, authored by Ahmed are needed in greater numbers addressing the whole of DV and IPV, Intimate Partner Violence.
“There is too little acknowledgement of the importance of male disempowerment in debates surrounding domestic violence. Gender relations have changed dramatically in the past few decades, but discussions about family violence are stuck in the mindset of 1970s radical feminism.”
That article caught my attention and the backlash that it caused, was alarming. Why? Who would not want to include men as significant victims of Domestic Violence, when that is what science tells us? It was clear to me, Ahmed would be an integral speaker at the 2015 TorontoDV Symposium.
We look forward to having you in Toronto this June 5, 6 and 7, 2015.
Tanveer Ahmed’s short bio.
Dr Tanveer Ahmed is an Australian based psychiatrist, author and local politician. He is a general adult psychiatrist seeing patients in a range of settings, varying from hospital inpatients, doing legal reports for the justice system and seeing adolescents referred from schools. Tanveer has involvement in the media and writes on social and psychological issues in various Australian publications. He also appears regularly on radio and television. He is an elected local politician in a municipal area within inner Sydney. He is the published author of popular migration memoir “The Exotic Rissole”. He was once chosen by a Prime Minister’s committee as one of a hundred future leaders of Australia under the age of 40.
Tanveer has long held an interest in domestic violence issues, both from his experience in ethnic communities as well as the patients he sees within his practice. He was a White Ribbon ambassador in Australia for close to a decade, including helping to expand the campaign in Pakistan. He was forced to resign from his position after a feminist backlash when he wrote an article in the Australian newspaper arguing male violence can be an expression of underlying distress and male disempowerment was a growing factor in driving male violence towards women. Tanveer was born in Bangladesh but grew up in Australia. He is married and a father of two daughters living in Sydney.