Men are Victims
It's clear that the vast majority of violent incidences in the week this was written have been toward male victims, a trend which is carried on throughout the year according to all the stats. Ironic then that it was Violence Against Women Week, and that the government has no plans for any week (or day to bring awareness to violence against men or boys
If we, as a society, insist on isolating victims for special concern based on their gender, then our concern should at least be based on the truth, not ancient codes of machismo or chivalry.
Most victims of violence are male, and of this there is no debate. And what is also clear is that media and governments do not seem to think that there is problem in focusing most (or all) the, concern on women.
It is also clear that society and the media do not want to acknowledge women's or girls' violence. And your paper also seemed to repeatedly contain story after story of how it was men's or boys' responsibility to stop violence.
Seventy studies now exist showing the levels of violence by women in relationships is equal to that of men. Do there need to be seven hundred before people listen?
Michael Jebbett, Victoria
[Published in Victoria Times-Colonist, May 11 1998]
Re: Michael Jebbett's May 5 letter on violence against men.
Sir, I find your perspective on this issue to be so skewed and backward, that I hardly know where to begin my tirade!
Yes, violence by and against any sex or age group is a problem that society must admit to and deal with. There are more instances of violence committed against men than against women, strictly based on statistics.
There my agreements end. The reason that there is no week or day of awareness for violence against males is the same reason that there is no White History Month in the United States, while there does exist a Black History Month. Ask any person of color, and they will concur that racism functions because one group has power over another group.
The circumstances are the same concerning violence committed against women by men. Much as I cringe to admit it, men often have more power than women do. In a household situation, some men employ intimidation to gain a psychological control over their partners, and eventually turn to physical violence as a means of self-assertion and ego-boosting.
I urge you, Mr. Jebbett, to imagine yourself living with a spouse twice your weight and with a temper, or perhaps a substance abuse problem, as is so often the case with domestic violence.
In response to your quote of 70 studies showing equal levels of violence between men and women in relationships: When a woman commits violence against a man, how often is he subjected to repeated beatings, attacked with burning objects, rushed to the hospital, or found too late for the hospital? If you re-examined those studies, how many of them would show drastic violent measures taken by women as retaliation for years of abuse by their partners? I think what is most chilling about your letter, sir, is that you believe "the truth" indicates a need for an awareness movement of violence against men and not against women. You have denied that there is a problem!
With all the politeness I can muster, I implore you to get your head out of your own ass and look at reality from the perspectives of others.
Carla M. Smith, Duncan.
Dick Freeman's response
Wow, isn't it amazing how the other side of violence is just plain ignored in todays world, when it comes to men and male children. I wonder how many women (mothers) who have son's, really feel when their son or son's are victims of violence and do they just take the issue "the truth" indicates only a need for an awareness movement of violence against women and not the other gender. Makes one wonder doesn't it!