Response to Michael Crouch Reference Stop Abuse Against men
Michael Crouch, “FGS. Geobiologist/Biogeochemist. UK Labour Party and Fabian Society member”. Yes, that is how he titles himself on his blog, recently wrote a blog post about the facebook campaign Stop Abuse Against Men. I believe his views are fundamentally flawed and he made errors that a person with his level of education simply should not make. I will detail this errors now and you can view his hit peace on a victim of Domestic Abuse here
For someone with such a academic background, researching a subject before writing would be the perceived norm. I will state Michael clearly did some research as he quoted Domestic Abuse figures in his post. However he failed to research the page, to the extent he did not even click on the “about” section. Had he did this he would have found this page is written by a Male Victim of Domestic Abuse and is intended to rase awareness the issues faced by male victims. This failure to even carry out this basic research may explain why Michael approached this with no empathy, and proceeded to shout down a victim. Only Michael knows the answer to that question. What is clear is he failed to comment directly onto the page, therefore give Al the opportunity to better explain his work.
This approach is the action of an internet troll, not someone wishing to farther the debate about Domestic Abuse, or a academic.
Throughout society we understand that victims voices must be heard. For this reason people who have been wronged are now given the opportunity to present a “Victim Impact statement” in court. It is a fact that Male victims rarely see the inside of a courtroom. Without access to a support system that provides shelters, without Legal Aid and without the support of a well funded organisation like Woman’s Aid, the best course of action is to get a divorce and try to avoid homelessness. Neither can there voices can not be heard in the Justice or Health Departments, there is no voice for male victims in the Violence against Women and Girls act. So Facebook pages like Stop Abuse Against Men become the only place their voice can be heard. It is in this light these works must be viewed, a growing Victim Impact Statements, and the number of pages of this nature is growing. Michael, we can not all be wrong, and we are not going to stop talking until people start listening.
Michael accuses Al of Misogamy, states he is playing to a common stereotype of all women. However even if only the post in question
“When a look is enough to keep you quiet”
had been read it is clear Al is talking about abusive women only.
By making this claim Michael is using the overwhelming majority of women who are good kind and decant and loving people, as a shield for the small proportion of abusive women. One has to question how other women feel about this, and is this the reason women are increasingly turning away from feminism. Also in the interests of equality, it would be necessary to apply the same standards to campaigns ran by groups like Women’s Aid.
The “Real Man” campaign requires men to publicly sign a pledge, spend money, upload a pic, recruit other men to do the same, in order to be seen as a human beings. I would question what the men who have not carried out these actions are classed as ? I would also question why a abusive term is being used as a campaign against domestic abuse.
The global whiteribbon.com campaign requires men to sign a pledge that states
they will never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. White Ribbon’s opinions on men and boys can be seen in their literature.
In addition to protecting Women, they also demand that men remain silent about violence against men, by women. Recently they sacked ambassador Dr. Tanveer Ahmed for publicly stating men are victims also.
Items like this about men are very common, and they are presented as “new information”. As if men stumble across these sites and suddenly realise that violence against women and girls is wrong. However we know this is not the case. The societal norm is to protect women who are in danger. This short video by the Mankind Project gives a clear indication of how violence against the genders is viewed.
When well funded organisations like Woman’s Aid and White Ribbon Australia set a templet for activism that includes telling personal stories of abuse, you can not castigate others for following their example just because there story does not coincide with your world view. However it is not Stop Abuse Against Men that demonise a gender, by comparison Al makes great efforts to be even handed while telling his story. The polarisation Michael talks of is the direct result of years of polarised campaigns by women’s groups and the misconception that all activists play a zero sum game.
Michael takes exception to Al’s description of Abuse. Al states
“The threat can be physical, from direct physically damaging contact
Or, intellectually bullying, denigration, humiliation, withholding themselves emotionally, sexually, and withholding affection, or even conversation; refusing to engage with other’s requests for ‘partner/relationship conflict resolution’ or discussion of needs”.
The currant definition of domestic abuse is
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Everything in the quote Michael read is covered by this definition of abuse. Also Michael is clearly has no understanding of what “withholding themselves emotionally, sexually” means.
In my case it involved 15 months no kisses, no hugs, no physical kindness at all, then she took off her trousers and stated “if you want sex you have 10 seconds to be ready”. She then counted from 10 to 1, put her trousers back on and laughed her way through the house.
Saying that is abuse is a far cry from “imply that men have some divine right to sex and attention from women”. A common mistake for male readers who’s only exposure to Domestic Abuse is from a female perspective to judge the content based on their own experiences. It is for that reason we welcome your “kak handed” comments as it gives us a chance to explain the situation better. Michael, just because it has not happened to you, it does not mean it is not happening.
Michael also produced “facts” about domestic abuse. All this did was prove he fails to have even the basic understanding about Domestic Abuse. First off Woman’s Aid is not a source, it is a organisation. If you wish to quote “facts” please make it clear which studies they come from so they can be properly investigated.
The generally accepted stats are 1 in 4 women, 1 in 6 Men. (Source PSNI and most police forces) It is also accepted 1 in 3 Victims are Male (source http://www.oneinthree.com.au)
However these raw stats ignore the fact that 60% of all abuse is recripical, meaning two violent people hitting each other. When Erin Pizzy opened Refuge, the first government backed shelter for battered women she found 60 of her first 100 clients were as violent or more violent than the partner they left. (Source Erin Pizzy, this way to the revolution).
Erin is not alone in this view, Psychologists at the University of Cumbria lead by
Dr Elizabeth Bates
found women to be were ‘significantly’ more likely to be verbally and physically aggressive to men than vice versa.
This study by Harvard University found 70% of domestic violence was perpetrated by women against men
I would draw your attention to the work of Martin S Filebert and his Bibliography,
SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 286 scholarly investigations: 221 empirical studies and 65 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 371,600.
One could chase studies and stats round and round, the only thing that will ever be definite is both men and women suffer abuse. The real disparity is in the services provided. There is not a country in the world with a proper provision for male shelters. In Ireland, North and South not one Bed space for a male Victim. Wales, 1 bed space, there are roomers of 18 beds in England, but what qualifies you to get them is shrouded in mist and being in a same sex relationship is apolitical to some of those beds. Canada, 1 bed space.
This absence of services, cupeled with a bias family court system has a very real effect. A male victim of domestic abuse is often faced with these choices.
Homelessness, and loss of contact with his children.
In the United Kingdom on average 12 men commit suicide every day, the police do not investigate the causes of these deaths. If we take the accepted figure of 1 in 6 men experiencing domestic abuse, that would mean 2 men suffering domestic abuse are murdered by there partner colluding with the state, every day. However but we both know that the situation forced on male victims means they will be more at risk of suicide than either single men or men in stable relationships.
It is time to start providing a service based on need, not gender. The services that are there for women are needed, nobody wants them removed. However we need services for men also. After all, men are people too.
Michael Crouch, I hand you a choice, you can become part of the solution, or continue to be part of the problem. One thing is clear, there is no fence to sit on, and you will be publicly judged on your actions. You said several times male victims were a serious problem, if you truly believe that, sign the pledge at Erin Pizzy’s whiteribbon.org, to end violence against everyone.