An article on domestic violence and the Istanbul Convention by David Walsh of Men’s Voices Ireland was published in The Journal on 18 February 2017.
“The current narrative only portrays domestic violence as a gendered issue, with men as perpetrators and women as victims. Not only is this approach exclusionary of male victims of domestic violence, but it is not supported by any evidence” , wrote David Walsh.
David cited the most authoritative study on domestic violence in Ireland which found that about 29% of victims of severe abuse are male. When all abuse is counted, the rates for men and women are roughly equal (26% versus 29%).
Moreover: “Those who had experienced severe abuse placed a great deal of emphasis on emotional abuse, which leaves no visible marks, and is therefore not so easily detected. In addition, only 5% of male victims report severe abuse to the police, compared to 29% of female ones.”
These figures come from the 2005-published document called Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland: Report on the National Study of Domestic Abuse, published by the National Crime Council in association with the Economic and Social Research Institute. This was and remains the largest study into the nature, extent and impact of domestic abuse against women and men in intimate partner relationships in Ireland. Its findings were based on nationally representative statistical sample of over 3,000 adult women and men, as well as focus group interviews with Traveller and immigrant women. The report was written by Dr. Dorothy Watson of the ESRI and Sara Parsons of the National Crime Council.
“In view of the new domestic violence bill before the Oireachtas and the related Istanbul convention which the Government is intent on ratifying, it is crucial that there be real and thorough debate. The Istanbul Convention (IC) is a Council of Europe accord which aims to set the narrative for domestic violence policy in Europe. Among other things, the Istanbul Convention requires that young boys are taught that they will grow up to be violent oppressors of women, and that whatever violence they themselves may suffer doesn’t matter.”
David’s article was read by over 15,000 people and attracted more than 50 reader comments, almost all of them supportive.
Read the full article here.