The Dishonest 16 Days of Activism Campaign

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Dishonest: U.N. ‘16 Days of Activism’ Campaign Ignores Reality of Male Victims of Domestic Violence


WASHINGTON / November 24, 2021 – A coalition of 19 organizations from eight countries around the world is calling on the United Nations to suspend its ill-conceived campaign known as “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence” (1). The United Nations campaign ignores the fact that half of all victims of domestic violence and psychological abuse are male. This fact that has been confirmed by hundreds of research studies conducted in countries around the world.

One milestone study analyzed domestic violence rates among students attending 31 universities in 16 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Europe, and North America. The study found that female students were more likely to be the perpetrators at 21 universities, while male student were the more common offenders in 10 institutions. In Singapore, 28% of female students were found to be perpetrators of dating violence, compared to only 12% of male students (2).

Studies of psychological abuse reach similar a similar conclusion. In the United States, 17.3 million men and 12.7 million women each year are victims of coercive control behaviours, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control (3). One review of national studies reached the conclusion of “approximately equal rates of incidence for both genders” (4).

Parental Alienation the condition whereby one parent attempts to poison the child’s mind against the other parent also has been documented to be a global problem (5).

Male victims ignored by UN

Unfortunately, the United Nations campaign ignores these well-established facts. The UN description of the campaign makes frequent reference to “violence against women and girls,” but does not make a single allusion to “violence against men and boys.” (6)

The 16 Days campaign represents a flagrant violation of the United Nations’ founding document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states (italics added):

  • Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women.
  • Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The 16 Days campaign represents a flagrant violation of the United Nations’ founding document

In the United States, leading lawmakers have issued statements calling for the recognition of male victims of domestic violence (7):

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California
  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California
  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona

On October 27, 2021, the Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance — DAVIA — sent a letter to the UN requesting that the campaign be broadened to include all persons (8). The UN never responded to the request.

The Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance calls on all organizations participating in the 16 Days of Activism campaign to highlight the continuing plight of male victims of domestic violence and partner abuse (9).



  1. UN Women (Nov. 15, 2021). In focus: 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.
  2. Murray Straus (2004). Prevalence of Violence Against Dating Partners by Male and Female University Students Worldwide. Table 2.
  3. , Tables 4.9 and 4.10.
  4. Michelle Mohr Carney, John R. Barner (2012). Prevalence of Partner Abuse: Rates of Emotional Abuse and Control.
  6. UN Secretary-General (2021). United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women.
  8. Coalition to End Domestic Violence.

Release published here:

This is the text, with one slight variation, of a Press Release sent by MVI to national media on Nov 24 just preceding the “16 Days of Activism”  organised by the UN. It is based on the DAVIA document just referred to.


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