The feminist, media and government narrative around the social ill of domestic violence is that men are the perpetrators inspired by toxic masculinity and rape culture, with women the victims. Therefore we need to deter domestic violence through cracking down on gendered language and jokes, and more funding for organisations fighting it.
But the reality about domestic violence is a much more complex problem than the narrative that the feminists promote. The real statistics show that men make up a significant amount of victims and women represent a substantial number of perpetrators.
If you average out the Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety data in 2016 it reveals that one in three victims of sexual assault and at least one in three victims of family violence and abuse is male, in some areas they are one in two. In 2012-14 75 males were killed in domestic homicide incidents which equates to 1 every 10 days.
The reason that these facts about domestic violence and abuse are not widely known or reported is not just due to feminist suppression but the fact male victims are reluctant to come forward due to greater shame and stigma.
Men are 2 to 3 times more likely than women to have never told anybody about experiencing partner violence, around 50% more likely to have never sought advice or support.
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
As with many social ills they can only enter the public consciousness and begin to be discussed within the wider community if there is a high profile Hollywood/Showbiz example.
The Daily Mail obtained recordings of actress Amber Heard who was married to actor Johnny Depp from 2015 to 2017 where she confessed to domestic violence against Depp.
Heard hit Depp with pots, pans and vases. In the recordings, she displays all personalities traits of a domestic abuser at first apologizing ‘I’m sorry that I didn’t, uh, uh, hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched’ then taunting him ‘You are such a baby. Grow the f**k up Johnny.’
The irony of all of this is Heard os an ambassador for women’s rights and a domestic violence advocate. Without naming Depp in a Washington Post op-ed accused him of being a domestic abuser. The recordings also show she believed she could get away with hitting Depp because she is a woman. Depp is now suing Heard for defamation in a $50 million lawsuit.
Rightfully there has been much condemnation of Heard for her physical and psychological abuse of Depp. A change.org petition has been launched calling on Warner Brothers to remove Heard from the cast of Aquaman 2 which has gained close to 200k signatures.
Other Female on Male Domestic Violence
There have also been other female on male domestic abuse incidents in the news. While on their own these incidents do not prove an overall trend but provide an insight into how domestic abuse against men by women is carried out physically and physiologically.
Katie Anne Castel, 38, is serving nine years for the manslaughter of her husband Jared when she threw a knife at her husband Jared when he arrived home late in 2017.
This was not an isolated incident but the culmination of years of psychological abuse of her husband. She is now appealing her sentencing in the Queensland Court of Appeal, claiming it is manifestly excessive.
Despite her crime, she appears more ashamed of being in prison than killing her husband ‘I feel deeply the shame of being a prisoner. It is utterly demoralising and demonising to be inherently mistrusted, to have your individuality ignored, and be herded and lined up and counted like livestock every day.’
Last week in Geelong Angela Surtees was charged with the murder of husband Daniel after he was found with serious burns and later died in hospital from his injuries. Both the arson and homicide squad are investigating.
Highlighting these recent domestic violence cases isn’t as some describe simply an attempt to deflect from men’s domestic violence and abuse against women. All domestic violence, abuse and homicide is wrong period regardless of gender. It is an appalling social ill that our modern society still faces even today.
Domestic violence should not be used as a political football and be part of the toxic gender and culture wars. People are dying, being injured and scared of both genders. Let’s look at the actual statistics, the real signs and causes of domestic violence, proper support for all victims and consistent and strong crime and punishment through our justice system.