Monograph: Male Victims of Female Perpetrated Domestic Violence

Male Victims of Female Perpetrated Domestic Violence
Stewart Palin-Davies, University of East Anglia
ISBN 1857841182,

I confess I have inherent prejudices against academic language, writes Graham Hopkins.

Once the statutory recognition of potential personal, research and analytical limitations and flaws are out of the way, the writer/student tells us what they are about to say, they then say it, and then they summarise what they have just said. I’m sorry but it grates.

Such scholarly formality feeds exclusivity, fractures readability and suffocates passion: something which the subject ought to instil.

Stewart Palin-Davies emphasises that he’s not women-blaming – just viewing women “as they are and not as we would wish them to be”. He acknowledges that domestic violence is mostly and most severely dealt by men against women. But women are violent to men. Three male refuges are testament to that. One in six males, the Home Office tells us, will experience domestic violence.

The author’s supposition appears to be on steady if not solid ground: that male victims are invisible, without voice and ignored by government. I don’t entirely agree with this given that it is based on uncovering one “tokenistic” sentence in a 35-page Home Office document in 1999. Nor do I agree it is unacknowledged. It’s just that nothing seems to be done about it.

Female violence, however, is either acceptable (a t-shirt reading “Boys are stupid…throw rocks at them” is unclothed as evidence) or excused. But the author’s big problem (and ours) is that the British research just ain’t out there. This means reliance on the US, Canada and Australia. This will change. But I hope when it does that the language doesn’t render any interest to be purely academic.


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