Domestic Violence Is Not Caused By Patriarchy

February 7, 2022

The problem with patriarchy theory, is that it isn’t just a sassy catchphrase to be thrown around by empowered instagram warriors – if it were, I wouldn’t really care so much.

The problem is that for decades, the theory has been a piece of immovable dogma at the very heart of how we see, discuss, intervene and support within the issue of domestic violence.

For generations we’ve seen ‘the patriarchy’ presented as the primary motive for partner violence, in a kind of religious zealotry that has erased countless studies and stomped over numerous intriguing theories, that tell us otherwise.

Forget about the myriad of other risk factors, forget about the irrefutable statistics that show women and men as equally violent in relationships. Forget about the work and wisdom of world leading experts who try to widen the picture.

No – DV is simply men exercising patriarchal power and control over women.

So for 50 years, as this obscene theory has been built into the very bedrock of our most influential intervention strategies such as ‘The Duluth Model’, and adopted as gospel, by our refuges and charities as a means of operation – we’ve seen male victimhood and female perpetuation systemically erased.

It’s no coincidence, that this theory being so deeply entwined into the domestic violence industry, has created a dogmatic monolith that offers literally no support or compassion for our men or boys who are suffering abuse.

So, impervious to testing, and fiercely reluctant to scrutiny, does this tired and antiquated theory hold any truth to it?

Or is the reality of domestic violence a little more complicated than a quippy hashtag presents?



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