Words Matter

April 17, 2022

A lot has changed over the last decade.

Words have widened and become more inclusive, expectations grown more flexible, and gendered stereotypes fallen at the wayside.

Progress is being made.

But not in the domestic violence industry, or within sexual violence legislation.

Both of which remain deeply gendered, beholden to antiquated and highly sexist, anti male narratives.

And I’m not just talking about societal norms here, I am talking about actual laws, official policy and intervention strategies.

And they tell us - men cannot be abused and women cannot be abusers.

It’s printed in black and white, and built into the very bedrock of how we protect survivors (or for men, don’t.)

The world seems willing to welcome women as firefighters and police officers, but not quite ready to legally recognise men as victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

With the UK Government having ‘no plans’ to change this, what hope is there for our men, and boys, who remain forgotten and erased, by those who are supposed to support them?

The Duluth Model https://tinyurl.com/2p86sbfh
The Sexual Offences Act https://tinyurl.com/5az47thv
Domestic Violence Stats, 2021, ONS https://tinyurl.com/4f7tvn2h

Images by Drew Beamer, Guillaum Issaly and Rene Bohmer from Unsplash


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