Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

No, wives ‘withholding sex’ are not to blame for male violence by Laura Bates

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Wives who don’t have enough sex with their husbands are partly to blame for men committing sexual assault, according to an articlepublished by the Daily Mail. The writer, Dr Catherine Hakim, claims that “decent” husbands whose wives “starve” them of sex are driven to affairs and “forced to seek relief elsewhere”, resulting in “a profoundly negative effect on our society – fracturing families and potentially leading to violence and crime.”

“Sexually starved men,” says Hakim, offering no evidence to back up this claim, “are more likely to visit prostitutes, view pornography and, in the worst cases, even molest other women.” She later reiterates the supposed connection between sex-deprived husbands and sexual violence, writing: “Men, as we know in our heart of hearts, will have affairs, or perhaps even worse, when faced with sexual starvation and the inevitable resentment that causes.”

Throughout the piece, the blame for men’s behaviour is clearly and repeatedly placed with negligent wives, who are “calling catastrophe into their lives” if they fail to have enough marital sex. But the author goes further, suggesting that such wives are also to blame for sexual violence befalling other women. She writes: “More worryingly, there is little doubt, in my view, that sexual frustration can lead to assaults on women, though I am in no way excusing this behaviour.”  ...


This article was first published on 21.14.17. You can find the full text here.

Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.

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