Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Equal rights, different needs by Polly Neate

Yes, men need support for domestic abuse. No, domestic abuse is not gender-neutral. Our Chief Executive Polly Neate blogs on why we can’t treat men and women the same when it comes to domestic abuse

We need to encourage all victims of domestic abuse to come forward, writes Michael Malone for the Telegraph. Yes, indeed. Until we are a society in which seeking help is normal, and abuse of any kind no longer tolerated, we tacitly allow those in situations of power to exploit it. This is to the detriment – or even destruction – of those who have less power.

Superficially, Michael and I agree. But the key to where we differ is in that word “power”.

And let me say right now, I am not pretending to support the arguments his article makes. Where we differ is where there is any notion that supporting all victims of abuse means treating them all the same. Because doing that means ignoring the causes of so much of the most deeply ingrained abuse, both in our society in the UK and across the world: unequal power, and the sense of entitlement, the tools to abuse and the protection from censure that this inequality brings. ...


This article first appeared on the Women's Aid blog on 11.11.16 You can find the full text of the article 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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