A study which found that one third of women are physically or sexually abused by their partners is part of a misleading campaign, a men’s umbrella group representative says.
“The ongoing campaign seems to deny the existence of domestic violence of women against men,” Christchurch Men and Fathers’ Network facilitator, Don Rowlands, said.
University of Canterbury associate sociology professor Greg Newbold said the report should have also addressed violence against male partners.
“It’s not enough to say, yes, he assaulted me. Reports from New Zealand show that women commit low-level assaults more frequently.”
Profile given to domestic violence by the study could be dangerous. “Especially like this when men are not included. It gives rise to uninformed opinions.”
Spokeswoman for the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, Janet Lake, did not accept that domestic violence against men was as serious as that for women.
Bryce Hawkins, of support and personal development group MensTrust, said that anecdotally he was aware of a high incidence of women abusing men in Christchurch.
“A lot of this research comes out as if men are the big monsters.”
Auckland University senior lecturer in general practice and primary health care, Dr Felicity Goodyear (sic; should be Goodyear-Smith), said doctors should keep in mind that male patients might be victims of domestic abuse. “It can have a huge psychological effect on male patients.”
Women’s Refuge spokeswoman Cheryl Hann says the study proves what they already suspected.
Ms Hann says it is sad the statistics have been confirmed but it is a good wake-up call.