The forgotten victims of family violence

November 20, 2012

Each year in Australia 39 men are killed in domestic homicides. Another 43,700 men experience physical assault from a current partner, previous partner, girlfriend, boyfriend or date.

“Each night when she came from work I would be tense and nervous. I didn’t know in what way she was going to abuse me,” says Matthew, a man who was regularly abused by his partner in his own home.

This Friday the annual Walk Against Family Violence is to take place in Melbourne culminating in the Not 1 More rally in Federation Square. This event will remember the victims and survivors of family violence, and celebrate our commitment to creating a world without violence.

But the only victims of family violence recognised by the walk and rally, supported by the Victorian Government, are women and children. None of the names to be read out at the Federation Square ceremony on Friday are those of men killed by their partner or another member of their household.

“Anyone would think the reason is that male victims of family violence don’t exist, or are few in number,” says Senior Researcher for the One in Three Campaign, Greg Andresen. “The Not 1 More website lists the annual deaths from family violence as 60 women and 20 children.”

“This is a distorted perception of the true picture of family violence. One third of adult domestic homicides are men. One third of victims of domestic assault are male,” he says. “Forty five per cent of family-related child homicide incidents involve female perpetrators.”

The One in Three Campaign also provides the following sobering statistics:

In August the NSW Government Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues released their report on domestic violence trends and issues in NSW. The report found that male victims have been much less visible and able to access supports than should be the case and that the experience of males is equally as bad as that of other victims.

Mr Andresen says, “Let us remember the tragic deaths from family violence and continue to shine a spotlight upon the ongoing abuse behind closed doors. We call upon the rally organisers to remember all victims of family violence. Abused men like Matthew and the families and friends of the men killed each year deserve nothing less. Everyone deserves protection from violence and abuse regardless of their age, race, religion, sexuality or gender.”


Greg Andresen, Senior Researcher, 0403 813 925 or .

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