History of project
Attitudes to domestic violence have been shaped over the last 30 or 40 years by the feminist movement. Before the first women's refuges were set up in the early 1970's domestic violence was thought of as a private matter for families. In the 1970's this changed and it was brought into the open. However, the feminist movement sought to explain domestic violence by asserting that it was the product of a patriarchal society and an expression of men's drive to exert power and control over women. The explanation continues that even when women are violent to men, this is simply a reaction to the power and control exercised by men and women are therefore not to blame.
Public policy and attitudes have been largely driven by this concept. Women are seen as vulnerable and in need of protection by society whereas men are seen as violent and responsible for their own actions.
More recent research has shown this explantion to be deeply flawed. Violence in relationships is initiated more or less equally by men and women but when the perpetrator is a man and the victim a women, statistically men do far more injury. This does not lessen the plight of those men who do find themselves victims. They have very little support to turn to, are often disbelieved and are frequently blamed for the violence themselves.
Things are beginning to change but it is no small job to change society's attitudes. It is hoped that this website will make a small contribution