Amnesty UK's International Women's Day campaign this weekend

Aggy from Amnesty UK sez,
1 in 10 women in Britain experience rape or other violence and one in four local authorities leave female victims of violence without the specialised support they need.

This is just an example of some pretty shocking statistics revealed by the new report 'Map of Gaps 2', launched by The End Violence Against Women coalition and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

As International Women's Day is coming up this week, Amnesty UK is rallying online communities to do something about this disgraceful lack of services simply by asking thousands of you on Facebook and Myspace to update your avatars and statuses at 1:10 on Friday 6th March.

The status update is: Each year, 1 in 10 women in Britain experience rape or other violence. Act now. http://www.oneten.org.uk

On Twitter, change your profile picture to the oneten avatar and use #1in10 to spread the message. The idea is that once you've updated your status, your mates will click on the link and take action for women in Britain. Then they will change their statuses, their mates will click through and take action, and before you know it there will enough services for women across Britain.

Each year, around 1 in 10 women in Britain experience rape or other violence (Thanks, Aggy!)

62

  1. Err, that 1 in 10 women in Britain experience rape or other violence and one in four local authorities leave female victims of violence without the specialised support they need. isn’t pretty horrific in itself, but what’s the number for men? I mean, one in ten would be pretty good if one in five men would experience rape or other violence.

  2. In other news, 9 out of 10 British men are victims of rape and other bad things such as being running out of beer on match night…

    Glomming the statistics up & making it seem like 10% of all women are being raped is deceptive & does the victims a disservice. Those of us who don’t like people who play games with words start ignoring what is a real problem because of the lies.

  3. “I mean, one in ten would be pretty good if one in five men would experience rape or other violence.”

    Eh? How do you get that?

    Also, PMH, the Amnesty figures aren’t referring to “other bad things such as running out of beer on match night”. They’re referring to other forms of gender-based violence, such as domestic abuse and sexual assault.

    Bear in mind that Amnesty are a campaign group. They use statistics to fight (admirable) causes, and while they don’t manipulate or intend to mislead with those statistics, they use them to make points about human rights abuses, such as rape or domestic violence.

    Fiona McLaren from Amnesty UK clarifies that statistic:

    “The 1 in 10 figure is based on the number of women who suffer specific gender-based violence, such as rape or domestic violence every year. It also encompasses issues involving female genital mutilation, trafficking and prostitution. The aim of using this figure is to raise awareness and encourage lobbying for specific specialist services across the UK for victims of this type of violence.”

  4. Having worked a fair amount in women’s rights campaigning (including voluntary work for Amnesty UK), it’s incredible how many people greet these facts and statistics about violence against women with “But what about MEN? Don’t MEN experience gender-based violence as well?”. It gets really tiresome.

    Men experience gender-based violence, and there are groups and campaigns who work on this issue. However, violence against men – by women or other men – is a different issue, based in a different social and legal context and system of power relations. To approach the two issues in the same way would be to ignore the fact that women experience violence, and particularly gender-based violence, in a different way from men.

    The Equality & Human Rights Commission puts it better than I could:

    “the prevalence, impact, and consequence of violence against men is very different than violence against women. It tends to be one off incidents, rather than a recurrent pattern of behaviour which is both a cause and a consequence of inequality, as violence against women is. The violence that women experience is most commonly committed by known men – partners, family members, friends, work colleagues. In addition, sexual harassment in public is widespread and contributes to women’s fear of crime and whether they feel safe in public spaces at night. Women are twice as likely as men to be worried about violent crime.”

  5. My girlfriend is a support worker for women who have suffered abuse of one kind or another, and the figures for men come in at roughly one in one hundred according to her.
    It does have to be noted that it is not just physical violence that these statistics include. It’s women/men who suffer from domestic abuse also, of which there is a vast array to choose from, from spousal abuse to forced marriages.

    1 in 10 having their lives wrecked through violence is not a ‘glommed up’ statistic. It is a horrifying reality. Of course the women who have been raped and beaten with baseball bats are going to be the ‘poster boys’ for any prevention of violence against women campaign because they are the most serious cases, but that does not mean that these other women are/should be ignored.

    Blokes getting in a ruck after falling out of a club on a saturday does not count as being a victim of violence, it counts as being a drunken moron. Being locked in a house for 5 years and kept as a virtual slave does.

    Stop arguing semantics and get on board to help these people.

  6. The issue truly is an important one but somehow I don’t think I’ll get behind this particular campaign. First of, it feels like a typical “preaching to the choir” attempt to garner support. For someone unfamiliar with the issues, the questions which are immediately going to spring to mind are numerous (How does 1:10 compare to society on the whole? Is that 1:10 male on female violence or an aggregate? Does this include verbal violence?) and nothing on that page provides any hint of an answer. Sure, there’s plenty of resources to be found on the web, but given that they are trying to convince people to take action, wouldn’t it be prudent to point readers in the right direction? People already on their side will obviously happily join their ranks, but such a low-fact presentation of the issues at hand will probably alienate just as many people.

    Much much worse, though, is the “rape and other violence” bit. That is just low. Throwing the outrage-trigger “rape” in there without any indication how much of the problem it constitutes is pretty similar to throwing child porn into a debate on internet censorship: it just kills any debate dead and glosses over the myriad other problems that exist, reducing a complex issue to a single high profile injustice.

  7. I’ve heard the same statistic for the US. I was raised by a single mom who worked at a Women’s shelter and it was supposed to be an unknown location for their safety but husbands would often find the location. One time I was their playing with the other kids and one kick in the door, beat up the staff and dragged his wife out by the hair kicking and screaming the entire way. The cops came 2 hours later.

    My mom remarried much later to a cop and he informed me that the reason cops are so slow to respond to domestic violence calls is because it is the number one killer of police.

    I used to think that men as a ‘species’ weren’t evolving until one day while walking in the University district of Seattle, I saw a man violently screaming at a woman. She of course was screaming back but I stopped and waited. It was their right to yell if they wanted but I wasn’t about to let him raise a hand to her.

    And while I watched the fight, I looked around and noticed that every other man on the street had stopped and were looking at the man angrily. The guy suddenly stopped yelling and looked around and noticed about 12 angry men (reference intended) all staring at him. Suddenly he calmed don alot and said’ look lets go elsewhere and talk. Luckily the woman wouldn’t have any of it. Whether she sensed that she was safe here or what, I didn’t know but it was nice to see so many others instantly react to that violence.

    For every woman who is affected by violence, their are men in their lives who care about them that are also equally impacted… and we don’t forget.

  8. @PMH,

    You are a sad human being if you think those numbers are made up. They aren’t. It’s not just rape, it’s sexual abuse which covers alot of areas including being fondled as a child by a relative.

    These aren’t fake statistics. I’ve run across too many friends who have had issues in their past. I used to be able to pick them out of a crowd too due to their habits: overly defensive, covers their body, overly promiscuous. I once even confronted a friend with it when I was alone with her (not knowing how wrong that was). She was horrified and asked how I knew. I told her that I had known enough people to see the signs and asked if she wanted to talk about it. She never talked to anyone about it ever and kept it a secret for years even from her family.

    From that moment forward, she couldn’t look at me or talk to me anymore and I lost a friend. It was if I had violated her for knowing and seeing that in her.

    The victims are al around you every day and just because you don’t see it doesnt mean these statistics are made up. Thy are more accurate than you think.

  9. “That is just low.”

    What you see as low, others see as an effective approach to campaigning. I guess there is a debate there about the ethics of such campaign tactics, but it’s pretty common practice. You present to the public the most attention-grabbing and eye-opening aspects of your issue, in order to get their attention in an issue-saturated world.

    I think “low” is a little too accusatory – it’s common practice.

  10. According to the 2007-8 UK Crime Survey, men were considerably more likely than women to have been victims of violence in the previous year (4.1% of men, 2.3% of women), and 78% of the victims of stranger violence were male.

    13Strong‘s point, though, seems like a valid one; these will often be attacks by strangers in the street, rather than sustained patterns of abuse. As such, it may well be worthwhile targeting this particular issue – not at the expense of targeting violence against men, and not because it’s worse, but because it is relevantly different, and maybe amendable to different solutions.

    Jugglepunk, though: dear me, do I need to say it? Being drunk does not mean that one deserves, or is responsible for, a violent attack, and in the context of a discussion about rape, I really don’t think you want to go down that road.

  11. For what it’s worth, ‘1 in 10 women in Britain experience rape or other gender-based violence’ would perhaps have been a more unambiguous line with which to start this, making it clear that we aren’t being asked to regard female mugging victims as somehow worse than male victims.

  12. Good point Harangutan – that would have dispelled some of the more justifiable skepticism here.

  13. While you are at it, look up the stats on the number of women murdered by men with hand guns in the USA.

  14. Xeno (he says, remembering to close the html tag this time!), the story you tell sounds like two adults shouting at one another in the street. Why did you interpret this as an example of male ‘violence’ against a female? I’m guessing there is more to the story than you’ve told, but what made you think he was going to hit her?

  15. @Harangutan

    It is easy to misinterpret from text what is said because you cannot hear the anger that everyone on that street heard. You cannot heard the volume at which they were yelling. You cannot see the way he grabbed her occassionally nor his body language which as a male, told me he was one step away from striking.

    We violent apes can recognize the behaviour before the strike. The stance, the threatening gestures. These are all things that I do not have time to go into detail about in a post unless i were to write a novel. And I’m no Cory Doctorow.

  16. @Xeno: I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what you saw, and it may be that your reading of the situation was absolutely spot on. The reason I asked is because you referred to the scene as one of ‘violence’. In the context of the present discussion, I thought it as well to clarify that the 1 in 10 women of whom we’re speaking have been victims of more than verbal ‘violence’.

  17. @Harangutan

    it is not gender based violence. Men can be the victims of domestic violence as well. It’s just not as reported due to the men feeling embarassed to have to report it. It is usually only reported and recorded when a cop is called by neighbors to the scene (something else I learned from my stepdad who was a cop).

    Domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse to happen to both genders. They just happen to happen to women more often.

    The male species is actually a unnaturally dangerous cocktail for this kind of behaviour. You create a gender with natural aggressive tendencies, greater upper body strength and a continuous sex drive and you are asking for trouble.

    This is why I am a strong advocate of teaching emotional awareness amongst males at a young age. Being aware of your emotions, emotional state and having control over your emotions (not suppressing them) is more important for us as a result of our dangerous chemistry.

    I don’t say this to be mean, I just am sensitized to it having seen it enough and know as a male, we have were genetically engineered by nature to be protectors but at the same time when society isn’t watching, can also be dangerous predators.

  18. “In the context of the present discussion, I thought it as well to clarify that the 1 in 10 women of whom we’re speaking have been victims of more than verbal ‘violence’.”

    It’s worth pointing out that Amnesty’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign considers verbal abuse a form of violence (as do most women’s rights groups and women’s support services). Verbal and psychological abuse plays a key part in most domestic abuse cases, often as a “groundwork” leading up to acts of physical violence. It goes without saying that the worst wounds caused by gender-based violence are often psychological.

  19. “Domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse to happen to both genders. They just happen to happen to women more often.”

    “Happen to”? And why do you think that is? Doesn’t the fact that women experience such violence more frequently, repeatedly and differently sugges that it such violence IS gender-based?

    “It’s just not as reported due to the men feeling embarassed to have to report it.”

    I agree, but similarly, it’s undoubtedly the case that many women don’t report cases of gender-based violence either (for different reasons, generally).

    “You create a gender with natural aggressive tendencies, greater upper body strength and a continuous sex drive and you are asking for trouble.”

    I slightly resent this approach to understanding the issue, for two reasons. One, it’s prescriptive, and it’s important to point out, for many reasons, that MOST men don’t commit such acts of violence against women. If violence against women is ever to be addressed, men have to be involved in combatting it, and for that to happen it’s important not to tar all men with the same brush. Many of the male activists I’ve met do work with men of all ages emphasising the idea that a REAL man DOESN’T commit acts of violence against women; that to do so is cowardly, weak and condemnable.

    Second, when you start blaming male violence against women on genetics, you are alleviating some of the blame placed on men commit violence against women; it’s like saying “It’s not all your fault – you’re programmed to behave this way”. Men who commit acts of violence against women have all kinds of complex motivations for doing so, beyond any murky genetic programming.

  20. @Xeno, you are of course quite right to say that domestic violence can affect men too; and it’s very possible that men under-report it even more than women, due to the ridicule they would receive. Likewise rape; while female rape is now, perhaps, beginning to be treated with something like the seriousness it deserves, male rape is still treated in our society as a joke. (How many ‘prison shower’ jokes still crop up in mainstream movies and comedy routines?)

    So maybe we’d be better off with an International Day Against Domestic Violence, which would include everything from wife (or husband, or child)-beating to marital rape to ‘honour’ killings. Or maybe an International Day Against Sexual Violence, whether its victims be women in war zones, men in prison, or children in abusive homes. Sex can be wonderful, intimate, fun. Turning ot into a weapon of domination is hideous.

    Maybe these initiatives would have more coherence, and be less divisive, than this?

  21. “One in ten experience rape or other violence”
    That’s poor journalism/spokesmanship.

    What is ‘other violence’? It could include almost anything, including yelling aggressively. Because of this, I think the whole story is a pile of untrustable pants.

  22. “one in four local authorities leave female victims of violence without the specialised support they need”

    What? What kind of specialized support are they talking about? Since when are local authorities there to hold peoples’ hands after they get beat up?

  23. 13Strong, point taken re psychological damage, but – at the risk of sounding like I’m making light of this, which I’m not – I’m not going to lose any sleep over the thought that 10% of women have had a shouting match with their partners. Now, of course, there’s a difference between that scenario, and one where someone is routinely verbally abused, humiliated and has their confidence shredded; but distinguishing the two is much harder than in the case of physical abuse. The imperative not to hit ones partner is a lot easier to obey, without exceptions, than the imperative not to allow ones arguments to become verbal abuse. No?

  24. “Maybe these initiatives would have more coherence, and be less divisive, than this?”

    I don’t see this campaign as divisive. It maybe needs to more clearly elaborate the reasons for its “women-focused” approach, but it separates male against female violence from other forms of violence for a reason (see above).

    ANDREW DENNY:
    “What is ‘other violence’?”

    I outlined a description, by Amnesty and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, of “other violence” above.

    CELEB8:
    “What kind of specialized support are they talking about?”

    When they talk about local authorities in the UK, they’re talking about local councils, who are responsible for services such as police, ambulance, hospitals, mental health services, and so on. All of these are vital to dealing with gender-violence cases properly, and many female survivors of gender-violence do not receive the proper legal, practical and psychological support they need.

  25. I hate the unsourced, ax-grinding statistics here. How is this story a wonderful thing? Women’s groups have been caught over and over outright fabricating statistics to serve their purpose of slandering men, but it never seems to affect their credibility. Domestic violence is as or more commonly committed by women against men than the reverse. This is shown in literally hundreds of studies. I have spent many tens of hours studying the evidence on this topic over the years, I’m not going to cite everything I have looked at, (or all the interesting cases I have seen in thousands of hours working in a family-law practice with a female attorney who specialized in defending fathers). Go out and search with “men’s rights” included in the terms and you will find links on those pages to the peer-reviewed papers in good journals.

    For example, here’s a paper from the UK: “Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review.” (Archer, John. Psychological Bulletin. Vol 126(5), Sep 2000, 651-680.) From the abstract: “Women were slightly more likely (d = -.05) than men to use one or more acts of physical aggression and to use such acts more frequently. Men were more likely (d = .15) to [physically] inflict an injury, and overall, 62% of those injured by a partner were women.” Other studies have noted that women are more likely to use weapons and to inflict severe injuries on their partners than men, and likelihood of punishment for women murdering their partners is substantially lower.

    Emotional abuse, particularly severe emotional abuse, is far more commonly committed by women against men than the reverse, women physically and emotionally abuse children far more often than men, yet somehow it is women’s purported powerlessness and victimhood which must never be denied, women’s motives and methods which must never be questioned. The term “rape” is too often a political club wielded by female chauvinists, as they define it in a way that only applies to men, and they define it in a way that it can mean not only rape but all sorts of other things such as “I felt pressured” or “I later regretted it”, or “she says she’s a victim, no need to look at facts, let alone his side of the story”. And by social agreement, none of the awful things a woman can do to a man are judged as being as bad, no matter what the cost to the man, no matter what his feelings.

    Now this chauvinist group fudges the concept still further by saying “rape or other violence” without comparing it to the greater rate of violence against men committed by both sexes, nor asking what portion of the alleged victims of violence initiated the violence themselves. Nobody should get to start a fight, claim to be a victim by virtue of the privileges of their sex, then parlay that into government funding to be made available only to their sex.

  26. @13Strong

    Saying those types of crime are gender based is like saying racism is African american based. Just because it may happen to one group of people more often than not does not mean it should automatically be associated with them.

    You seem to be taking a automatic defensive stance so before you come back with a kneejerk response based upon emotion, just ponder it logically.

    Domestic violence can happen to any gender. Rape can happen to any gender (a man can rape a man, a man can rape a woman, a woman can rape a boy, etc), and sexual abuse can happen to any gender.

    By your offense of me saying that it applys to all genders, you are not taking into concern those other victims. True this report is only concerns with female victims but my response was to someone elses response that these crimes are gender based… they are not.

    So before you get worked up, just ponder those crimes and how they affect people of both genders and realize what I am saying… that to say that those crimes only affect one gender dimeans the victims who may not be of that gender but are also victims of those crimes.

  27. “I’m not going to lose any sleep over the thought that 10% of women have had a shouting match with their partners.”

    It depends on your stance on this, and I’m afraid I’m not an expert. I imagine that some would see a shouting match and sustained, repeated verbal abuse as two points on a sliding scale. Others would see the two behaviours divided by a very clear choice between not abusing and abusing.

    The One in Ten campaign is not referring to shouting matches or arguments or even the odd bit of abuse between couples. It is referring to sustained, repeated abuse by a male against a female. As I said, intentionally or not such sustained verbal abuse has all kinds of effects on the person on the receiving end. It can be intimidating or threatening; it can destroy confidence and self-worth, making it more difficult to “fight” back or escape an abuser; it can be a precursor to violence, or ensure that when violence does occur, the victim is too mentally belittled to report or escape it. In the worst cases, it convinces the abused that they deserve such treatment.

    I agree, it CAN be hard to distinguish between the two, especially as a lot of gender-violence happens behind closed doors. Muffled arguments through neighbours walls aren’t a good way to interpret abuse or violence. And it doesn’t leave bruises, cuts or burns the way that physical violence does.

    But none of that means it shouldn’t be campaigned against, or that people shouldn’t be educated about the detrimental effects of such verbal abuse. Rape is often hard to convict – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

  28. 13strong, I think it’s hard to argue that it isn’t divisive when it’s already split this little talk board, but leaving that aside: I really wonder if there is anything unique about ‘male-on-female’ violence that allows us to treat all examples as a homogenous category, distinct from any examples of M/M violence. The plight of a girl child raped in a care home is surely likely to be closer to that of a boy raped in the same place, by the same assailant, than it is like the plight of any adult victim of anything, regardless of gender.

    Likewise, the plight of a women at the hands of repressive misogynist societies may be quite similar to the plight of homosexual men in the same places; barely tolerated, as long as their sexuality is kept strictly under wraps.

    The more I think about it, the less I’m convinced that the gender distinction really makes a lot of sense, unless it’s purely strategic.

  29. “You seem to be taking a automatic defensive stance so before you come back with a kneejerk response based upon emotion, just ponder it logically.”

    I’ll respond shortly, but can we avoid patronising each other, please?

  30. @13Strong

    It was not mean as patronization… honestly. I understand this is an extremely emotionally charged subject for alot of people and I don’t approach it haphazardly.

    I am speaking honestly and openly so as not to discount what you have to say but to also try to convey what I am saying. It sounds patronizing in text like this if you are already angry or upset but it is not meant to be by any means.

    And allow me to apologize if it came across that way because I had no intent for it to.

  31. “Saying those types of crime are gender based is like saying racism is African american based. Just because it may happen to one group of people more often than not does not mean it should automatically be associated with them.”

    I think we may have got out wires crossed here. I’ll try and untangle them.

    What I was saying was that, if, say, domestic abuse or rape is more commonly committed by men against women than by any other gender against any other gender, doesn’t that suggest that there’s something else going on? Women’s rights campaigns tend to place male violence against women in larger structure of patriarchal power, and see male violence against women as a single component of a wider societal and historical gender-based power imbalance.

    I’m not saying that gender-based violence is by definition male-against-female. No way Jose. But the prevalent women’s rights approach to male-against-female violence is that it stems from the relationship between power and gender, and is therefore gender-based.

  32. “they’re talking about local councils, who are responsible for services such as police, ambulance, hospitals, mental health services, and so on. All of these are vital to dealing with gender-violence cases properly, and many female survivors of gender-violence do not receive the proper legal, practical and psychological support they need”

    While taken at its vaguest your statement here sounds reasonable, what kind of special support do “victims of gender-based violence” need that other people beaten or raped do not? Do the police just not show up for rape cases? Do the ambulances hang up when someone dials 999 to report gender-based crime? Can they not find lawyers? Do people need counseling more if they’re victimized by the other sex as opposed to the same sex?

    I think the compartmentalizing of victims into different categories like “gender-based” seems to do no actual good for anybody, except for employing people in addition to those already “raising awareness” for other similar causes. Do people who spend their time “raising the awareness” of others really tell themselves they’re doing good for a cause? Does defining your cause narrowly enough make you feel like you’re making a difference that wouldn’t otherwise have been made?

  33. XENO – sorry if I misinterpreted your tone, and thanks for the apology. This is emotionally charged, and part of my emotional investment comes from having worked on similar campaigns in the past (particularly those trying to encourage men to campaign against violence against women – you can imagine the minefield that was).

    I’d be interested to hear your response to my points.

  34. “While taken at its vaguest your statement here sounds reasonable, what kind of special support do “victims of gender-based violence” need that other people beaten or raped do not? Do the police just not show up for rape cases? Do the ambulances hang up when someone dials 999 to report gender-based crime? Can they not find lawyers? Do people need counseling more if they’re victimized by the other sex as opposed to the same sex?”

    I don’t think it’s my place on a comments board to address all these pretty complex questions. Quickly, though, acts of violence by men against women are treated differently than acts of violence between genders. Historically, they’re treated differently by the police investigating them, by the courts handling them, by the media reporting on them, and by the public hearing about them. The conviction rate in the UK for rape cases is extremely low, which is partly attributable to the practical difficulties of proving rape, but is also attributable to the negative, judgmental attitudes that people have towards rape victims (Amnesty has done some really shocking surveys on this issue). Domestic violence cases, until recently, were rarely investigated or handled properly by police, and many still aren’t. Domestic abuse (or “domestics”) were seen as not worth the time and effort; they were seen as “private”; people’s attitudes towards them are couched in an understanding of male power and entitlement over his spouse. I could go on.

    But instead I suggest you visit the Maps of Gaps website, produced by a coalition of organisations, and if you have any further questions that you try contacting them, or leaving comments on the One in Ten page linked above.

  35. I agree with all those who argue that these statistics need some solid references and citations. It’s infuriating not knowing where these numbers come from, and it only causes disputes and skepticism.

  36. @13Strong

    No worries.

    Well to answer you question…

    “What I was saying was that, if, say, domestic abuse or rape is more commonly committed by men against women than by any other gender against any other gender, doesn’t that suggest that there’s something else going on?”

    Up above I mentioned that I advocate emotional training for men at an early age. I think more important than sex ed for men is ’emotional ed’ and it should continue all throughout high school so they learn to understand what they are feeling, how to deal with what they are feeling (rather than suppression) and when to act upon what they are feeling.

    We as men are machines bred to be aggressive and have a continuous sex drive and greater upper body strength but that isn’t tempered with an understanding of our emotions. Understanding our emotions at an early age and how to respond to them would greatly reduce the number of violent crimes and could seriously help alot of people who come from ‘damaged’ backgrounds.

    This is something I stated in a couple other posts briefly but I am reposting here as well because I think the psychology of the issue that drives the crime is never addressed, just the final violent outcome.

  37. Is it just me or does it really seem like the UK is going downhill on 3rd world country level in a really fast pace?

    I mean, warrantless harassing and arresting of photographers, cctv everywhere, wiretapping, dna databases where over a million minors are registered … seriously, this country is going downhill on a fast lane. And I don’t even want to think about the immense costs of this senseless omnipresent surveillance monster …

  38. 13strong: ‘The conviction rate in the UK for rape cases is extremely low, which is partly attributable to the practical difficulties of proving rape, but is also attributable to the negative, judgmental attitudes that people have towards rape victims’

    Spot on. Prehistoric judicial attitudes receive occasional publicity, but the attitudes among juries is probably an even bigger problem. (I say ‘probably’ because it’s against the law here to conduct research on jurors, but we can extrapolate from attitudes among the public at large).

    (True enough, I’d be surprised if similar prejudices don’t exist about other forms of violence. Young guy from poor estate stabbed at the weekend? Probably gang related, or involved in drugs, or such like. Or as Jugglepunk said earlier, drunk and had it coming.)

    There’s also troubling evidence that a worrying %age of young boys regard hitting their girlfriends as acceptable – though they probably regard violence against other boys as reasonable means of conflict resolution too. If Xeno’s suggestion re anger management/emotional education helps address some of these attitudes, then great, go for it.

    What also troubles me, though, is the number of young girls – usually, but not always, from poor backgrounds – who seem to think it’s their lot in life to put up with violent, abusive partners, and it strikes me as at least as important to instil a bit of self-esteem and confidence in them. I’m not talking about brutalised women trapped in that situation, but young kids still living with their parents, who put up with abusive boyfriends. (Is that Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer not out in paperback yet?)

  39. The website the campaign links to, map of gaps, lists the following as it’s definition of ‘violence’:

    * domestic violence
    * rape and sexual violence
    * forced marriage and ‘honour’-based violence
    * trafficking and sexual exploitation
    * stalking
    * sexual harassment
    * sexual abuse of girls
    * female genital mutilation

    And the leaflet at http://www.mapofgaps.org/docs/map_of_gaps_summary.pdf actually provides a lot of answers RE why specialist services are necessary etc.

    I would also add I don’t think that this discussion has been ‘divisive’ in a negative way- rather a demonstrative one, it appears (I could be wrong) to have split down quite even gender lines, ie the only voices criticising have been those defending male privalage – deflecting by mentioning violence against men etc. (though men have defended also)

    As 13strong and others have pointed out better than I shall, different and malign forces deeper in society cause gendered violence. And besides, there are plenty of campaigns against football violence, racism and violence, homophobic violence, and young kids knifing themselves, these things cannot all be solved by the same methods, but no one ever calls them on their ‘divisive’ attitude by criticising their lack of focus on other forms of violence do they?

    Oh and the guy using evolution to justify male violence, you helped me fill in another bingo square
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d98/sabotabby/evopsychbingo.jpg

    Statistics are an important way of communicating information, and unfortunately (I feel) have an unjust reputation for fakery. Check the source, if it’s a large body, their methods are sound, and they are honest about their facts, trust them to a sensible degree I say.

    So here’s some statistic I just researched, and their sources: say you have a class of 30 girls. In their lives 10 will be subject to gendered violence.

    sure by using the ‘young girls’ image I am inviting ideas of innocence, vulnerability etc. But that’s just good campaign tactics. How else are you to get people to listen? Let’s try it differently then.

    1 in 3 females in the UK will be subject to gendered violence in their life.

    The 1 in 3 figure I used was a 2% rounding up of the addition of the 23% of women who experience (and report) sexual assault as an adult and the 5% of women who experience (and report) rape. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/Sexual-violence-action-plan The rounding up was just to get a easily divisible figure, and should be very easily exceeded by the puported amount of un-reported assult/harrassment (40% of adults who are raped tell no one about it – http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/myths.html).

    The 1 in 10 is a current figure being run for international women’s day by Amnesty International from a campaign by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the End Violence Against Women coalition http://www.mapofgaps.org/ and http://www.oneten.org.uk

    I think it’s drawn from the 6-10% women per YEAR who are subject to violence(as of 2002)statistic found in the supporting evidence here: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-articles.asp?section=00010001002200410001&itemid=1280&itemTitle=Statistics%3A+how+common+is+domestic+violence

    The lifetime statistic is 1 in 4.

    Oh and the male figures are provided there too:

    “45% women and 26% men had experienced at least one incident of inter-personal violence in their lifetimes. (Walby and Allen, 2004) ”

    I’m hoping that all of those links etc. make my point transparent – there is real evidence that this is a problem. Yes other problems exist. But this is one too. give it your support.

    One, in discussion about the appalling state of gender equality in this country (as the UN criticised last year) someone used the argument ‘well yes, if you’re going to use *facts*, *facts* can prove anything’ against me. If your criticism denies substantiated statistics there’s no debating with you. You’re never going to know all of the method of the information gathering. How else do you suggest we prove something needs tackling?

    That’s going to be all I say on this matter, sorry if it’s seemed meandering. These kind of things normally get me unduly stressed and upset because there seems to be such a ridiculous and unfounded resistance to anything that talks about gender-based injustices. Yes that gives you little way to enter into dialogue/redress. I’m sorry. I just think that perhaps agreeing that violence against anyone is A Bad Thing. And supporting a campaign aiming to help a group of victims is not.

    Over and out.

  40. 13Strong writes: “it’s incredible how many people greet these facts and statistics about violence against women with “But what about MEN? Don’t MEN experience gender-based violence as well?”. It gets really tiresome.”

    I imagine the reason so many people ask that question is very simple: your position is hugely biased. People are bound to ask why you are ignoring nearly 40% of domestic violence victims, apparently through nothing but sexism.

    Consider the following proposition:
    Violence against women by men not worth spending money on, or having campaigns about. Women are designed to take a beating, and they should just suck it up and deal. Out of every ten victims of violence, it is clearly the four men who deserve help, and not the six women. The violence against women is a “different type” to the violence against men: the type against men is clearly more deserving, and talking about the violence to women is just tiresome.

    OK. Now, obviously I don’t believe a word of the above paragraph: it’s reprehensible and stomach turning to even consider it. But turn it round. Replace “men” with “women”. That’s what you appear to be claiming, and what Amnesty International is claiming. And that’s really sad and wrong. It’s just as stomach turning, either way round, but somehow people are willing to accept it when it’s men getting beaten.

    Heck, it’s even considered funny! Look at the TV! Man hits woman: definitely the bad guy. But a woman stubs her cigar out on a man and canned laughter plays!

    Men are people too. Men can be and often are hurt, too. Please stop with these sexist and divisive “men are evil” campaigns, stop pretending that abuse of men does not exist, and abuse by women doesn’t exist, and get behind the real problem, instead: “domestic abuse is evil”. It’s not only evil if a man does it.

    [@Ultan: Beautifully put!]

    1. What a bunch of dick waving in this thread.

      Guess what. Men are bigger than women and more capable of causing injury. They’re also far more likely to be trained in contact sports, combat or weapons use, making them far more efficient at inflicting damage. Guess what else. Much of the world thinks that it’s okay to beat women. Much of the world thinks that if a woman is raped it’s her own fault and she should probably be killed for it. The United States can’t even pass the fucking Equal Rights Amendment.

      Wait, there’s more. Women make significantly less money than men and find it much harder to leave an abusive situation without the possibility of homelessness and starvation. They’re also much more likely to have primary responsibility for their children, making it extremely difficult to get out of an abusive relationship. But other than that, yeah, there’s really nothing at all gender specific about patterns of violence.

  41. Icarusgirl, there’s some interesting content in what you say, and a lot I’d like to explore further. But frankly, I see little point, given your ‘hit and run’ tactics mean that you will be accusing those of us who disagree with you of ‘defending male privalage [sic]’, but not sticking around to substantiate this.

  42. Um. Sanity check. There was a post by someone called Icarusgirl here a minute ago, right? :-/

  43. @Antinous, in every society that are power discrepencies, and almost invariably, most of the strongest people – physically, politically, finincially – are men. But it doesn’t follow that their victims are typically only women. ‘Weaker’ men are forced to act as cannon fodder by tyrants; teenage boys are kicked to death in the street, by gangs trying to establish a culture of fear; little boys are mutilated in Congolese villages in case they grow up to be enemy soldiers.

    And yes, as I mentioned earlier, men lower down the pecking order are routinely raped in prisons all over the world. (I could strike a low blow by pointing to Lindsay Englund and the male prisoners at Abu Grahib, but I’d so atypical as to make no real point.) How the hell they can hope to escape that is anyone’s guess.

    Men might be stronger, on average, than women, but they have no hope of defending themselves against those sorts of forces.

    So yes, power relations matter, and typically, the strongest bullies will be men. But it’s hopelessly simplistic to assume that only women are the powerless against those bullies.

    As my earlier posts probably suggest, I’m ambivalent about the merits of a campaign against violence against women; if it achieves anything, I’d be right behind it, but I’m not wholly convinced that global violence can be divided, in any straightforward way, along gendered lines.

  44. There was, maybe it got deleted because I wasn’t willing to *participate* I dunno, I’m sorry I don’t want to debate. I used to, I used get stuck in all over diff mssgboard/blogs/newspaper sites, and then I increasingly found than absolutely no one ever changed their mind, there were always people there arguing about the little things, people who were obviously trolls… I think if you feel strongly enough to comment, and you’ve done the reading on the article (incl links) you’ve probably made your mind up and all it results in is stress and frustration. Thus I now devote my time and energy to protesting governments, and helping human rights campaigns themselves- in the hope that they might reach/educate people at all. I commented (has it been deleted?) to just illustrate some of the facts with links. Sorry to all for my unwillingness to get into debate. I am a dick, obviously.

    1. IcarusGirl,

      Your comment seems to have been the victim of a system glitch. I’ve freed it up with sincerest apologies.

  45. @Icarusgirl – thank the gods for that! I was beginning to think you were my online Harvey the rabbit! ;-)

    I understand your reluctance to get embroiled in talkboards, I’ve been down that road myself. If it’s any consolation, I have changed my mind as a result of arguments I’ve read there, though admittedly not often. But yeah, there are always the trolls.

    I found your post a bit frustrating, but I can’t imagine why it would be deleted; more likely a mistake?

  46. DEWI MORGAN:
    “That’s what you appear to be claiming, and what Amnesty International is claiming.”

    Maybe that’s what you wish I and Amnesty and other women’s rights organisations were claiming, but it’s simply not the case. These campaigns simply recognise that women often experience violence differently than men. This is supported by numerous studies.

    Nobody is claiming that men are evil. Nobody is claiming that men don’t experience violence from strangers, partners, loved ones, etc. There are organisations out there that campaign on these issues, and there are also organisations out there that work with men to encourage them to be more comfortable reporting such violence (I’ve worked with such organisations).

    It would be nice and easy if this was simply a load of hysteria from the bad old money-motivated man-haters, but it isn’t. Not only is that an extremely simplistic view of these campaigns and their understanding of these issues, but it also fails to recognise that these campaigns are not run by a bunch of money-grubbing amateurs. They’re run by dedicated women (and sometimes men) who have spent years studying the issues. They’ve spent years working with victims of gender-based violence, and they work closely with police, mental health support services, prison services, schools, government, communities and others living closely with such violence.

    I’m not saying all of these groups are perfect, or that none of them employ campaign tactics that some people might find manipulative (welcome to issue campaigning), but as a movement they know the issues, they know the statistics, and they largely have a nuanced, realistic understanding of the problem.

  47. “But it’s hopelessly simplistic to assume that only women are the powerless against those bullies.”

    I’m sorry, but can we stop playing the zero-sum game? No one is saying that men don’t experience violence. No one is saying that men don’t experience violence as a result of power imbalances. Criticising a campaign because it doesn’t address all of the issues is a non-starter, mostly because there ARE campaigns out there working to end violence against men (by other men, by women).

    Amnesty itself has dozens of different campaigns at any one time, including: the arms trade; child soldiers; freedom of expression; the conflict in Gaza; human rights in China; stopping internet repression and censorship; supporting the rights of refugees and asylum seekers; corporate reponsibility; and dozens of cases lobbying for the freedom of prisoners of conscience.

    And you know what ties together all those campaigns? They work to protect those with less power against those with more power. In many cases, the work they do will be directly aiding men and boys exposed to horrendous violence.

    Which leaves the argument that treating violence by men against women as different to any other form of violence between individuals is divisive and counter-productive. That’s an interesting position to take (one that I disagree with massively), and I’ll take it up tomorrow when it’s not late and I’m less tired.

  48. #37 posted by 13strong: My point exactly, & an illustration of why the “1/10 experiences rape or worse” title does the problem a disservice.

    #47 posted by Antinous: re: dickwaving.
    Bravo, antinous, what a way to discredit anyone who is not 100% in accord with your position. Sexist comments like that demean the position you are attempting to defend.

    1. pmhparis,

      When I see a thread infested with men so self-involved that they can’t recognize the terrifying reality that women around the world face every day, I don’t have the slightest qualm about pointing out what body part they’re attempting to think with.

  49. 13strong:

    ‘Which leaves the argument that treating violence by men against women as different to any other form of violence between individuals is divisive and counter-productive. That’s an interesting position to take (one that I disagree with massively), and I’ll take it up tomorrow when it’s not late and I’m less tired.’

    First, I do and will appreciate you taking the time to do so. Second, for the record, it’s a position I take somewhat tentatively. I’m not against this campaign, and I’m not the sort of cartoon self-involved male that Antinous seems hellbent on attacking. Nor am I sceptical of this campaign because it doesn’t tackle all the violence in the world; that would be unrealistic and pointless.

    I’m just not quite convinced that ‘violence against women’ is a particularly useful generalisation; that the mindset that justifies, say, murderous attacks on prostitutes (and we don’t need to look to the Tora Bora mountains to find those sorts of attitudes!) is really all that different to the mindset that justifies ‘queer-bashing’ attacks on ‘out’ gay men. ‘Traditional’ gender roles are being enforced, brutally, sometimes murderously. Often women are on the wrong end of this, but sometimes it’s non-conforming men. That’s how it looks to me, anyway, though as I say, I’m willing to persuaded otherwise.

    But I’d like to think that this is a genuine and respectful disagreement between, basically, allies in this matter, rather than some sort of absurd skirmish in a ridiculous gender war.

  50. I’m not the sort of cartoon self-involved male that Antinous seems hellbent on attacking.

    really? Then put that thing away.

  51. Of course, the numbers have to be pink… gag.

    And, yeah, what a whole load of “BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ” there is on this thread. I am beyond sick of it- it’s so played out. This article is about women and the issues of violence they face every day. It is (gasp) NOT about you. K? Thanks.

  52. Actually, while I don’t know the exact design process behind the OneinTen, Amnesty’s colour scheme is usually a neon colour on black.

    They often use neon pink on black. I suspect the use of pink is just a coincidence, though I might be wrong.

Comments are closed.