Domestic violence isn’t something that happens to other people, it can happen to anyone.
The 2013 Australian Bureau of Statistics – Personal Safety survey found that on average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia with one in three victims of current partner violence during the last 12 months and since the age of fifteen to be male.
Despite the considerable statistics regarding males as victims of domestic violence, we still tend to stereotype victims of domestic abuse to be predominantly women with certain personality traits such as those who are weak or passive in nature, however this behaviour is a hindrance to finding a solution to the real problem. Blaming certain personality traits of victims for violent and abusive actions excuses the issue and shifts the responsibility away from the perpetrator.
Victims and offenders of domestic violence can be found in every culture, economic status, sexual orientation, race and neighbourhood. Meaning that both male and females are equally likely to commit domestic violence as well as be victims of domestic abuse.
If we want to end domestic violence and encourage all victims to speak out, seek help and share their experiences, we must first acknowledge that just as there is no typical victim, nor is there a typical offender. By firstly changing our attitudes towards this gendered issue, we are able to ensure adequate resources and support are available for all victims and abusers of domestic violence.