Men s violence against women what supports it what might prevent it
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Men's violence against women: What supports it, what might prevent it. Jeff Hearn , AcSS, Linköping University; Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki; University of Huddersfield, UK Profeministimiehet [email protected]

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Men s violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

Men's violence against women: What supports it, what might prevent it

Jeff Hearn,AcSS,

Linköping University; Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki; University of Huddersfield, UK

Profeministimiehet

[email protected]

1st Prevention of Violence against Women Conference, Copenhagen, September 2008

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • Men's violence against (known) women:

  • What supports it?

  • What might prevent it?

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Men s violence against women what is it

Men's violence against women: What is it?

  • physical & sexual violence, emotional, psychological and sexual degradation, rape, sexual assault, incest, sexual coercion, homicide, damaging property & pets, pornography, prostitution, war, trafficking …

  • minimal or extensive & life threatening

  • one-off or persistent, sporadic, constant

  • more or less damaging

  • random or highly systemmatic

  • violence against women, & child abuse

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • What supports it?

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Some tendencies

SOME TENDENCIES ...

  • not to gender men, to avoid naming men, doing the violence, as men

  • deny and minimise men’s violence

  • define violence in narrow ways that limit it to physical violence of certain kinds

  • see men’s violence as primarily individual problem

  • see men’s and women’s violence as symmetrical

  • explain violence in ways that ’excuse’ men

  • separate violence off from the rest of social life

  • see current social relations between men and women as ‘natural’

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • Presentation based on various researches

  • ESRC research: interviews with 75 men

  • Diverse sources, inc. 3 men’s programmes

  • Accounts of violence

  • Questionnaire on coping-social support

  • 100+ agency contacts: police, doctors, prosecution, men’s programmes etc.

  • Also other research on violence for: EU, Council of Europe, UNICEF, Nordic Council of Ministers, Sexual Violence Research Initiative, Academy of Finland

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Some problems of gendering

Some problems of gendering ...

  • in the defining of such violence

  • in the naming of such violence

  • in the understandings and explanations of such violence

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

Women’s (who have experienced violence) views on violence

  • forms separate or merged

  • Physical and Threats

  • Sexual – sexual assault; coercive/pressurised sex

  • Emotional/Verbal/Psychological – psychological degradation; complete obedience; undermining; humiliation

  • Economic/Nutrition - access to money, paid work, food

  • Reproductive/Medical – forced abortion; attacking whilst pregnant; forced having of children

  • Social – controlling friends, visiting, telephoning

  • Spatial, Temporal – control of movement, time, friends

  • Representational

  • [How] … violence and abuse suffuse every aspect of women’s lives makes it difficult for women to emerge from abusive systems of social relations

    (Jalna Hanmer in Violence and Gender Relations, Sage, 1996)

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

Men’s (who have used violence) views on violence

  • men doing violence tend to focus overwhelmingly on physical violence, separate violence off from the rest of life. Violence constructed in relation to threats of physical violence or as if ‘incidents’ of physical violence. Generally constructed as:

  • physical violence that is more than a push – holding, restraint, use of weight/bulk, blocking, throwing (things and the woman) often excluded

  • legal convictions for physical violence

  • physical violence that causes or likely to cause damage, visible or considered physically lasting

  • physical violence that is not seen as specifically sexual; sexual violence is seen as separate

  • separation of violence against women, and child abuse

    (Jeff Hearn The Violences of Men, Sage, 1998)

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Naming

Naming …

  • Domestic violence

  • Spousal violence, conjugal violence

  • Wife battering, wife beating

  • Intimate partner violence

  • Family violence

  • Men’s violence to known women, … and so on

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Gender a symmetry problem

”Gender (a)symmetry” problem

  • Claims of gender symmetry in domestic violence made, sometimes noisily; many draw on the quantification of acts of assault, especially Fiebert’s (1997) review. Over l00 studies suggested men and women use ‘force’ with partners in roughly equal numbers, at least in younger couples

  • Many use Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), critiqued for failure to contextualise violence, attend to meanings of violence, differentiate quantification with sufficient accuracy or consider differential damage from violence

  • 2001 British Crime Survey: half of the men reporting “domestic violence” sustained “no injury” from the “worst incident” (Walby and Allen 2004: 48)

  • Est. 3/4ths of women’s violent acts are in self-defence (Kimmel 2002)

  • Men use overwhelming majority of planned, instrumental, repeated, heavy, physically damaging, non-defensive, non-retaliatory, sexual and multiple forms of violence

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Explanations

Explanations

  • Individual (male) psychologies

  • Socialisation experiences (of boys & men)

  • Sub-cultures (of men)

  • Societal (patriarchal) structures

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Location the privacy of the home

Location: The privacy of the home …

  • “The safest place for men is the home, the home is, by contrast the least safe place for women.”

    (Susan S.M. Edwards Policing “Domestic” Violence, 1989: 214)

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Walby myhill drawing on international research summarised risk factors of domestic violence

Walby & Myhill, drawing on international research, summarised risk factors of ’Domestic Violence’:

  • previous domestic assault

  • ‘minor’ violence predicting escalation to major violence

  • separation (women separating from their partner at much greater risk than other marital statuses)

  • gender inequality in relationships, including men’s patriarchal attitudes and marital inequalities

  • poverty and social exclusion

  • women’s employment status

  • pregnancy

  • ill health and disability

  • violence in family of origin/witnessing violence/criminal career

  • co-occurence of child abuse

  • age, i.e. youth

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • ”I’m not a violent man ...”

  • Just ...

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • ”I wasn’t violent, but she used to do my head in that much. I picked her up twice and threw her against the wall, and said ’Just leave it’. That’s the only violence I’ve put towards her. I’ve never struck a woman, never, and I never will. ... When I held her I did bruise her somewhere on the shoulder, and she tried making out that I’d punched her, but I never did. I never to this day touched a woman.”

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • What might prevent it?

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Eu cahrv reports website

EU CAHRV Reports (website)

  • Humphreys, C./ Carter, R. et al. (2006): The justice system as an arena for the protection of human rights for women and children experiencing violence and abuse 

  • Martinez, M./ Schröttle, M. et al. (2006): State of European research on the prevalence of interpersonel violence & its impact on health & human rights 

  • Schröttle, M./ Martinez, M. et al. (2006): Comparative reanalysis of prevalence of violence against women and health impact data in Europe - obstacles and possible solutions.

  • Hanmer, J./ Gloor, D./ Meier, H. et al. (2006): Agencies and evaluation of good practice: domestic violence, rape and sexual assault

  • Puchert, R./ Busche, M. et al. (2006): Protective environmental factors securing Human Rights. A literature review 

  • Puchert, R./ Busche, M. et al. (2006): Protective environmental factors securing Human Rights. Structured map of literature

  • Hearn, J./ Novikova, I. et al. (2007): Methodological Framework Report 

  • Martinez, M./ Schröttle, M. et al. (2007): Perspectives and standards for good practice in data collection on interpersonal violence at European level

  • http://www.cahrv.uni-osnabrueck.de/

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • women-centred services (e.g. women’s refuges, rape crisis centres, incest survivors groups)

  • criminal justice system reforms

  • safer housing alternatives

  • income support for women and children

  • inter-agency policy development & co-ordination

  • education, training and publicity

  • recognition of differences, inc. services for black and minority ethnic women, lesbians, women with disabilities

  • attempts to create safer public spaces

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Prevention by changing

Prevention by changing …

  • Male self

  • Men’s personal, intimate & sexual relations

  • Men’s family/household relations

  • Men in groups, men’s support for men

  • Men through education

  • Men in agencies, workplaces, organisations

  • Men by campaigns and public politics

  • Men through anti-poverty and inequalities

  • Men in societal structural relations

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Men s programmes

Men’s programmes

  • The question “what’s the problem with addressing men’s practices?” needs to be brought into policy analysis

  • Requires engagement with critical studies of men and men’s practices

  • Men’s programmes one of few agencies and interventions specifically aimed at reducing or stopping men’s violence to women

  • Men often remain absent from social problem-focused services, policy formation and evaluation

  • While such programmes address men’s practices, that in itself is no guarantee of effectiveness

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In this context

In this context …

  • Council of Europe (2002: 12) has recommended that “(m)ember states organise intervention programmes designed to encourage perpetrators of violence to adopt a violence-free pattern of behaviour by helping them to become aware of their acts and recognise their responsibility.”

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • The longest evaluative research, planned over 4 years, by Gondolf found mixed results

  • Nearly half (47 per cent) of the men (both completers and non-completers) used violence during the first 30 months

  • Only 21 per cent of men were reported by their partner to have been neither verbally or physically abusive in the period

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • Tolman and Bennett (US) found 60 % of men who complete programmes not physically assaultive of women after 6 months

  • With wide variation in methods and approaches used, international evidence on their effectiveness is such that

    programmes cannot be evaluated or recommended in general

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • US National Institute of Justice (2003) summarised international evaluation research

  • The lead author Shelley Jackson writes:

    “Early evaluations consistently found small program effects; when more methodologically rigorous evaluations were undertaken, the results were inconsistent and disappointing. Most of the later studies found that treatment effects were limited to a small reduction in reoffending, although evidence indicates that for most participants (perhaps those already motivated to change), “batterer intervention programs” may end the most violent and threatening behaviors.”

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • In their own research they found no significant differences between men who battered in the men’s programme and the control group in one case. In the other case men completing the 8-week programme showed no differences from the control group, but men completing the 26-week programme had significantly fewer official complaints lodged against them than the control group, but no significant change in attitudes towards domestic violence.

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Priority measures in developing programmes include

Priority measures in developing programmes include:

  • Ensuring, highest priority, safety of women and children victims, through contact between the programme staff and the women and staff working with them; such professional contact is especially important when the man is living with or in contact with the woman

  • Not avoiding the legal consequences of criminal behaviour; linking programmes to court-mandating; not replacing legal sanctions

  • Work in cooperation/coordination with programmes dealing with protection of women, inc. women victims’ assessments in evaluations of men’s programmes

  • Clear principles in programmes, including recognition men’s violence to women is much about power & control, in context of dominance

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • Recognising men responsible for their violence within gender power analysis

  • Examining effectiveness of programmes, & whether effectiveness justifies the cost; need to recognise problems in conducting comprehensive, long-term evaluations of new programmes

  • Resourcing of programmes must not divert funding from women’s projects and services

  • Improve programmes, including co-leadership by women and men, full training of leaders, gender power analysis

  • Great attention to risk assessment & selection; such programmes unlikely effective for most dangerous men

  • Recognition of dangers in overstating effectiveness claims, in offering false hopes to partners, ex-partners and affected parties who may make plans on that basis

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • Impact of lower household income, financial difficulties of households, women’s, and children’s, poverty, and women’s lower employment status upon men’s violence

  • To chart risks does not mean that violence is only by men with less financial resources; it is spread across all sectors and classes

  • Does not suggest excuses, justifications or simple causes and effects

  • Yet men’s violence may link with economic and material circumstances; these, along with changing patriarchal practices and attitudes and family/marital inequalities, need to be addressed in policies and strategies against men’s violence

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • In Societies at Peace Howell and Willis posed the question: what can we learn from peaceful societies?

  • definition of masculinity had a significant impact on men’s propensity towards violence

  • in societies in which men were permitted to acknowledge fear, levels of violence lower

  • in societies where masculine bravado, repression & denial of fear was defining feature of masculinity, violence likely higher

  • Where bravado prescribed for men, definitions of masculinity and femininity very highly differentiated

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Some ways forward

Some ways forward …

  • gender the men, name men, doing the violence, as men

  • recognise, not deny and minimise, men’s violence

  • define violence broadly; not only limit it to physical violence of certain kinds

  • see men’s violence as a social, rather than primarily individual, problem

  • see men’s and women’s violence as asymmetrical

  • not to explain violence in ways that excuse men; give responsibility to men

  • see the relations of violence with the rest of social life;

  • not see the current social relations between men and women as ‘natural’

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • women’s predictions of risk of violence from their partners substantially improved prediction of violence with risk factors

  • women’s predictions of risk of violence from their partners were by themselves better predictors than several established psychological risk measures

    E.W. Gondolf & D.A. Heckert (2003) in Violence and Victims, 18(4)

    D.A. Heckert & E.W. Gondolf (2004) in Journal of Interpersonal Violence

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

Some texts on violence by Jeff Hearn

  • ‘Sex’ at ‘Work’. The Power and Paradox of Organisation Sexuality, with W. Parkin, Prentice Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf/St. Martin’s, 1987/1995.

  • Taking Child Abuse Seriously: Contemporary Issues in Child Protection Theory and Practice, with The Violence Against Children Study Group, Routledge, 1990.

  • The Violences of Men: How Men Talk About and How Agencies Respond to Men's Violence to Women, Sage, 1998.

  • Children, Child Abuse and Child Protection: Placing Children Centrally, with The Violence Against Children Study Group, John Wiley, 1999.

  • Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Organizations, with W. Parkin, Sage, 2001.

  • Ending Gender-based Violence: A Call for Global Action to Involve Men, with H. Ferguson et al., SIDA, Stockholm, 2004. http://www.sida.se/content/1/c6/02/47/27/SVI34602.pdf

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • Working Against Men’s “Domestic Violence”: Priority Policies and Practices for Men in Intervention, Prevention and Societal Change, with S.S.M. Edwards, Council of Europe, 2005.

  • European Perspectives on Men and Masculinities: National and Transnational Approaches, with K. Pringle & CROME, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

  • Unge, kjoenn og pornografi i Norden – Mediestudier, with A. Hirdman, M. Jyrkinen & S. V. Knudsen, Nordic Council of Ministers, 2007. At: http://www.norden.org/pub/velfaerd/jamstalldhet/sk/TN2006544.pdf

  • Sex, Violence and The Body: The Erotics of Wounding, edited with V. Burr, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

  • ‘The implications of information and communication technologies for sexualities and sexualised violences’, Political Geography, 25(8), 2006.

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Variations in homicide rate

Variations in homicide rate

NORWAY 0.95, SWEDEN 1.42, RUSSIA 22

per 100,000 p.a.

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

FINLAND

  • ‘violence or threats by their ex-partner had been experienced by 50 per cent of all women who had lived in a relationship which had already terminated’

    (Heiskanen and Piispa, 1998, 3)

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Mens violence against women what supports it what might prevent it

  • www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/vaw/infopack.htm

  • www.cromenet.org

  • www.successunlimited.co.uk/

    [Bully Online]

  • www.humanrights.coe.int/equality/

  • www.unicef-icdc.org/

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