Sir, – Sharon O’Halloran and her organisation Safe Ireland do a great service for vulnerable people in a difficult situation (“Women are still deterred from reporting violence”, Opinion & Analysis, September 26th).
There are many underfunded organisations in Ireland doing excellent work helping female victims of violence. There is only a smaller one dedicated to male victims, Amen.
The UK Living with Abuse organisation quotes statistics from the British Crime Survey Statistical Bulletin that domestic abuse “will affect one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime”.
The UK Office for National Statistics details the issues of under-reporting in these statistics.
It would help if organisations campaigning against domestic violence portrayed the real issue – perpetrator against victim and not portraying it as male against female. This negative portrayal of men does not help engage non-perpetrators, including many good men.
The Domestic Violence Act 2018 in Ireland takes an important step in this direction using gender-neutral language.
Safe Ireland uses the tagline “Creating Safety for Women and Children”, so male victims will not go to that organisation. Living with Abuse uses the tag line “Help and support for ANYONE suffering abuse” (their emphasis).
Sharon O’Halloran finishes her article with, “We need a whole new world view that is built on equality, tolerance, safety, love, and that responds to those who come forward with allegations of violence and abuse, by simply saying we believe you, and now, how can we support you.” Amen to that. – Yours, etc,