Tęden: Men suffer from domestic violence as much as women

By ČTK / Published 15 January 2008


Prague, Jan 14 (CTK) - The term of domestic violence does not necessarily have to invoke the picture of a battered woman since the number of maltreated men is almost equal, and every third Czech man has experienced some kind of domestic violence, the latest issue of the weekly Tyden writes.
While dozens of studies focusing on male victims of domestic violence have been made abroad, only one survey on this subject has been conducted in the
Czech Republic, without the media even noticing it, Tyden writes.
The survey made by a team of lecturers and students from the South Bohemian University, published in the book "Domestic Violence Committed on Men and Seniors" in 2006, reveals that "every tenth Czech man experiences in his partnership something that goes beyond a common argument and that is close to violence, either physical or psychological," Tyden writes.
Women's weapons are sophisticated. They, for instance, cut their partners from their friends, ridicule them or use "food terror," Tyden writes.
At last one third of Czech men has experienced at least three types of attacks defined as domestic violence in the suvey, a part of which was an anonymous poll.
The poll sets 11 degrees of "terror" women apply to men, ranging from arguments, verbal aggression, insults and threats, through physical violence such as slaps or destroying things to sexual pressure and continuous showing contempt and disregard for the partner.
Four percent of the polled men admitted they were victims of physical attacks by their partners.
Sociologist Jiri Burianek, co-author of the survey and head of the sociology studies at
Prague's Charles University Faculty of Arts, said the results of the Czech survey of this kind are not very surprising.
"It is in fact what I expected. The surveys conducted abroad showing that both genders have more or less equal experience with domestic violence have been warning us for a long time already," the weekly quotes Burianek as saying.
He says men are often more vulnerable than women since there is actually nobody to help them, while women have dozens of non-profit organisations to protect them.
"Men have nobody to turn to. In addition, they are usually more embarrassed to reveal their story to somebody," Burianek says.
"While in physical maltreatment the victims are usually women, in mental torture they are in the lead," Burianek says.
Women's main tools to torture their partners are psychological ones. "Reproaching, offending, humiliating, shouting, turning children against their fathers and deliberately leading them to feel hatred towards their fathers, slandering," the paper quotes psychologist Eduard Bakalar as saying.
Men's defence mechanisms are, on the other hand, virtually zero, the weekly writes.
"Women started with domestic violence on a large scale only after World War Two, along with their emancipation en masse. Men are still getting used to the new position of women and their greater self-sufficience," Bakalar says.
Many women, however, do not even realise that they torture their partner, causing them big psychological problems, Tyden writes.
This is the case of "food terror", one of the most sophisticated women's weapons. This happens when women deliberately prepare meals that their partners dislike or blackmail them saying "you can eat after you get me what I want," Tyden writes, quoting another psychologist, Martina Venglarova.
The weekly, however, also gives an example of domestic violence when a woman intentionally put a lot of sugar into her husband's coffee and a lot of oil and fat into his meals to make him fat and less attractive for other women.
Women are becoming capable and successful professionals in their careers and are richer, while men are losing their exclusive position of breadwinners, thus becoming more vulnerable than they have ever thought, the weekly concludes.


This story is from the Czech News Agency (ČTK).