This month is Domestic Violence month so this is another blog in our series to highlight this problem with the lens of it being a form of modern slavery. While it can start as domestic with the victim being beaten and/or abused; it can easily become servitude which is a type of modern slavery. This is when the victim loses all freedoms. Such as being allowed out unsupervised, not holding a bank account or phone. Once these freedoms are lost it becomes modern slavery.

In this blog, we consider another aspect of domestic violence and modern-day slavery.

When most think of domestic violence victims, the idea of a woman comes to mind immediately. There is plenty of news and article coverage on females being victims of abuse. But domestic violence doesn’t discriminate between sex. There surrounds a general stereotype that only women experience abuse, but the reason for that is because there is fewer articles and research on the domestic abuse other genders and sex experience.

The Stereotype

When a man hits or abuses a woman, it is considered “violence against a woman”.  However, when the opposite occurs there is no term to describe the abuse a woman may do to their male partner. For most in society, there is a stereotype that men can’t experience abuse from a female. Or even have his actions and body controlled by one. When males do seek help for experiencing domestic abuse they often aren’t taken seriously.

“The expectation that male perpetrators would be treated more harshly than female perpetrators were supported to some degree. Participants recommended that police issue a citation or arrest male perpetrators, versus simply issue a warning to females.”

This study, conducted by Saelau is an example of the injustice men can face as a victim of domestic abuse. Men are often too scared to speak about their abuse or even leave their relationship. Just like when a woman experiences domestic abuse, the male is also a victim and a slave to an abusive relationship that society doesn’t deem a necessary danger to his life and mental wellbeing. For more information on the case study done by the Seelau’s click here.

The Reporting Problem

In addition, men that often experience abuse from their partners don’t realize that they are experiencing domestic violence. This is because of the stereotype of domestic abuse in connection to women being the victim. This can cause them to not report the issue to friends, family, or authorities. Due to the idea that our society is built on male patriarchy. So, to admit that they may experience abuse will make them look weak or unmasculine in society. Overall, due to miss conceptions about who can experience domestic violence, sometimes men find themselves victims. This further impacts their ability to seek independence and have mental and emotional freedom. For more examples of ways in which society ignores the abuse men can face click here

The Freedom Hub supports both females and males who have been victims of modern slavery. We also stress the importance that modern slavery is very real in Australia. Modern Slavery exists in many other ways such as sex trafficking, human trafficking, forced labor, and more. To learn more about the ways individuals are impacted by modern-day slavery, click here and explore our Freedom Hub site.

By Natasha Lewis – TFH USA Intern