Stats of abuse against men growing – Human Services Minister

…reports should be made without stigma, ridicule

In what was described as a pandemic due to its prevalence in society, Human Services Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud has stressed that the root causes of domestic violence must be eliminated.
The Human Services Ministry has organised various events in keeping with the 16 Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence. At a recent Domestic Violence Outreach, it was pointed out that statistics of abuse against men has been growing.
“If we look at the persons who are most likely to be abused, women. However, we see the number of men being abused growing. And they’re a very important part of the issue that we’re dealing with. Why? Men feel very threatened when they have to go and report to the Police station to say that ‘I am being abused’,” Dr Persaud acknowledged.
According to her, men are sceptical to make reports because it is seen as an attack on their masculinity. Moreover, they face ridicule for highlighting such matters to law enforcement.
“Sometimes, when they go in to make these reports, they are ridiculed and we need to change that culture. Whether man or woman, that person should be able to make a report without judgement or stigma. When a report is made, then that case needs to be followed to conclusion and maybe, the conclusion could be prosecution.”
On the other hand, she said women are subjected to unrealistic expectations and are often stigmatised for the abuse they’ve dealt with.
The Human Services Minister asserted, “When society becomes judgemental and a woman is blamed for the failure of her marriage and for the failure of the beatings that she is getting maybe at the hands of her partner, then society has failed her. We continue to stigmatise women like that. We continue to put pressure and expectations on those women that are unrealistic.
She said efforts must be made to examine domestic violence in different angles and how it manifests across communities. This is in keeping with holding abusers accountable for their actions.
“This is not new in our country and some people consider it a pandemic of sorts because it’s so pervasive. While we grapple with COVID, this one sunk its roots deeper and deeper and we have to make to every effort to extricate the effect and impact from the root. We have to recognise the root causes and to look at it from many different angles so that we can attack the various dimensions and the impact that is has, whether you look at the individual, the family, the community and at large, the country,” Minister Persaud told stakeholders.
The Minister contended that gender-based violence continues to claim lives in the country. In order to garner collaboration from citizens, the Ministry will be launching the Community Advocates Network.
“Because there are so many lives from so many parts of this country, it simply means everyone needs to be involved at every level…What I want to make sure happens through this Network is that perpetrators of abuse and violence should know that everybody is looking at them. They’re under scrutiny. When people know that all eyes are turned on them and that there is no way out, something will have to give.”
Along with the attention, she insisted that there must be tangible intervention and moreover, prevention. (G12)