We have received several e-mails at Restored from people asking why we are not addressing the issue of men who suffer violence from their partners. We recognise that all violence is totally unacceptable and that violence against men, both by women and in same sex relationships, is a significant problem. If you are experiencing such violence and need help, then we encourage you to contact a relevant local organisation or helpline. In the UK you can call the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 (http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/mens_advice.php) or Broken Rainbow on 0300 999 5428 (http://www.broken-rainbow.org.uk/).
We do not think, however, that Restored should address these issues. There are four main reasons for this:
i) The majority of domestic violence in all countries is by men against women.
ii) There are huge areas of violence against women worldwide which have a very limited counterpart in terms of equivalent levels of violence against men, including rape in armed conflict, widow abuse, female genital mutilation, acid attacks and bride kidnapping.
iii) Men who are experiencing abuse require a very different type of support from that required by women, and therefore separate organisations are needed to address the issue of violence against men.
iv) We see the need to focus in Restored. Ending violence against women is the issue that we are passionate about, and we want to concentrate on getting the church to address the causes of such violence and to improve relationships between men and women.
Why would people who believe in Restored’s mission to end violence against women, want to criticise us for not also doing something else? Organisations working to end abuse of children are not criticised for working only with children. Rather than urging Restored to take on the issue of violence against men, we would encourage those who have this vision to start something themselves. We will be happy to work in partnership with, and to refer people to, any like-minded initiatives which would be helpful for those affected by violence against men.