Lithuania breaks the taboo around domestic violence against men

A female psychologist who helps male victims of domestic violence claims that more funding should be allocated to fight the issue.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Lithuania
Lithuania breaks the taboo around domestic violence against men - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

In every discussion about gender-based violence, you will meet at least one "whataboutist" in the audience, who will point out that men are victims of domestic violence, too. When activists, NGOs or governments open a debate about the scale, cruelty and cultural acceptance of violence against women, someone is sure to respond with "but what about men? Let's talk about men!"

When arguments about men's experience of domestic violence are used in such an antagonizing manner, it does nothing to help the men who actually experience it.

To promote a more constructive discussion, a Lithuanian public broadcaster invited an expert on violence against men to talk about this issue without positioning it as a counter-argument to domestic violence against women in Lithuania. After all, over a hundred men per month have called the police this year to report domestic violence, and this trend is not abating.

Details from the story:

  • Psychologist Oksana Liutkevičienė, who heads the Men's Crisis Centre, and her team help 41 men who have suffered emotional and psychological violence at home. Most of them are middle-class men.
  • Since domestic violence against men is mostly psychological, social and emotional (one of the most common forms is social isolation), men rarely call the police and discuss it with psychologists instead -- if they seek therapy at all.
  • She blames gender stereotypes for preventing men from seeking help.
  • The psychologist claims that services for women experiencing domestic violence are "developed to the maximum", whereas services for men are underfunded.
  • According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, 82% of victims in reported cases of domestic violence are women. Still, calls for NGO applications for funding are gender-neutral.
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