15 November 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Irish men are less conscious of the prevalence or consequences of domestic violence than Irish women, according to a new survey on men’s perceptions on violence against women, but they are willing to take actions to prevent abuse.

The survey was released today by Tearmann Domestic Violence Service, as a member of SAFE Ireland, the national organisation of domestic violence services. It coincides with the start of the roll out of MAN UP campaign across Monaghan to highlight the crucial role that men can play in ending violence against women and children. The survey was undertaken by Behaviour & Attitudes.

MAN UP is asking men across Monaghan to stand up and declare zero tolerance on violence against women. In Monaghan, it is being supported by Páraic Duffy Director General of the GAA, Owen Lennon and Paul Finlay Ulster Senior Football champions.

Just over half (52%) of men and 79% of women perceive domestic violence as being common, occurring in 20% or more households. One in ten men and one in four women perceive it as being very common. However, nearly half – or 45% – of men claim to be unaware of the impact of violence on women. Women are more conscious than men of a range of physical and emotional consequences and dangers faced by women and children living with violence.

Men are also less likely to know a woman living in a violent situation. One in eight men (11%) say that they knew a woman experiencing violence while one in five women (20%) say that they know a survivor.

Siobhán McKenna, manager of Tearmann, said that the gap in awareness between men and women indicates that there is work to do to make violence against women an issue that men know more about.

“Men are essential allies in ending violence,” she said. “This survey tells us that they know this and are willing to MAN UP. But it also tells us that domestic violence is not necessarily something that is part of their consciousness, part of their world, something that they know about as much as women. As long as this gap in awareness and consciousness exists, the longer it will take us to make Monaghan a safer place for women and children.”

Both men (97%) and women (96%) agree that men have a role to play in preventing violence. Men are twice as likely as women (ie. 35% v 18%) to say that they will talk to a man to tell him to stop abusing. Women are more likely to provide information to a woman about a helpline or domestic violence service.

Latest statistics show that nearly 8,000 women and over 3,000 children looked for support from a domestic violence support service, including Tearmann. In Ireland, nearly one in five women report that they have experienced violence at some point in their lives.

For more information contact: Tearmann Domestic Violence Services on 047 72311.

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