This week’s news feature tackles the issue of violence against women but from the relatively unexplored angle concerning the aggressor. Terrible stories of acts of violence towards women and the protection programmes designed for them often make it to the news. Far less covered, however, are prevention and rehabilitation programmes aimed at men. Often aggressors are placed into prison and become repeat offenders or more harmful criminals.
There is a notion now that gender violence is really only an issue about women and affecting women, but does the debate need to be shifted. to include men in it?
María Cristina, 64, Shopkeeper, Haedo
It would be good to provide programmes educating perpetrators in the error of their ways. Moreover they should broadcast these and make people aware of them. It is not only about male aggression towards a woman or whoever it is, but also about the role of the male in the family. Males should play a more important role not only in the debate but also in their families. Males commit acts of domestic violence because women let them.
Luis Miguel, 29, Chemistry Technician, Villa Crespo
I think a machista society exists here in which women are abused and men get away with it. Men don’t think it has anything to do with them so they don’t involve themselves with it. Education is the problem here. In particular, the government needs to do more to eliminate domestic violence. Programmes need to work out the point of origin of the aggression and violence and work from there onwards. Education at home is also important, whilst growing up. Above all, the active participation of the government in educating men is key, as well as helping women who are abused.
Jorge, 75, Pensioner, Palermo
Men shouldn’t play a bigger part in gender debates in general, neither in discussion of domestic violence. The government should provide programmes for men on domestic violence; they commit acts of violence as an effect of drug taking… We should arrest and imprison those who are really guilty of committing such acts.
Adam, 29, Business Administrator, Villa Crespo
Men simply don’t think that domestic violence has anything to do with them. On the whole they haven’t directly suffered from it and for that reason they don’t identify with it, it’s for this reason they don’t involve themselves with the debate.
We still haven’t got a balance between the sexes, which means women end up suffering. A certain mentality and erroneous perception exists in which fragile women are made to suffer at the hands of men. Social parameters and perception are blurred.
The government has a responsibility to provide programmes of education and rehabilitation. Anyone involved in domestic violence needs help, whether it’s the victim or the perpetrator, who needs to be reformed. It’s the role of the state to do this and help out its own people.
Karen, 30, Masseuse, Vicente López
More should be done in general to emphasise the importance of domestic violence awareness. Men need to participate more in the issue and give their opinion because it’s always the women who deal with these things as they are the ones that face the violence. I believe that it’s more dependent on individual cases whether we provide programmes, but more awareness of the family does need to be provided. The government needs to teach males about self-restraint. Machismo continues and men don’t take responsibility for their actions.
Facundo, 23, Restaurant Owner, Palermo
Yes, men should play a larger role in the gender debate. They currently don’t play a part in the debate because it just doesn’t interest them. The state should provide more programs that educate males on what is correct and incorrect. Men commit domestic violence as a matter of power, in families men have more power and machismo continues everywhere.