There is no question that domestic violence directed at women is a serious problem. In too many cases of domestic violence, the male is the abusing party.
But what happens when the roles are reversed and the male is in fact the victim? Do men in these situations tend to hesitate to ask for help and support, due to cultural beliefs that dictate that a real man shouldn’t show feelings, but be strong and silent if he wants to be a ‘real man’. And – when help is finally sought – is this request taken seriously or bluntly mocked?
This work is not in any way on a political mission to minimize the seriousness of men’s violence against women. This work focuses on social stigmas surrounding men not reporting intimate partner violence due to their fear of beeing seen as weak and less manly. It is about trying to move societal stereotypes and stiff assumptions concerning gender.
In a sense, this work is an examination of the hidden. It seeks to shed light and inspire new ways of thinking and dealing with domestic violence.
The work will culminate in a touring exhibition with photographs and a collection of video interviews, where at least fifteen different men with their own words will express their experiences of being in an abusive relationship.
During the exhibitions, experts in the field of domestic violence, researchers and social workers will be invited to take part in discussions and debates. Media will also be invited to these events.
Abused men as a topic of research and artistic work is controversial. It should not be. Violence in all forms are equally bad.