Mexican macho versus domestic violence industry spino

October 18, 2011

domestic violenceBy Robert Yourell, NCFM Baja Liaison

Misrepresentation of domestic violence even from Mexico…

As if fear of violence in Mexico hasn’t done enough damage, there is now a statistic that gives a very bad and wrong impression about Mexican households and Mexican men. You will hear it interpreted to mean that 67% of Mexican woman suffer from violence. This number comes from a large survey of Mexican women.

What the survey found, among other things, is that 67% of Mexican women surveyed have experienced violence as little as one time in their lives, which could range for example from something like being asked to wear different clothes to a domestic violence related beating. The survey provides much lower numbers for chronic problems of interpersonal violence.

So if you hear a statistic that makes it sound as though Mexican households are the domestic equivalent of Ciudad Juarez, think again.

Of course, no one should take interpersonal violence lightly, but many people take domestic violence against men lightly. By allowing it to remain a taboo, they tacitly condone it. This is certainly true for the report in question, The National Survey on the Dynamics of Relationships at Home (Actual Spanish tile: La Encuesta Nacional sobre la Dinámica de las Relaciones en los Hogares).

In the U.S., similar problems with statistics and gender bias are being slowly resolved, thanks to advocates such as those in the National Center for Men. For example, there is recognition of violence in lesbian relationships that forces advocates to recognize that woman are also violent in relationships.

Instead of blaming  machismo, mental health experts. recognize that alcohol abuse, cognitive problems, psychological trauma, and mutual violence are realities that must be addressed if we are serious about reducing domestic violence.

Just as we must recognize the unique needs and problems of women, we must also refrain from neglecting, demonizing, and demoralizing men with manipulated statistics and silence regarding male victimization in relationships, especially information about domestic violence.

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