Gender-based Violence against Men: A Muted Reality


This article examines experiences of men who are victims of gender-based violence where women are perpetrators. There are masculinity expectations that if a man is in pain, he is not allowed to show his agony or cry in public, as suggested in the Sepedi proverb Monna ke nku o llela teng. These expectations make it difficult for male victims of domestic violence to report the abuse. Gender-based violence has to do with the abuse that is suffered by partners who are in relationships. This violence includes, but is not limited to physical, sexual, psychological, economic harm, and includes actions such as threats and coercion. Men usually do not speak out about their experiences due to the stigma attached to them being victims of female-perpetrated domestic abuse, as this study has shown. This article is based on the study of men who reported their experiences of abuse at the hands of their partners. The study was conducted in Vuwani within the Makhado Local Municipality, Vhembe District in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. The data showed that male victims of domestic violence are reluctant to speak out about their ordeal due to fear of being ridiculed by significant others in the society, such as their family members, peers and police officials.