Lecturer wants support for male domestic violence victims

USQ lecturer in Human Services and Counselling Nathan Beel.
USQ lecturer in Human Services and Counselling Nathan Beel. Alistair Brightman

WITH research showing women are as likely as or more likely than men to turn to violence in a relationship, Hervey Bay lecturer Nathan Beel is calling for an end to the suspicion and lack of services faced by male domestic violence victims.

The lecturer in counselling and psychology at University of Southern Queensland also spoke of partners who systematically control their partners, calling them "intimate terrorists".

Mr Beel is set to publish a research paper that argues against treatment of domestic violence as a gendered issue.

His paper highlights international research, including some that shows women were more likely in a relationship to use violence and use it more frequently, but men were more likely to injure their partners.

Mr Beel heads a USQ community counselling program at the Hervey Bay Community Centre, where he sees perpetrators and victims of both sexes.

He said some male victims believed they could not speak out and often feared they wouldn't be believed or would be accused of being the perpetrator.

"That is really sad to hear that, that sense of vulnerability," Mr Beel said.

"It's a denied problem."

Domestic violence is serious and it doesn't discriminate.


Mr Beel said he was not calling for support to be drawn away from services for female victims.

"If anything, they need more protection," he said.

He said most domestic violence situations involved both the male and female being violent against one another, called "common couple violence".

Mr Beel said people who used systematic control over their innocent partners, referred to as "intimate terrorists", often cried the victim.

"There's very clearly a perpetrator and very clearly a victim," he said.

The counselling program is careful to distinguish between common couple domestic violence and situations where the perpetrator pretends to be a victim.

"We do a very careful assessment," he said.

"Often we will see them separately until we can establish who is at bigger risk."

Mr Beel's paper will be published in the journal Psychotherapy in Australia in coming months.

Topics:  domestic violence university of southern queensland

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