Different the Other way Around? Domestic Violence and Kelly Brook
The blasé and open approach taken by Kelly Brook when she talked of punching both Jason Statham and Danny Cipriani has caused outrage in certain quarters. Though, some will point out that relatively speaking, little has been said about what she's done, in comparison to what happens when male celebrities assault or abuse their partners. Have the incidents been treated differently because 'the shoe is on the other foot?'.
Laughed About on TV
The furore began when she published her memoir, which listed the two occassions she punched her then partners. She hit Cipriani after he gave his number to a lapdancer and Statham after he embarrassed her at the wedding of Madonna and Guy Ritchie.
She then went onto daytime TV show This Morning, where the incidents were brought up in an interview, and many feel that the story was essentially laughed about by Brook and the presenters as if it were a joke
. Men and women took to social media to question whether this was appropriate, and many claimed that if the genders of both parties were switched, it would be a completely different story
This is not the first time this question has been raised. Domestic violence charity ManKind Initiative
produced a video showing two scenarios; a male physically harassing his female partner, and a female physically harassing her male partner. People were shocked and even intervened when the man harassed the woman, whereas when the woman harassed the man, people stood by and laughed
at his humiliation.
So What of Domestic Abuse Against Men?
ManKind also contributed to the discussion surrounding Ms. Brook. “I am extremely disappointed that there is no public backlash against the actions of Ms Brook as if the genders were reversed then there rightly would be,” said the chairman of the organisation.
"In the eyes of the law, and victims around the world, abuse is abuse
, no matter who the victims or the perpetrators are.
The statistics are very clear. Women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, with 1 in 4 being victims at some stage of their life, compared to 1 in 6 men. Women are also more likely to fear being killed by their partners.
Nevertheless, domestic violence can have a physical, mental and emotional impact on any gender
, no matter how outwardly resilient or 'tough' they are. If domestic abuse against men is seen to be belittled by the public, and laughed at, it can make a victim feel they have nowhere to turn.
"As well as supporting victims, and tackling the abusive patterns of the perpetrators of domestic violence, we also need to work on public perception, so that victims know they can approach someone for help, and be taken completely seriously, rather than made to relive any humiliation if they're laughed at or ignored."