Patriarchal norms, and consequent gendered power imbalances in the home, fuel domestic violence against women and girls. While domestic violence impacts individuals of all genders, misogyny plays a vital role in the majority of cases. It is imperative that we address these norms if we truly want to translate gender equality aspirations into reality. It is time that misogyny is confronted where it first originates – in the home. The recent uproar regarding sexual harassment and bullying in Westminster, for example, posits misogyny as something mysterious that permeates institutions and society more broadly, with no foundation. And yet, evidence shows us that this is familiar behaviour, beginning in our homes. Domestic violence is the wellspring of the various manifestations of violence across the different spaces of society. We need to change the conversation to account for the enormity of domestic violence inflicted on women, and to underscore the patriarchal foundations of misogynistic acts. Addressing male violence in the home is the first step needed to move towards a genuine architecture of gender equality.
(1) Widom, C.Z. and Wilson, H.W. (2015). ‘Intergenerational transmission of Violence’ in Lindert, J. and Levav, I. (eds) Violence and Mental Health: Its Manifold Faces Springer Dordrecht, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8999-8.
(2) Geller LB, Booty M, Crifasi CK. ‘The role of domestic violence in fatal mass shootings in the United States, 2014-2019.’ In J Epidemiol. 2021 May 31;8(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s40621-021-00330-0. PMID: 34053458; PMCID: PMC8165999.