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Men as Victims of Crime

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Updated December 04, 2005

Almost every evening, across countless accident and emergency units, men will receive treatment for cuts, bruises, stab wounds, burns, broken limbs or worse. It is estimated that men are three times more likely than women to be the victims of assault but despite this the media, the police, the education system and various other agencies focus their efforts in promoting the avoidance of crime among women.

Women are encouraged to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations. They are cautioned about their dress, their appearance and their behavior. No such messages are given to men, where in fact violence tends to be regarded as 'normal'.

Men more at risk murder by strangers
Men are more likely to be murdered by a stranger or in a public place, which alone suggests that men might need to be taught strategies for avoiding victimization in public situations. Men are also more likely to be revictimized, particularly unemployed men, members of minorities and those involved with illicit drugs.

Blaming individuals may be less useful than examining the structure of society. The fact that 5 year old boys in the USA are twice as likely than girls to be murdered can hardly be the fault of the child. More relevant perhaps would be an examination of the context of children's lives and the behaviors of the adults around them.

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