Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It?

20 March 2014 - James Lang, Coordinator of Partners for Prevention, shared the findings from the “UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence”, a survey of 10,000 men in six countries focusing especially on Bangladesh, Cambodia and the People's Republic of China. The study highlights the prevalence and patterns of male violence against women and uncovers what drives some men to use violence, and how we can prevent it.

James Lang, Coordinator of Partners for Prevention, presenting the findings from the “UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence”
James Lang, Coordinator of Partners for Prevention, presenting the findings from the "UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence".

Mr. Lang's presentation reflected remarkable highlights of the study. Men's use of violence against women starts earlier than previously expected - 38% of male respondents said they first perpetrated rape against a woman or a girl at the age of 15 to 19. The majority of the rapists thought it was their sexual entitlement and most did not suffer legal consequences for their actions. A major factor associated with men's perpetration of violence is childhood emotional abuse or neglect. Mr. Lang also noted that the study's findings support the feminist theory (of oppression) on gender, power and violence. He suggested to stop violence before it starts by making violence against women culturally unacceptable, addressing child abuse and promoting healthy families, ending impunity for men who use violence against women, promoting non-violent and caring ways of demonstrating masculinity, and educating young people on consent, healthy sexuality and respectful relationships.