Further proof that the BBC doesn’t give a damn about male victims of domestic abuse / violence

On January 19 2014 we lodged our first official complaint with the BBC, concerning an episode of Newsnight during which only male perpetrators of DA, and female victims, were mentioned:

http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/our-first-official-complaint-to-the-bbc-the-newsnight-piece-on-domestic-abuseviolence-7-january-2014/

Footage of the programme on our YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_arobNtUyU

We put a considerable amount of time and effort into our complaint, and included an analysis of the programme’s 50+ breaches of guidelines contained in the 215-page document, ‘BBC Editorial Guidelines’. It’s been almost four weeks since we lodged the complaint. Ever optimistic, we were starting to hope for some substantive engagement, but we’ve just received this:

Dear Mr Buchanan

Reference CAS-2526463-VBBJ6H

Thanks for your contact regarding ‘Newsnight’ on 7 January.

We took your concerns to the Assistant Editor of Newsnight, who thanked them for their feedback. He added that the Newsnight team, as well as the wider editorial staff at BBC News, are aware that there are many male victims of domestic abuse and he appreciates you taking the time to contact us on this issue.

He disagrees, however, that the report was misleading and is confident that it did not breach our editorial guidelines. The fact that this particular film and discussion focussed on female victims of domestic abuse should not be taken as a denial that men too can be victims.

This is an issue that we have covered, for example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25038695, which actually links to the Mankind campaign, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23876948 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12126783.

However, we have taken on board your comments.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

<name redacted>

BBC Complaints

www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

The contempt for our complaint is evident from the start:

We took your concerns to the Assistant Editor of Newsnight, who thanked them for their feedback.

Um… he thanked our concerns for their feedback? The response continues:

He disagrees, however, that the report was misleading and is confident that it did not breach our editorial guidelines.

We outlined 50+ breaches of the guidelines. It continues:

This is an issue that we have covered, for example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25038695, which actually links to the Mankind campaign, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23876948 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12126783.

This is an example of a BBC tactical response to complaints which has been reported to us before, both generally and with regard to this particular programme. The BBC points to examples of programmes which aren’t in line with the thrust of the complaint, in an effort to discredit the basis of the complaint. Anyone who has the level of interest we have in DA is acutely aware that the overwhelming narrative on BBC programmes is of male perpetrators and female victims. Rarely are people concerned about male victims given a voice.

The final piece of contempt for our complaint, given that the BBC has manifestly NOT taken on board out comments:

However, we have taken on board your comments.

We’re going to escalate this complaint as far as we can, to OFCOM if necessary. The BBC hasn’t heard the last of this matter.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a British writer, publisher, and men's human rights advocate ('MHRA'). My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for men & boys (and the women who love them). We've launched a public consultation exercise to help us develop our manifesto for the 2015 general election, at which we'll be contesting a number of seats. I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and Anti-Feminism League In 2014 I launched two new campaigns. Men shouldn't marry seeks to raise the consciousness of unmarried men about the extreme risks they'll face if they marry, while The Alternative Sexism Project aims to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more damaging consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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12 Responses to Further proof that the BBC doesn’t give a damn about male victims of domestic abuse / violence

  1. hequal says:

    If this is the first reply you’ve received then it’s at least it’s better than what others received first time around.

    I can’t believe the stupidity of the BBC on this matter. When they cover male victims of domestic violence it’s always framed as being a feature specifically about that particular subset of victims. When they focus on women, they introduce the feature as being about domestic violence, giving the impression that all victims of domestic violence are women. If they want to just cover female victims then there’s nothing wrong with that, but they just need to make it absolutely clear that the feature is about this particular group of victims.

    I’m not sure that Ofcom tend to get involved in these matters very often, though you can certainly escalate it several times over so the complaint eventually reaches the BBC Trust.

    • Thanks for this. I’ll look into escalating this tomorrow. I know that OFCOM is an option but presumably we’ll need to exhaust BBC procedures first. That should be fun…

      • hequal says:

        The BBC Trust aren’t quite as useless as some people suggest. One it reaches that stage you might actually be treated with respect and get a half-decent reply.

  2. Dear BBC
    My complaint is in relation to the following story from Mike Buchanan.

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/further-proof-that-the-bbc-doesnt-give-a-damn-about-male-victims-of-domestic-abuse-violence/

    I find the BBC’s blatant sexism against men to be disgusting, and even more so your refusal to address Mr Buchanan’s very valid complaints. Your reply was nothing but a casual and flippant dismissal of over 50 breaches of the BBC’s editorial guidelines. Is there a way to explain this other than corruption and sexism fairly high in the BBC’s ranks?

    Well, rest assured that this complaint will be escalated as far as it can be, and publicised among the Men’s Human Rights community, internationally. You will no doubt see a report on the A Voice for Men website http://www.avoiceformen.com/ very soon, too. Then we can move on to spreading further awareness of the BBC’s sexism and get more and more people to boycott you, and any other media that spreads the hatred and fear of men. The way I see it, the sooner we can expose your blatant and unapologetic misandry, the better life will be for men and women everywhere.

    It’s now up to you. You can give Mr Buchanan’s complaint the attention it actually deserves,and apologise to your audience and explain why your content was misleading. Alternatively, you can ignore the situation and let Men’s Human Rights campaigners explain your deception to the public, instead.

    Either way, it’s time for the misinformation to stop.

    Best regards

  3. vadark says:

    I am so frigging pissed off with the BBC of late – not just the BBC to be fair – ALL media to be quite frank. The misandry is so deeply entrenched it’s hard to think how they could be any more sexist even if they tried! Take it to ofcom, Mike, but be warned that ofcom is ran by a bunch of feminists who will jump through hoops to protect their female audience from offence whilst totally ignoring offence aimed at men despite how many complaints they may get.

    Incidentally, I don’t know if anyone heard ‘Woman’s Hour’ last week but they ran a story on sexting amongst school children. Now, I’ll give them their due, for once they actually incorporated a schoolboy speaking about sexting from a male perspective, which was great. However, he was sandwiched in between two girls (so a ratio of two to one in favour of females) prior to the female guest who blatently completely ignored boys in every one of her sentences right the way through her interview. Not once did Jenni Murray correct her. Typical sexist bunch of tossers.

  4. windytubaman says:

    Just started following your blog after a close relative has been falsely accused of a crime against a woman. Excellent insight into a problem I am becoming acutely aware of. Men need to start standing up for their rights in a big way. Take this to OFCOM please and keep on and on at them until they take notice!

  5. Pingback: United Kingdom Complain to BBC news night about ridiculous one-sided feature on domestic violence

  6. I have complained to the bbc about their gender biased reporting of domestic violence on at least two occasions in the past. This is their standard response. They expect that quoting two mentions in the last 3 years proves that they give equal coverage to male victims. The bias is obvious by simply entering “domestic violence” in the search bar on their website. This is not ignorance, it is intentional mis-reporting and propaganda.

  7. douglasuk says:

    Excuses for poor journalistic standards and for breaching their own guidelines show that they are not open to change.

    “The fact that this particular film and discussion focussed on female victims of domestic abuse should not be taken as a denial that men too can be victims.”

    If the report was clearly labelled as a discussion on ‘Domestic Violence against women’ then the BBC could be excused on this count. But I clearly hear Paxman saying “…it’s a melancholy fact that Christmas and New Year is also the high point [of/the/for] domestic disharmony and, in an alarming number of cases, domestic violence. The full extent of this
    horror…”

    So this is not meant as a “discussion focussed on female victims of domestic abuse” but is a discussion on domestic disharmony including domestic violence, specifically mentioning the FULL extent of it.

  8. I had a similar response to a complaint I made to the Press Complaints Commission about the attack on National Mens Day by FleetStreetFox.

    Their answer was that as she was denigrating ALL men and not a small subset of society who happen to be male, then it was okay with them.

    Beggars belief!

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