When the words “Domestic violence” or Domestic abuse” are raised in a conversation, what do you think? Oh poor woman, right? Not always the case and we need to keep our minds open to the fact that men suffer too.
Think about men for a minute, we are told they are big, tough and strong. We think of the hunter gather, of Superman. The male stereotypical roles of getting their hands dirty, coming to the rescue, the knights in shining armor? They can be hero’s.
They can also be the close friend, the companion, the loving husband/boyfriend.
Have you ever been somewhere and heard a woman telling her partner that he’s useless? I have. I have heard women ranking on men. “You’re useless, no good, hopeless” “You’re ugly, stupid” “Why did I marry you? My mother told me not too!”… Verbal abuse.
Try this one… I have seen it… The woman tells the partner just how useless he is and finishes it with a slap… across the shoulder, the head. It’s okay he can take it, he’s a man... NO! Wrong, he can’t, he shouldn’t have to.
Do you know that men are abused just like women are and yet it hardly ever hits the headlines. How many shelters do you think there are for men? Let me tell you not many, Google it, you’ll be surprised. Here’s food for thought… do you know there are more shelters for animals than there are for abused men? When men do call and ask for help they are often talked to as if they are the abuser and not the abused. If you think domestic violence is a female secret domain, think again, it’s worse for men.
I know a man who stayed with his wife for the children, she was an alcoholic. One evening, drunk she threatened him, pulled out a kitchen knife against him. He still loved his wife and thought one day she would be the loving, kind, funny person he married. He hoped and wished for this more than anything, that she would find her way back, he tried everything. But this one night she turned on him again, just like she had beaten and verbally abused him before. This was Domestic abuse.
The neighbors called the police, they came to the house like they had several times before. His wife screaming on the front lawn at him. The police tried to calm the situation down but the wife was hysterical and the police turned to the husband and told him to leave… I’ll repeat that… told him to leave. He was sober, she was drunk. She stayed with their children in the house, while he looked for a motel to stay at for the night. For this man it was an ongoing long story, but he managed to leave with the help of friends and family and eventually gained custody of the last underage child.
People told him to defend himself, “If she hits you again, hit her back” but he didn’t, even when she dug her nails in down his face, leaving marks that will always be faint but will be always there. He said after wards that no-one ever really knew what was going on, how terrifying it was. His children saw a lot of it, but not all it, when he left he was racked with guilt and sadness, even though he wasn’t the abuser but the abused.
Domestic violence against men is silent, much more than the violence and abuse against women. They feel ashamed, no-one listens or takes them seriously. They are told “But you’re a man!” most men are brought up being told to “Never hit a woman”, true, but neither women or men should be abused or violated.
Men hurt, cry, and have feelings too. Men are not emotionless robots that can be verbally abused, hit upon, beaten or violated.
Women are told to be strong, to defend ourselves, to not take BS from anybody. To be powerful and determined, but not at the price of a man’s emotional and physical welfare.
People hurt, women, children and men, people can can hurt equally…
Please take the time to watch the video, it’s very enlightening!
http://home.comcast.net/~philip.cook/index.html The only book I know so far which covers the topic of abuse and violence against men
http://www.batteredmen.com/fiebertg.htm Statics page