While growing up we constantly heard “a man never hits a woman. ” This moral value was drilled into our heads so it would remain in adulthood. However, violence against women is still a large problem in our society today. If a value so efficiently taught still poses as an issue, the unlearned values must rate even higher. One of these being violence against men. Males have always been portrayed as the strong, dominant ones while women have been weak, fragile figures. This assumption has caused the world to ignore male victims, making violence against men one of the biggest problems.
Denis Campbell, a designated reporter for the online newspaper “The Observer,” wrote that forty percent of domestic violence victims are male, or about two in five of all victims. The problem will continue to grow as long as we let it. I consider myself a feminist. That is why domestic violence was my top research subject. I was under the impression that the only victims were women and men were just simply evil. However, when digging deeper into research, I realized that violence against men is dangerously ignored and how the affects are the same.
I now feel the need to report this and bring awareness. Starting on the journey of this new topic, I had many unanswered questions. How could a hefty, tall, strong man be victimized by a small, petite woman? The answer relates back to the lesson of “a man never hits a woman. ” Yes, most men are capable of overpowering their companion; however, every gentleman knows never to hit a woman. Even if it means taking the abuse. This value also provides women with the upper hand. Women can abuse and dictate without rebellion or a fight.
Violence against men also branches out farther than just physical. A woman can just as easily use verbal attack and psychological bearings. From prior knowledge, we know that when a man acquires a large amount of jealousy things can make a turn for the worse. This case can also be vice versa. In some cases women become very dangerous and sneaky when they are jealous. Things like following them, getting phone records or looking at text messages, telling what they can do or who they can see, and if there is a shared account she can decide how much money he can have at a time.
Verbal abuse is an understood method of controlling someone. Men have self-esteem like women do and it can be lowered just as easily. Let’s just be honest. We all know women can be manipulative and conniving when it comes to something we want. I know this because I have unfortunately acted this way a time or two. Men do not report this abuse because the odds of anyone believing them are low. He is supposed to be able to control the situation. It’s rare that battered men are taken seriously. Honestly, I always laughed at guys who let their girlfriend or spouse control them.
I thought they were just being weak and didn’t have the guts to stand up. I even witnessed a girl slap her boyfriend countless times, humiliating him in front of his friends, and had nothing to say because I wanted to stay out of the bad situation. Now that I understand that violence has the same toll on men as it does women, I would go back to that moment in a heartbeat. It’s a mistake that I will never make again. After a moment of feeling sympathetic, I wondered why men just don’t leave. If you can’t fight back, get out of the relationship, but the situation isn’t that simple.
A man is with a woman for a reason, whether it is marriage or just dating. The relationship may have started out great and the product was love. Written by Shakespeare himself in over three of his plays, “Love is blind” (Crowther). Also if children are involved, men fear losing them. A father cares for their children just as the mother does, even if he directly didn’t give birth. Apart from the reasons of love, stands embarrassment. Society expects men to never be weak. When a famous movie star or singer cries it’s mocked by the news.
Think about what result would come of a man who was beaten by a woman. In 2009, Barry Williams, the character Greg Brady from the 90’s television show “The Brady Bunch,” filed a restraining order against his girlfriend of three years for what he said was “a death threat. ” He claimed she threatened to kill him and then herself, attempting to cut him with a knife. E! News Online’s reporter Ashley Fultz reported the story, stating facts first and following with jokes, writing, “He might want to think about banning her from throwing footballs while he’s at it.
Particularly around his sister’s nose,” referring to an episode of The Brady Bunch. That is just one example of humiliation, and she never touched him. At this point in my research, I knew how this violence could happen and why a man would stay in the relationship, but I didn’t quite understand why a woman would feel the need to abuse their provider and protector. Referring to the stereotypes stated at the beginning, women are supposed to praise their male companion for taking care of them, but many factors can come into play to cause this violent behavior. Wadv. rg (Women Against Domestic Violence), a website providing help and advocacy for victims of violence, explains that women with this behavior fall into at least one of the three categories: alcohol abuse, psychological disorders, or unrealistic expectations, assumptions and conclusions. We all understand the affects of alcohol abuse and how it can affect your actions and it’s logical to think that a disorder could make you do unthinkable things. It is also understandable that unrealistic expectations, assumptions, and conclusions could lead to a bad result because we all, whether it is realized or not, do this through out our life.
All these reasons are logical and very realistic; however they are still excuses. Women, watch out for changes in yourself, and men, watch for dangerous signs. Who does domestic violence happen to? We all know that abuse can happen to anyone, even men. What we don’t do is think. We see it all around us with teens, adults, and the elderly. However, who is likely to report a sweet looking old man? It doesn’t matter the age, race, sex, or build. Few people also keep in mind that violence against males does happen between homosexuals and they experience more domestic violence than heterosexual men.
There are stories of violence against men everywhere and their cries are real, but are silenced by other issues deemed more important. It’s a shame how male victims are treated by the police and that there are no shelters or groups to help men. They need it every bit as much as women. Abuse is abuse. Bert Hoff, creator of the advocacy group for battered men, reported a story about a man had been out drinking and came home to fall asleep on the couch. His wife took an iron skillet and beat him. He was taken to the emergency room of the hospital and stitched up.
He was taken there by police, but no charges were filed against his wife (Hoff). Men are afraid that no one will believe them. Well, it’s time for change. More women should be arrested for this violence. Police officers believe women over men simply because they are female and automatically accuse the man because that is the typical abuse situation. Officers need to be informed of how this problem is growing and to always investigate into the domestic violence not just the woman’s side of the story. The final question is this, what is being done or can be done to stop and prevent this problem?
There are groups that are starting to realize this problem and raise awareness, but it can be considered a baby step. SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone) is a human rights agency formed to help all types of victims, and openly take and appreciate volunteers. Also, violence against men now has a FaceBook started in 2010. Join and comment. Start an awareness group, get involved. 5. 365 million men are battered every year (Hoff). Some of these men you might know personally and would never think that they are suffering from abuse.
Open your eyes, look for signs, care for the ones you love, and if you think you are capable of hurting your companion seek help right away. These men serve and protect our country, homes, families, mothers, daughters, sons and many more. But who is protecting them? I hope to bring awareness and cause readers to think. These male victims need everyone’s sympathy and as much help as possible. Domestic violence can happen to you and you would want someone there to help pick up the pieces. Also, if you have found yourself being the victim of abuse, there is help out there.
Research advocacy groups in or near your community. Don’t worry about the police believing you or people making fun of you. These organizations were created for men like you! If you feel like you need further readings or maybe just interested in the topic, there are many works covering this topic. An example being Partner Violence Against Heterosexual and Gay Men: Prevalence and Correlates, a book by Eric Bowen and Sabrina Nowinski discussing the actual statistics of violence against men in our society today more in depth. Please keep researching!
Bowen, Erica, and Sabrina N. Nowinski. “Partner violence against heterosexual and gay men: Prevalence and correlates.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 17.1 (2012): 36+. Academic OneFile. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.
Campbell, Dennis. “More than 40% of Domestic Violence Victims are Male, Report Reveals.” Gaurdiannews. The Observer.com. n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.
Crowther, John, ed. “No Fear The Merchant of Venice.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 6 Apr. 2012.
Fultz, Ashley. “A Very Brady Death Threat?!.” Eonline.com. E! News. n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.
Hoff, Bert H. “Battered Men.” Batteredmen.com. n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2012
SAFE. “About Safe.” Safe4all.org. Stop Abuse For Everyone. n.d. 9 Apr. 2012.
WADV. “Male Abuse.” WADV.org. Women Against Domestic Violence. n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.