Generally, when the topic of domestic violence is brought up, everyone assumes that only women can suffer from this. People are so used to the idea of women being the subject of domestic violence, that they assume that the athletic and energetic attribute men are generally known for, make it impossible for them to be bullied by their partners or by other family members. However unrealistic the idea might seem, sound statistics have shown that domestic violence actually goes both ways.
Statistics from the home office in Britain and the British crime survey have shown that men make up about 40 percent of domestic violence victims each year. About two out of five reported domestic violence cases in Britain and various other countries have had their victims being men and those are cases that are actually reported. Sadly, the majority of these cases are usually ignored when they are reported even by the police. I was opportune to read an article online some weeks ago, about a man who called the police to report his wife for domestic violence. He ended up being shamed as his unfortunate situation was being made jest of by the same people he sort safety from, he had no other choice but to let it go.
I was once a witness to a family member being threatened by his wife all because he asked for permission to come home late that evening. The shame the majority of men who suffer from domestic violence, make it very difficult for them to discuss their predicament with friends or report it. Men are supposed to be in control, that’s what society tells us (Well not now). Men are supposed to be the head of the house, but what happens when the life of the head of the family is being threatened each day. As much as the society would like to paint men as strong and energetic, we still have a lot of women out there who are just as energetic as their male counterparts. Then what is the hope of a man who marries such women?
Whereas there have been consistent efforts to encourage female victims of domestic violence to report any cases to the authorities, there has been very little efforts to encourage male victims to do the same. In our society, we find a lot of domestic violence shelters for women but you would hardly find any for the male victims, even those that try to do don’t allow boys above the age of 13 to reside there with their families. Some of these shelters go as far as hiding the female victims from the perpetrators of this abuse. No wonder the majority of these men have no other choice but to resort to divorce. Until society decides to recognize every victim of domestic violence and accept the facts that are before us that men are also victims of domestic violence, then all we will continue to do is encourage physical, psychological and sexual harm.
Most men who suffer from domestic violence usually have the wrong belief that the abuses will one day come to an end. But they end up coming to the realization that it is not always the case. Most men who suffer from domestic violence suffer in silence for the fear of being termed as weak by society, for the fear of losing their children; due to how difficult it is for men to get custody of their children, while some fail to realize the gravity of the situation they have found themselves believing that they can help or change their abusers.
The question that bets to be answered whenever the issue of domestic violence is being discussed is; can it be stopped?
The simple answer is yes, the issue is one of support, when it comes to cases of domestic violence among women a lot of resources are usually available to them if they choose to accept it. But in cases that involve men, such is not always the case.
More shelters all over the world need to move to being gender-neutral like; The Valley Oasis in Los Angeles as this is a more open-minded way to look at things. Or shelters should also be made available for men suffering from domestic violence like: The Taylor House Domestic Violence Shelter for Men in Arkansas which opened only in 2015.
The same sets of methods that have been in use over time to tackle the cases of domestic violence in women such as public education campaigns and enlightenment need to also be adopted for the men in society if we truly want to achieve our aims of gender equality. We need to stop asking if men are the real victims or the women and accept the fact that partner violence can exist among any of the partners regardless of gender.
Please Submit Your Own Story…
Please consider sharing your story with others suffering now. How you coped? How you felt? What helped? What were the circumstances that led up to your separation? How do you cope with loneliness? The more you can share the better.
Your story really does help others who are going through the same gut wrenching pain. Your story reinforces the fact that they are not alone in their suffering.