Domestic violence is gender blind. You read that correctly. Domestic violence affects men as well as women. The stigma attached to domestic violence paints it as a female issue. No. Domestic violence against males is much harder to predict accurate statistics for since most men don’t report their abuse. In the article, Truths and Myths: Domestic Violence which I wrote last month started a little into the topic.
Domestic violence is about control. This abuse doesn’t have to be physical. Psychological abuse counts for a good portion of all domestic related abuse. Physical violence is often times added to the psychological control as a fear aspect. There is a stigma that women should not be able to physically push a man around. There are many things wrong with this conclusion. One of which is that some women do not fit the social definition of a woman and they might be a little more built than their male counterpart. People come in all shapes and sizes. Judging someone on gender because they are abused is not only wrong, it’s jumping to social stereotypes. What about males who are in relationships with other men?
Did you know that one in six men suffer some sort of abuse, and one in ten of those (1.6% of men) will suffer from domestic violence? For every hundred men you meet, it is likely that one of them has suffered from domestic violence in a past or current relationship.
Most of these go unreported because the stigma surrounding the abuse. Traditionally, the role of a male is to provide and protect the family. Falling victim to any type of trauma may make them feel they cannot live up to what society and their family expects of them. Couple this with a relationship that is crumbling their self -worth and you have a recipe for disaster.
Self-blame and shame also lead to not wanting people to know about what happened. If they don’t want people to know and reporting this involves talking to someone, it stands to reason that it will likely go unreported. Men are an intricate part of our society and they should not have a fear of having a voice because of what society believes to be true.