Domestic Violence against Men
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 19, 2007
“If you want to find an example of ultra-successful brainwashing of the public by the media, you need look no further than the subject of domestic violence; though I have to admit that child abuse runs it a close second. If you ask the man-in-the-street what he thinks domestic violence is, he will probably tell you that it is men attacking women within the family. If you further ask him why he thinks this, he will tell you that he has heard it many times in TV news broadcasts, read about it in newspapers and magazines and has seen adverts about it on television.
Exactly! In a word he has been brainwashed and, sadly, he is by no means alone; he is in the company of his wife, his neighbours, his children’s teachers, his bank manager and countless politicians. They are all totally ignorant of the true facts about domestic violence. So where can these poor beleaguered souls discover the truth about this important problem which constantly batters their ears and eyeballs? The sad answer is, it’s all around them if only they use their eyes and their ears.In January 1999 the UK Government’s Home Office published the results of a survey into domestic violence. It was the biggest ever carried out anywhere in the world and involved more than 10,000 men and women. It was called Study 191 and it stated, quite categorically, that 4.2% of men and 4.2% of women perpetrate the crime of domestic violence. In other words they had discovered that men and women are equally violent.
Surprised? Don’t be. It’s nothing new and to my knowledge (and to anyone else’s who has researched the matter) it has been known for at least 30 years.”
“The Oprah Winfrey Show. Four men describe how their wives hit them in the lower back with a pole, cracked them over the head or in the neck with a frying pan…the audience renews its laughter after each story. The men are part of a “PMS Men’s Support Group.”
Item. “Michael, 38, a construction worker and amateur rugby player, barricaded himself in a spare bedroom at nights to avoid beatings from his diminutive wife. During a three-year marriage he was stabbed, punched, kicked and pelted with plant pots. Despite his muscular, 15-stone [210 lbs] build, he was frightened to sleep for fear of attack. ‘Nobody would have believed me if I’d told them the constant bruising was from beatings by my wife. I still have the scars from where she tore at my flesh with her fingernails. The screams from my daughter as she witnessed the abuse will haunt me for the rest of my life.'”
Item. “Paul, 32, a former Royal Marine, said his wife, Claire, an advertising executive, could suddenly become like ‘a ferocious wild cat.’ The slightest thing would set her off. ‘She would pull me to the ground, kick me and pull large clumps of hair out of my head. I never fought back because she was a slightly built, petite woman.'”
Item. A 42-year-old British police officer, trained in tackling armed criminals (British police don’t carry guns), was twice hospitalized by his 5-foot wife. He didn’t report it. When asked why, he explained, “If I was to go up to my mates on the force and tell them my wife was regularly hitting me over the head and body with anything she could get her hands on, they would crease themselves [die laughing].”
Notice that all three of these examples are from the London Times. It is rare for equally reputable American papers to run a story in which men’s feelings and experiences about being battered are reported in their own words in such depth. Notice also that the wives are clearly weaker physically, and the men are not the passive, hen-pecked stereotype of a battered man. And note the men’s fear that if they reported this to the authorities, not only would they not be believed, they would be ridiculed (“my mates…would crease themselves”).
It really doesn’t matter from which part of the world such reports come – they are almost carbon copies of each other. Same issue, same pattern. Same invisiblization. Why? Because we are dealing with men. Men are somehow seen as ONLY the perpetrator of Domestic Violence, not as victims and survivors of Domestic Violence.
Men, in terms of Domestic Violence, are where women were 50 years ago. There are few if any Hot-lines, shelters or programs for recovery for men and boys who are victims of Domestic Violence. This is true for most democratic countries.
While female victims of Domestic Violence are likely to be believed, all in accordance with the doctrine that all men are potential perpetrators, and only questioned as to why they didn’t/don’t leave – male victims of Domestic Violence are most likely not believed or are ridiculed by society if they expose their spouses as perpetrators of Domestic Violence. More often than not they are met by questions like: “Ok, so what did you do to her, before she beat you with the frying-pan?” The answer to that question is most likely “I was trying to get her to calm down…”
Most men, if not all, are aware that they are most often physically stronger than women. This awareness plays a great role in why men do not strike back if attacked by a woman. Radical Feminist Propaganda or not – most men have been thoroughly conditioned that hitting a woman is cowardly and unmanly, and most men, also those who are abusive of women, see it as a failure when they strike. So, men do not strike back because to do so would be a failure, a weakness.
More often than not a beaten man will try and find excuses for his abusive mate. “She’s premenstrual…” “she’s had a rough day with the kids…” “her father just died…” “she had a fall-out with her sister…” especially if the abuse takes place in public. He might even accept the abuse as deserved or warranted for some behavior he has or has not engaged in. This way he frees himself from the idea that he “cannot be man enough and control his wife…” – this pattern is equal to the pattern of guilt that a female victim will display in response to abuse.
One pattern that is the same regardless of gender in domestic violence situations is the compartmentalizing the victims engage in to survive. Each instance of abuse is isolated from the previous instances, as if it happens for the first time – at the same time the victim is desensitizing him or herself in preparation for the next instance.
It is a double bind – if a man uses his greater strength to get out of an abusive situation he is seen as the perpetrator, and if he doesn’t use his greater strength, he is seen as weak and unmanly.
The ever vicious cycle of stereotype, violence, stereotype…