Domestic Violence Against or By Women?

by cynthiachu on September 11, 2013 - 9:29pm

 

Violence against one other has always been said to be unmoral, unethical, and unjustified. Sadly, some people have sometimes the strange mania of using violence as a way of correction, vengeance, or even just for fun. Domestic violence, for example, has never been a new  “practice” nowadays. In fact, according to J Epidemiol Community Health1, 25% of women experience partner violence in their life in western countries. But have you ever considered the percent of the men? In fact, what made me thrilled to read this article was that it was not talking about domestic violence against women but against men, who are usually thought to be the abuser in this sort of situation.

In this article2, there was an incident at the supermarket in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where people witnessed a couple that was having an argument. Thereafter, apparently, the woman started to beat her husband with her shoes in front of everyone.

The reason I wanted to write about this article is because the victims of domestic violence are usually thought to be women. There are always been some stereotypes towards a relationship or even towards the gender of the person itself. In fact, the problem with the fact that men are considered the ‘’alpha male’’ of the relationship is that there are only a few resources to help male victims. And because of this social conception, the majority of them rather keep silence to avoid humiliation.

Also, in opposition to the widespread impression that people have about domestic violence, men are actually more victimized than women. According to Philip W. Cook, the author of Abused Men-The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence3, 2millions of men have experience domestic violence on the contrary of the women who are found to be 1.8million in a year.

One has to know that being sexist can be seen in both ways whether to stereotype the men as strong and, therefore, as abusers in the relationship or to free the women from blame in domestic abuses because they are considered as the weak one. Overall, we need to change not only the conception we have on both gender concerning domestic violence but also in general.

 

1 http://jech.bmj.com/content/58/7/536.full

2 http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20121202144750

3 http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/07/22/reverse-domestic-violence-when-men-are-the-victims.html

Comments

When I read the title of this blog post, it stood out as an “uncommon event”. I presumed it was more about rare circumstances or specific places, but I was just as intrigued to find out that it was actually a fairly common occurrence, and the numbers about the numbers of victims of each gender startled me. I think that if this is a regular practice, there should be a form of aid for these victims.

The secrecy of domestic violence against men is definitely a problem related to stereotypes. I think this is another case where media overexposes certain crimes. In this case, where men are the perpetrators. This paints a certain image for the gender, thereby making this appear like a rare event to the victim. The anxiety due to keeping these stories low profile could be prevented by exposing them more. However it is likely that the reason these cases are rarely spoken of, is because the victim himself wants to keep it hidden, which is a problem within itself.

Since the victims would not wish to have their embarrassment exposed, changing the perception of the gender is very difficult. On the other hand, I believe that it is all the more reason there has to be a way for these men to receive help. These services can simply be a part of established facilities to avoid social pressure from having specialized facilities. Even if not all husbands wish to take the help, those that do would at least get the help they need. Hopefully those that do will carve a path to the prideful or less willing.

The article below presents explanations for the lack of reported cases where men are the victims, compared to the number given by the surveys which report a similar number of victims for each sex. Experts in this field believe that aside from men reporting cases less often, police also take reports from men less seriously, demanding a “higher standard of proof”. They even say that sometimes the men were blamed for being the vicious one, making the risk of the man being arrested the same as the wife he reports.

Smol, Robert. "It is not just women who are the victims of spousal violence - Canada - CBC News." CBC.ca - Canadian News Sports Entertainment Kids Docs Radio TV. N.p., 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2013. .
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2010/02/22/f-vp-smol.html

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