Are men laughed at for being victims of domestic violence, are men called punks, and suckers? Are men turned away by law enforcement when they are victims of domestic violence? Where are the resources for men to get help with domestic violence?
There is a stigma that society/family has placed on men, the Marlboro man doesn’t seek help for domestic violence. The Marlboro man wouldn’t talk about being a victim. The Marlboro man might not recognize that he is a victim of domestic violence. Because of the stigma, men suppress their emotions; most men don’t call for help, and statically most men don’t report their cases of domestic violence. Domestic violence wears many tags organization has a focus group titled “why men don’t express their emotions” and out fifty men (in the group) thirty admitted to being raised in households where they were told, boys don’t cry, suck it up, and handle your household, just to name a few. This group is to get men comfortable with having the dinner table conversation about domestic violence and the many tags that it wears. Men often times will not admit to physical abuse, but they will admit to verbal abuse, which is a tag that many men endure beginning at the early ages of their life.
Women do abuse men, “societal norms support female-perpetrated abuse in the home” (Straus et al., 1997; Straus, 1999). Men seem to be overlooked when it pertains to domestic violence. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, men account for approximately 15% of the victims of reported intimate partner violence (February 2003). When we think of domestic violence we think of women only. Every year in the U.S., about 3.2 million men are the victims of an assault by an intimate partner. Most assaults are of a relatively minor nature such as pushing, shoving, slapping or hitting, though many are more serious – and some end in homicide.
Statistics show that women are abused at high rates, and resources are put in place but who’s to say men aren’t abused at high rates? Could it be, men don’t call and report their cases of domestic violence so they have little to no resources, although statistics show men are victims? Some men don’t call and report their cases because they aren’t taken seriously, and men are often ridiculed. No one would ridicule women that were being abused by their partners; society/family would treat the case with compassion. Unfortunately, Marlboro men are too embarrassed to admit they are victims of domestic violence.
Society/family have to take seriously those men abused by women, and not stereotype. The focus and resources has to be equal for men and women to receive the help that is needed in order to be safe from a violent relationship. I have found in a couple of cases when men call the police, they are arrested, because society and family only know one side of domestic violence, women being abused by men. In my focus group some men reported they have tried calling and seeking out help but were told the program is geared towards women only. Some men in the focus group were referred to programs that only help male perpetrators, and not male victims.
Take the violence against men seriously. I know that some men think it is cute for their girlfriends to lash out or act jealous but the violence will escalate. Some of these attacks on men do lead to death. The first time that a women hits you, slices your tier, or key your car, let her know, it will never be a second time; move on and stand firm. Men don’t retaliate on women, even if you are an average size man, the best thing to do is leave the relationship safely. Men domestic violence wears many tags organization is ready to serve you with resources, counseling, and the proper advocacy to help you leave the relationship safely; don’t keep it a secret, the Marlboro man has a safe haven. Men, although there aren’t many resources for you, if you need help, please reach out to DVWMT@gmail.com (202) 821-8933 and or DV Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE.
For information and to attend the upcoming event in October, please visit here: http://domesticviolencemenhurttoo.eventbrite.com/
Queen Afi is a motivational speaker on domestic violence, a DV awareness advocate, mental health professional, criminal justice major, and with this passion she offers in person session for the community, churches and or schools to further promote her cause. In 2009 she founded the organization called “Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags”. DVWMT is a local domestic violence prevention and resource organization dedicated to restoring and preserving a stable family environment through services, advocacy and education. Queen Afi spends her time advocating against domestic violence not only to the abused but also to the abuser, both men and women. Her life experience has given her the courage and strength to tell her story and how she has changed her life around and started helping others become aware of DV and how to avoid becoming the victim and/ or abuser (men, women, and teens).
You can also read more about Queen Afi Gaston on Women Move the Soul here.