Sunday, 24 February 2019

Why It's Time to Recognise Male Abuse Victims

A piece from Jenny Holzer that provoked a little anger in me...

More than 40% of reported domestic violence victims are MALE.


While we love to discuss how females have had it rough for centuries, let's not forget that men are often expected to conform to their stereotype of 'strong, put together and emotionless' even in 2019, where mental health and self-love are so prominent.

Recently I have watched a few documentaries on male abuse victims, and my heart hurts to witness the ignorance of people around us. Comments on videos such as: ''What a pussy'' or ''How can a man let a woman beat him and not do anything?'' - It made me sick to think of the zero compassion available to male victims - no wonder it's difficult to open up. Are there more sufferers out there? The ones who feel too ashamed of societies expectation of them? I can assure you there is more than 40%.

The one thing that frustrates me is the sheer audacity of ''Why didn't he fight back?'' - Fight back? What, as in hitting them back? The one thing that men are constantly tarnished for? Despite the fact that women are encouraged to slap their man when he's cheated, just like in the movies? If that were a man, the plot line would certainly mention the word 'abuse' on it's IMDB page. Why does it go ignored? I have watched plenty of social experiments where men are beating girls in public and everyone stops in horror. Do you know how many stopped for the woman screaming in her boyfriends face while she hit him repeatedly? Zero. How is this acceptable?

I could never imagine the struggle that men face to deal with emotions all while being smothered with such high standards. I don't want this post to seem like I am brushing female abuse under the carpet because, trust me, that is the one thing I will forever dedicate my life to fighting for. I have suffered enough to know we still have a long way to go for any abuse to be recognised, regardless of the victim's gender.

I hope for nothing more than for men to know their thoughts and feelings are safe to discuss, with no judgement or fear passing their lips. I want them to understand that it is okay to feel sadness and to cry if they need to - because we are all HUMAN. Yes, it is known that women are perhaps more emotional - it's in our blood. We are hormonal creatures without testosterone to keep us in check. But, is that to say men can't express themselves in a feminine way? No! Abuse is not discriminated by gender. Men can feel heartbreak, sadness and anger all the same as women.

In 2016 to 2017, 13 men are thought to have died at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. 13 too many. There is no room for comparison here, while there is thought to be one woman dead every three days due to abuse, this is where we must remind ourselves that those numbers are humans. We simply can not treat them as a statistic any longer. 

If you truly believe that men don't protect us anymore, take a step back and realise that we must protect our men.




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