Women Hit Too
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Abuse comes in many forms and when we hear the word “abuse” our minds are quick to imagine a picture of a man abusing a woman. Domestic abuse is not about size, gender, or strength, but about power and control over one’s life. Though men are generally the aggressor, many women partake in abuse as the aggressor. In committing acts of violence 25% of women were the aggressor whereas only 11% of men where the aggressor. Out of all the acts of domestic violence where the abuse was nonreciprocal on one side, 71% of the cases, women were the instigator. Why do we ignore that women can play a part in abuse as men do?
The ignorance of abuse inflicted upon men is a concern that needs to be addressed. Abuse against men is widely ignored because of the idea of masculinity that is within our society. Masculinity plays a part in the silent abuse of men because it is exactly that; silent. Worldwide, men are expected to be strong and to not feel pain or cry. They are expected to stay quiet and take on any burden they feel will lift the weight off of others. They also feel they are required to be strong. This allows their abuse to go unnoticed because they believe they should be able to take what is being thrown at them.
The domestic abuse of men manifests within themselves by showing signs of secrecy, substance abuse, and an unwillingness to go home. Men hide the truth because they do not want to seem like they are not in control of the relationship, as expected. Men who are abused are more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs as a crutch and a mean to normalize their life. This substance abuse creates physiological problems, such as thoughts of suicide and/or murder. Abuse also creates emotional problems, such as trust issues, low self-esteem, emotional numbness, or depression. The unwillingness to go home would be a direct cause of the abuse; this makes the abuser want to stay at work longer and spend more time out of the house or away from the aggressor.
Men do not report the abuse out of embarrassment or shame. The men who are abused believe that their masculinity has been taken from them and that they will be minimized by society. This should not be the case and ,to turn this around, awareness needs to be raised. The abused need to reach out to neighbors, friends, and family if they are too afraid to go to the police. By telling members of the society, the abused would be able to help themselves out of the situation and find a safer place. A therapist would also be a way to talk out the issues, and the therapist would be obligated to contact the authorities.