Last week's blog was about sexual violence against men. Naturally, that would not include violence against men by a sexual partner. Which brings us to this week's blog, domestic violence against men.
While women and men are both victims of violent behavior in domestic situations. The type of experience varies greatly. Men are likely to experience physical violence, which they themselves are later blamed for. When a woman behaves violently against a man, the assumption is that he deserved it in some way. Perhaps he cheated or she's retaliating against him being violent towards her. This form of victim-blaming is extremely frowned upon against women but it's commonplace against men. Even publicly, domestic violence against men is accepted and comical to bystanders. People will stand around and watch like it's entertainment. When pressed as to why they didn't intervene, the general is that it's a private conversation and therefore none of their business. Whereas domestic violence against women is viewed as action worthy behavior. Bystanders will come to womens rescue and/or call the police. The double standard is so prevelent that men defending themselves against an attack will be acted upon. Yup, you read that right. If a woman is hurting a man and that man hits her in defense, it's widely considered a violent act.
The National Coalition of Domestic Violence keeps statistics on all domestic violence behaviors. But the studies are disproportionately aimed at women, despite it being an equal problem on par with men. The biggest and most disgusting disparity is how it effects their lives. No matter who the aggressor is a domestic situations, the man's job is always a big concern. If there are reports of domestic violence against a man, his employer will make it clear that they won't tolerate any interference with their work. And, of course, we've all watched male celebrities and sports figures loose their careers at the very allegations of domestic violence. While that is terrible, the absolute worst is what happens to the children. There is no data about what happens to the children. There are only 2 domestic violence shelters for men in the United States, they don't accept families in the facility. But for those men who choose to leave, do so without their children.
There's loads more to say about domestic violence against men; punishment of perpetrators, gay relationships, lack of information. But the sad truth is that the country is recognizing this situation at a snail's pace. My understanding is that it's, somehow, a bad thing for the feminist movement. WTF?!