Friday, 13 July 2012

Women Behaving Badly

When we think of Domestic Violence, we usually visualize a man beating a poor defenceless woman BUT this is not always the case. 

Firstly, there is a high percentage of men who are the silent victims and not the perpetrators. 

These men are nothing more than punching bags to vicious women who are unable to deal with their own frustrations and anger issues.  I've seen grown men being called names belittling their manhood, grown men being viciously taunted, cursed, provoked, humiliated and vilified because of silly mistakes. I've seen women foam at the mouth, so to speak, as they enjoy subtly shaming the man in front of his friends in order to show who is in control, who is the boss, and most importantly, who wears the trousers. These women are angels by day and demons by night, if you know what I mean. 

Can you imagine the guilt of feeling you are not good enough as a man? The guilt of believing that you are the cause of every argument or beating then blaming yourself for the way the other person is behaving towards you? Can you imagine the sheer embarrassment of that macho rugby playing 6ft man who wants to tell someone that his 5ft petite wife is verbally abusing and/or threatening him, accompanied by physically violence? Or how about the man that is completely dominated by the woman, he has no voice so can't speak out and if he dares to freely speak, he knows there will be repercussions? Or the man who used to be social but is now being kept away from family and friends due to his excessively jealous over-possessive girlfriend. She gets into serious rages thinking he is constantly having affairs.  

Secondly, Domestic Violence is not confined just to a husband or wife, it can be committed by couples in same-sex relationships, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents or even the in-laws. There are no barriers so you can be rich, poor, black, white, old or young.

Thirdly, as you've just seen, Domestic Violence can also be verbal or mental abuse. 
We'd all agree that kicking, punching, scalding, hitting or spitting is physical abuse, but how about belittling language? If this is the case, then how many of us in an argument haven't called our 'loved one' a name or two? Raised our voice in a fit of anger trying to make a point and win our case? 

We know there is such a thing as a heated arguement. Fine. We also know there is such a thing as emotional/verbal abuse. So at what point does one become the other?

I'm not asking this out of idle curiosity. If we are unable to answer this question, how can we recognise Domestic Violence when it rears its ugly head? 

Don't turn a blind eye to this. Check the stats on the internet. Why? How can you be sure it is not happening to your son, brother or  grandfather tonight? This could be happening right now to someone you know. I did say 'silent victims' earlier. These men suffer anxiety, depression, they feel exhausted and deflated as if defeated. 

I don't give a monkeys what excuse the perpertrators have for their behaviour, it is WRONG. It should not be tolerated or excused. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you think something is wrong and show your concern. Offer your help and support. Help that person to find  private and confidential assistance from professionals and give that person the information in a private setting.

I would love to hear your views about this topic. I would be grateful for any experiences, guidance or suggestions. 

26 comments:

  1. Many men would feel ashamed to admit they are being physically or verbally abused. According to the stereotype, they should be able to "take it like a man".
    Hiding the abuse will only make it worse as time passes.
    Thanks for your insight.

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  2. There are some men haters out there. They hate men for whatever reason. They know that a man is not going to punch them out so the take out all their madness on him. It gives them power and the men are so stupid for accepting it. Well, it woudn't happen to me because I would deal with it. I'm not going to let no woman come in my face. Most of these women are upset because the man won't marry them, and I don't blame them, so they abuse anyone who comes their way. They should report them all.

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    1. I wouldn't go as far as to say that the men who accept this kind of behavior are 'stupid', but I think I see the point you are trying to make.

      It may be hard for a man to report this kind of abuse but I do feel that maybe if more was done in the media stating that Domestic Violence against men is not to be tolerated and will not go unpunished, then just maybe more men will have the guts to come forward. Who knows. Thanks Anonymous.

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  3. As a physician, I've been involved in several cases where domestic abuse was suspected. Part of any surgical patient's initial nursing assessment generally includes questions about whether the person has any concerns about bodily harm; I guess it's a proactive way of identifying this issue so that health care providers can intervene, if necessary. A friend of mine from high school has been in an abusive relationship with a man who beat her face to a pulp. Sadly, she's back with him...he wields Svengali-like power over her. The points you've mentioned here underscore the dangers inherent in stereotyping the sexes, as well as how devastating a lack of trust can be for a relationship. Great job, RPD!

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    1. As a physician, I bet you have seen more than your fair share of this kind of abuse. The sad part is when they return to their partners/homes etc only to get abused over and over until something finally triggers to cause them to try to get some help. I just find it so hard to think that someone who supposingly cares about you, would beat you to a pulp, and despite you having an opportunity to leave, you then go back.
      Thanks Kris.

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  4. Okay, I do not think men being abused is somehow worse than a woman being abused, and really found this post seemed to imply that. Like abuse was easier for a woman to handle. But anyway....
    Abuse is about control. That is the line between arguing and verbal abuse. An argument is an argument, abuse is beating someone down, making them feel less of themselves. Battering their self esteem. Arguments are generally 2 sided. Abuse is one sided.

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    1. Jamie, I definitely was not trying to imply a man being abused is worse than a woman being abused. I think that whenever Domestic Violence is mentioned, we usually think of a man beating a woman, and I was making a point that men are also victims in this area. Violence/Abuse is not acceptable regardless to the sex of the perpetrator.

      Yes, you are right that abuse is about control, and I really liked the way you defined an argument v abuse. Thank you so much for you input here Jamie.

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  5. From my viewpoint, this subject is hiding a trump card behind the well written blog! :)

    Of course, under the label of Domestic Violence can be so many undercurrents as under some other labels, such as Love Your Neighbours.

    This is not, and I repeat this is not, a special kind of moral wrong. This is about the normal moral wrong of being nasty to your fellow human beings, no matter gender or tint.

    We may mark, indeed, about the more common occurrences: strong physically built men, or sometimes stronger psychologically built women, although I concede these are only a small layer of the huge possibilities we are presented to by life.

    The old natural organization of family with the man as provider and woman as organizer of home and bearer of progeny, was demonised by our "new" ways of thinking about the freedom of women from the slavering work of home and motherhood to let them participate in the tantalizing world of providers. I am telling "new" between inverted commas because these ideas come from far back in our history. Greeks were already fighting over these thoughts, and before them several other subdivisions of civilization did the same. (To be politically correct, I should insist I am not against these practices, and to be totally candid I must say I would be delighted to find a kind, sweet, loving girl who provided for her and for me all along life) :).

    The real truth, always under the seal of being only My Truth, and subject to be argued against (badly using prepositions to close a sentence) :) is that this kind of abuse is only the need to hide our lack of security, safety, of primacy. (Where have I heard this before?)

    No matter if I am a man, a woman, or even an infant, abuse (in all its forms) can be exercised at infinitum.

    Then, besides this premises, if we press the point about the primordial abuse of the cruel macho over the weak female, we can use it (and here is where I see the trump card) as argument to give support to other types of socially "accepted" crusades, such as feminism, gender over-domination, unfair advantage of social situation, economical differences, whatever!

    Coming back to its more generalizing way of existence, the method this situation is managed by both parties (accepting the abuse, fighting against it, a combination of both ways, or any other, suggestions accepted, is a different kettle of fish. And you'll find an infinite sort of ways, as much as abused, and abusers exist.

    May be, I slipped out of the pond in this post, but there is a dangerous edge in the argument as you presented it that if it is frankly and candidly treated may disturb the easiness of mind in the said pond. Let's party in peace! :) Always remember (I won't tire of repeating it) that this is ONLY my opinion, with no better value than the one given by my emollient mind. Supposing I have one. :)

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    1. Yes, the perpetrators do have a lack of so many things such as security etc, therefore leading to the need to control and abuse those close to them.
      Enjoying the way you put things Untony. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

      I'm so sure that you will find your perfect kind sweet-heart one day, and have that life-long romance. :) thanks for your comments.

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  6. I think once relationships start, the signs of it ending up in an abusive relationship are not usually evident, through learning the other persons weakness and strength, the spouse might choose to capitalize on the others' weaknesses turning him into a defenseless fellow who feels he has no option but to suck up to all the mistreatment being accorded to him with the hopes of a change in behavior of the abusive spouse in the near future.

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    1. Jackson, valid comment as most people don't realise what they are getting into until it is too late, then they try to ride out the never ending storm, usually without much success. Thank you so much.

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  7. This is an enlightening message. I did realize that some men experience this but not to the extent the you've shared. My daughter has been experiencing verbal abuse by her husband for six years and is finally divorcing him. I have witnessed the damage this type of abuse can do and your voice is so helpful in getting people to understand that it exists in many ways and unfortunately are in many people's lives, and your message is the beginning of help to many. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Denise. It must have been very difficult to see your daughter in such a stressful situation for all these years but at the end of the day, she had to take the initiative to divorce and get herself out of the situation, and although divorce is not easy, I am glad that she will be out of such an abusive relationship.

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  8. Interesting post--as usual! I hate to do this, but I'm bringing up Oprah! She did a segment during her show's final season where 200 men who'd been sexually abused as children sat in her audience. Tyler Perry, film director, was the guest of honor, and spoke about his own experiences with abuse as a young boy. This encouraged the other men to speak out.

    I know, I know, Oprah, blah, blah, blah...but I found it to be a very groundbreaking episode, but the underlying theme--which Oprah, Perry, and other brave and forthcoming men brought successfully to the surface--was the hidden shame that plagues male victims. Of course female victims go through just as much trauma, but generally speaking, in our society, it's a lot easier for a girl or woman to speak out and seek help for the abuse. There's a stigma when it comes to men; it deals with masculinity and bravado, and since men aren't SUPPOSED to be victims, they suffer in silence.

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    1. Katie, I fully agree with all you have said here about the men. I really hope that more men start to speak out about this issue, and society begins to clamp down more against it.

      It's ok to mention Oprah here :) she has done some very good and interesting subjects on her shows and I wish I had seen that one. I fully appreciate your comment.

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  9. Domestic violence among women and children is often reported on primetime newscast (here in the Philippines) but yes, I believe that the violence is not confined to women but men as well. It is not just physical abuse but also verbal abuse just like what you have mentioned. Anyway, what can I say? Everyone should be informed of what domestic violence is. People should be educated and proper awareness should be encouraged to reduce its impact on anxiety and depression.

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  10. Thanks Ric, I fully agree with you as well. Maybe more work should be done in schools as to give young people the awareness of this type of abuse amongst men and women, so they know what to look for as they get older. Thanks for your comment.

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  11. The issue of Gender violence is mostly centered on the girl child at the expense of the boy child. Men suffer silently to avoid being ridiculed in society.

    Great post man, keep up the good work!!

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  12. This subject was also dealt with in an Arabic talk show called Kalam Nawa'em. There is a centre for these men in Egypt who keep getting abused physically and emotionally by their wives. Some of the wives actually kick their husbands out of the house. In the centre the men who do not have jobs are given training and found jobs, many times their wives abuse them because the wife works and she sees that her husband is doing nothing to help support the family. So as you said she is wearing the trousers. As others who have commented here this happens to women too, but sometimes men are more ashamed to speak about it. These days, I do not believe that either side in a relationship should wear the trousers alone; they should share the trousers.

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    1. Just goes to show how widespread domestic violence is across the world. Thank you so much for commenting Lama Obeid.

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  13. Sometimes people do not realize they are the abusers in a relationship. I had to participate in a DV class while in rehab due to my childhood exposure to it. We learned about red flags in a relationship. I realized that in my quest to NEVER allow a man to abuse me that I became the abuser. Not physically, but emotionally. Imagine my horror! I had become the thing I loathed the most! Sadly it took me becoming an addict and going to rehab to realize the horrible injustices I was putting my husband through. Thank God for second chances and a compassionate husband. How refreshing to see someone look at domestic violence from this perspective!

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    1. Spot on Nattie. I couldn't have said it better myself. So very true. The main thing is that you was willing to accept and change your behavior. Sometimes, women refuse to believe that they abuse because it is not physical, but a lot of damage can be done emotionally too. Excellent point and thanks for the comment.

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    2. Not only can emotional damage be done - but some debate on whether that is worse than the physical. I agree - to an extent. The thing is that all types of abuse are interconnected. Physical abuse can be emotionally and verbally abusive to. Take for example the boyfriend who yells, "You fat bitch!" right before punching his girlfriend in the face. That is verbal abuse and the name calling leads into emotional abuse. Of course an apology follows - but there is usually a qualification to make the girlfriend to blame.

      Then the commonly overlooked form of abuse - coercive control. Girl is insecure for whatever reasons. She tries to control who the guy can be friends with, how long he can be out, what family members he can see, etc. What happens if said things do not go girls way? Usually an argument with name calling and yelling (verbal/emotional.) In some cases the girl gets angry and gives a hard slap to the poor guys face.

      I can go all day with this. My point is that the abuse can be so interwoven that a cycle is created and it is up to the abusee to say, "ENOUGH."

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    3. Nattie, you are totally right and I agree.

      Some of the names I've been called and the things that have been said to me, I still clearly remember to this day although it no longer has a 'hold' on me. And I have become very alert. So if someone tries to manipulate, control, or subtly abuse me in a non-violent way, my alarm bells ring loud and clear because I have been through all of that in my life. I've learned what the warning signs are, and will deal with it instantly.

      I also agree with you 100% that the abusee is the one to say 'ENOUGH'. The abuser looses all power then. Very well said Nattie.

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