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Women battering men the other side of domestic abuse
Domestic Abuse is treated as a personal family issue. While the Womens Movement has publicized it as an issue of female oppression. It may be both but it is also much more. Just as Child Abuse and Elder Abuse are no longer considered just personal family issues but also social and legal issues, so must the abuse of one adult by another. Its time we reconsider the laws surrounding Domestic Abuse.
Now to the specific topic at hand. When we think of domestic abuse we mostly think of men battering women partners or men battering male partners and to a much lesser extent, women battering their female partners in a Lesbian relationship. But when it comes women battering men, most people would say that they dont really believe that can happen because men are physically stronger and therefore more capable of defending themselves. However, women do batter their male partners and in much larger numbers than anyone would have imagined.
In 2008, California led the nation in public awareness to this previously hidden Domestic Violence issue. And subsequently, in October of that year, the California state courts ruled that battered men deserve equal protection under the law. (mensnewsdaily.com/2008/10/17/domestic-violence-awarenes-month).
The California court ruling was based, in part, on empirical research undertaken by hundreds of social scientists. This research has demonstrated that both men and women initiate Domestic Violence at roughly equal rates with some recent studies suggesting that the initiation rates for girls and women may be increasing. Furthermore approximately 40% of the physically harmed victims of Domestic Violence are men.(MND.com) While we have a federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), it may be time to replace it with a Domestic Violence Act that doesnt discriminate against gender.
You wonder, how this is possible? It has taken years of advocacy and support to encourage women to report domestic violence. But virtually nothing has been done to encourage men to do the same. Because there is a widely held assumption that women are victims and men are perpetrators it is embarrassing, almost unthinkable, for many men to even consider reporting. It makes them look weak, ineffectual almost laughable in other peoples eyes. And they dont believe that much of anything will be done even if they do report. They are right. While it is true that the actual physical harm inflicted by women on men is usually not as severe as the reverse situation, the emotional, psychological damage can be even greater. Mental and emotional abuse can be an area where women are often more brutal than men. (D.V. Against Men). And when there are children involved, it is equally as negatively impactful as abuse against women.
Why do women abuse? For many of the same reasons that men abuse alcohol and/or drug abuse, psychological disorders, and unrealistic expectations and assumptions. These women make unreasonable demands on their partners and attribute most of their depression, and frustration on them. They blame their partner rather than admit to their own insecurities, emotional problems, childhood traumas and current substance abuse. They want their partner to make them feel whole rather than take responsibility for their own lives. Making your partner a punching bag for your own insecurities and demons is gender blind. How the violence erupts though can be different between the sexes. With men, they commonly say She made me do it. With women its, he doesnt care, hes insensitive I wonder if he has any feelings at all. It is the only way I can get his attention.
Why do men stay in abusive relationships? Also for many of the same reasons that women stay. They believe that it is their fault or that they deserve the treatment they receive. They are mentally, emotionally or financially dependent on the abusive female partner. Many men are afraid to leave their children alone with such an unstable person. They also be afraid that they wont be allowed to see their children or that shell turn the children against him.
It is not surprise that help for men who are victims of domestic abuse and come forward is not as prevalent as it is for women. There are virtually no shelters, programs or advocacy groups for men. For now, most abused men will have to rely on private counseling services.
If you are an abused male and need help, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE. Let them know you are out there.
©2010, Roni Weisberg-Ross
Roni Weisberg-Ross. West Los Angeles based psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, chronic depression and social anxiety. Roni sees individuals, couples, families and leads a weekly AMAC (Adults Abused as Children) support group at The Family Resource Counseling Center..Article Source: www.articlesbase.com/mental-health-articles/women-battering-men-the-other-side-of-domestic-abuse-2385197.html