Men: Some men laugh it off as "hen-pecked" but abuse of men is an unreported issue of our society.
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Men's Issues and Today's Male
Men and the Abused Male
By Pat McChristie
There are certainly abused males in our society even though this abuse of men is less likely to be reported and less likely to be taken seriously by law enforcement officials.
For the Male of Today:
|How would you guys like to don a dress and then ride a donkey
backwards down the main street of your town? Everyone could line the street snickering and
making fun of you.
I doubt if you would even consider it. Yet, in medieval France, a man who had been physically abused by his wife was forced to do this so everyone could see how weak he was.
We probably all accept the fact that both men and women can be the victim of emotional abuse. The "hen-pecked" man has been the brunt of jokes forever.Physical abuse is another story. In our society we think of women as the victims and men as the aggressors in physical abuse.
But that is not true. Equally as many, if not more, men are assaulted by their girlfriends or wives as vice versa.
A 1997 survey conducted among dating couples showed almost 30% of women admitting that they had used some form of physical aggression against their male partners within the dating cycle. This runs counter to official documentation of female abuse against men.
1. Less men report abuse. They are ashamed to report being abused by women.
2. Health care and law enforcement professionals are more likely to accept alternative explanations of bruises and other signs of injury from a man.
3. Our justice system sometimes takes the word of the woman above the word of the man. It is just more believable that the aggressor was the man, not the woman.
4. Men will tolerate more pain than women. They are more likely to "grin and bear it." And again, many are ashamed to seek medical help.
5. Unless a woman uses a weapon (and many do), a woman usually does not have the strength of a man.
Our society still sees women as nonviolent peacemakers, the victims of men, perhaps, but not as aggressors against men. The fact that women are more likely to be severely injured in domestic violence adds to the problem of recognizing male abuse.
Health care professionals often do not even think of abuse as a potential explanation. When they see an injury, they accept even a fairly lame explanation. For example, on seeing a bruised man, they are quick to accept a work-related accident or "a week-end game of football with the guys."
Men find it harder to discuss pain than women and even harder to admit to being a victim. In addition, men often have more hazardous occupations than women and certainly show more physical aggression to each other than women show to other women. All of this makes it easy for the health care professional to accept an injury explanation other than domestic violence.
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Even a mugging might be more acceptable than a female beating. Unless the report is of a woman wielding an iron skillet, of course.
When a man does report domestic violence, he often encounters law enforcement professionals who are quick to believe his female aggressor rather than him.
Abused men are as likely as their female counterparts to have low self-esteem. In addition, a male victim also has to deal with the examination of his masculinity.
Men and women often come to believe that it is their fault that they are abused; they are somehow responsible for what happened.
Men are also in denial! This should not happen to a masculine man, therefore it is not happening.
And men, as well as women, hope things will get better. The woman he "loves" will quit when they are better adjusted, or her job is not so frustrating, or the children get more responsible. Pretty much the same excuses women make for remaining with men who batter them.
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Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of the expertise of a health professional whose advice you might need to seek.