An Exercise in Imagination...Imagine a case of domestic violence. Who is the aggressor in this case? Is it a man or a woman? I am willing to bet that for most of you you imagined a man assaulting a women. This post is in no way intended to make light of, or belittle, the abuse that thousands of women go through everyday, but rather to shed some light on another area of domestic violence.
In the video below there are two cases of domestic violence (warning foul language).
Notices how people just smiled when the man was the abusee? I am just imagine the thoughts going through the observer's heads "Wow that man is whipped," "Don't let your women walk all over you like that man, grow a pair." etc.
Society of Shame
It really isn't that big of a deal, right? Men are usually stronger than women and can get away if they really wanted to, right?
Abuse is so intertwined into the psyche of a person. No one can really know how they will react till they experience it. There are several factors that can play into it as well. If they were abused as a child they may feel trapped in a cycle of hopelessness. There really is no way to tell.
So why don't men speak up?
In a society that values manliness and being the though guy is it so hard to imagine how shameful it would be? For a man to admit that he is being abused is a lot harder than we think. First he has to admit that "he is not the manly man that everyone thinks he is." While this assumption is false most people will treat him much differently than a women. For some reason our society places the value that men can "help it" while we say that a woman has no choice in the matter. The wake up call? Both sides cannot help it.
What can I do to help? You can start by changing your view of men's roles. If you see an incident take place like it did in the video speak up rather than thinking he can handle it. Second is to remove the phrase "Man up!" from your vocabulary. There are two reasons for this. First is that we are telling our young sons that you are not a man unless you suppress your emotions and never share your pain (I will write more on this in a later blog). Second if a victim is trying to reach out and get help you saying this--even jokingly--will silence them and hinder rather than help the situation. Am I saying you should emasculate men and treat them like you would a woman? Definitely not. What I am saying is that you should speak up, speak out, and spread the word. The more it is talked about in a "positive"--meaning not shaming--light. the less shameful it will be, the easier it will be for men to get help, ask for help, and receive help.
--Pray for a change in society to stop "shaming men of abuse"
--Pray and see if there are any instances where you should have spoken up. If something is brought to mind maybe talk to that person. Be prepared to just listen--don't preach.
--Pray to end domestic violence for men and women.
I hope you are all having a great day!