I recently read a post by Alan at Omg it's a girl about domestic violence, and that in Ireland there is a campaign underway. The statistics of domestic violence that Alan quoted were massive, but it didn't surprise me one bit, especially the figures of domestic violence against men by their partners, wives or girlfriends. The post brought back some personal unhappy memories for me, which I hadn't thought about for a long while, but felt need to write it down.
For years the stigma attached to men being abused by the women in their lives has been swept under the carpet because society doesn't sit well with this kind of behaviour. You will get the usual, my god you are a man, how could a woman hurt comment, but how wrong could people be The truth is of course women are very capable of uncontrollable rage and temper that results in violence against their husband, partner or boyfriend.
One of the major reasons men don't come forward and tell people is because they are embarrassed and feel that society won't believe them so consequently they hide it and believe it's ok I'm a man, I can take it etc. No they can't! Their self esteem, confidence and self worth is slowly destroyed and like women in the same position they feel trapped and unable to escape.
I grew up in a home that was full of domestic abuse and what did it teach me? Quite simple really, that I thought it was normal. This is how relationships work and it took a long time for me to reaslise that this was completly wrong and very screwed up.
I have been on the receiving end of domestic abuse in one of my previous relationships as well. I'm not going to go into detail of the abuse as that would be inappropriate at this moment, but I will give my view on how it made me feel. Although I will say that on two occasions I was hospitalised and on one of occasions required an operation, so that I could eat solid food.
Your self esteem, worth and confidence is slowly diminished and you actually begin to think it's normal. This is what happens when the front door is shut. You get battered and it's compounded by the fact that I grew up witnessing this happen between my parents and I don't think that it had really gone away thinking it was normal, but it's not normal, far from it.
As a man it made it so much more difficult because of society stigmatising that men are strong and surely can't be hurt in a such way and I always believed you don't raise a hand to a woman even though I had seen plenty of that happening as a child.
One moment through this dark time that I vividly remember, was building up the courage to tell a friend about it. In fact, I considered them to be my best friend and this was months in building up the courage that I eventually told them about what was going on in my homelife. Finally I did and the reaction was just awful. They laughed and said don't be silly and basically didn't believe me and dismissed me and the subject. I was back on my own to deal with this. Some years later I finally built up the determination to leave because I needed peace and not live in fear anymore.
The incredibly sad thing is that society still does not accept that women can be violent in relationships and this is the reason that most men hide it away and suffer in silence. If this post resonates with just one man who is in an abusive/violent relationship and helps them put their lives back on track then I feel I have helped what is considered to be a no talk subject. We need to help men as well as women in abusive, violent relationships.
Have you been or are you in a relationship that has experienced physical violence, because whether you are a man, woman, wife, husband or partner it is totally unacceptable behaviour and you should not have to put up with it.
Would love to know your thoughts.
This post was published first on DIY Daddy Blog
Photo courtesy of DIY Daddy Blog