The Silent Issue

“Don’t be such a sissy”, “Don’t be such a girl”, “Man up”…. These statements and more are thrown at men when they express emotions as if we are a clueless generation — MEN DO FEEL THINGS TOO! THEY ARE HUMANS FIRST OF ALL!!

When the topic Gender-based violence pops up, everyone thinks Violence against women. But there seems to be a turn of tides as more men are being abused in recent times. A report by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) shows that 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

For example, the Nigerian news media of late have been reporting a lot of women being violent to their husbands and ultimately leading to death.

The rise in this number is something that should be of great concern and should be attended to before it becomes a full-blown monster in our faces. The problem of Violence against men stems from the fact that Female-on-male domestic violence is both generally under-reported and mostly ignored.

The report from the National Crime Council report of 2005 showed that only one man in twenty who is a victim of serious intimate partner violence will report this to the authorities, compared to almost one in three women. Even though there haven’t been in-depth studies,  the reason for not reporting this violence is not far-fetched, as men who decide to report this violence would be stigmatized and termed as lesser men with little or no control over their homes. It is also mostly ignored as the man is seen as a stronger person who cannot be bullied by a woman broadly considered the weaker one, However, long-term, large-scale study has concluded that abusive women actually use both emotional and physical violence to control relationships.

The only real difference is the amount of physical harm an average woman can do to an average man (with fists only). What most people do not realize is that having a partner yell, scream, throw things, punch and hit are not to be excused or mitigated by the amount of harm they can cause as it is equally as bad. Most women blame this behavior on infidelity on the side of the men but there are other ways to address cases of infidelity apart from violence.

Therefore, there is a need to encourage more men to speak up. There is a need to reduce stigmatization of abused men because of the preconceived notion of Toxic masculinity. There is a need to create a friendly, supportive environment for men going through this phase. As a woman avoid abusing your partner.

Nobody deserves to be abused, man or woman.

Let us all speak up against violence.

Please report if you are a victim. There are some support groups that can help out with this an example is “supportgroup.1in6.org” Here you can chat with someone to help you get through this difficult phase.

Like Russell Wilson said, The more that we choose not to talk about [domestic violence], the more we shy away from the issue, the more we lose. Speak up and get Help.

-Olufunke Ojo

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