The Face Of Men Abused By Women
By: Guest Authors
Thirty-nine misinformed Representatives have submitted House Resolution 590 to obtain more funding for domestic violence services. This has men’s and fathers’ rights advocates asking, “Why pour more money into the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) when it’s unconstitutional, as well as responsible for the destruction of many healthy, loving father-child relationships?”
The organization RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) did an analysis of HRES 590 and found eighteen errors. There is no mention of male victims in HRES 590 whatsoever.
Steven, 61, of northern California told me about the day he left his female abuser fifteen years ago. He said, “I told myself that if it happened again I would let her hit me, to show her that it wasn’t me, holding her arms, leaving a bruise, so she could say we fought.” They were riding in the car and she was agitated. In an attempt to avoid a confrontation he was being careful how he spoke.
This made her even angrier. He described what happened next, “We stopped in her church parking lot, and she slammed her fist, like a hammer, into my face. I thought one hit would do it, maybe two. It was four or five.”
He continued, “She went into the church and I knew, after all the years, it was over. I sat in the car, in the dark, with tears. I starting getting cold and could taste blood. A half hour passed. I thought she would come out crying and apologize. She didn’t.”
“When she did come out of the church she said, ‘well, this time you can say I left marks.’ She had always denied it before,” he said. Steven went to the local safe house, yet after he told the directors what had happened and they saw his split lip and black eye, “they just looked at each other blankly.”
Steven is an ex-cop, a tough guy who lifted weights. He said, “Well, I am a tough guy, but they didn’t know I was suicidal. I taught self-defense. They knew I could kick her ass. They didn’t know that if you love someone you don’t, even if you are a man.”
Steven told me that to be treated as if because you are a man you must have had it coming, and dealing with all the other issues is too much for some men. He explained, “I am the same man who worked with teen girls and boys in two different treatment facilities, wiping away tears, hearing sad stories, taking them to the gym and teaching them to set goals. I am the same guy who worked two years with senior citizens, cleaning drool and dancing with them.”
“I am not perfect, but I am kind. To be going through a suicidal period, dealing with untreated PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and the loss of a lover who was abusive, then to be treated so coldly, while parenting two young kids most of the time as a single father, and to be treated as if the only possibility was that ‘I had it coming’ almost pushed me over the edge,” he said.
Steven said he knows some people will think he’s weak, and he wants them to know after years of abuse at the hands of his mother, it was all he knew. He said he is now happily married to a wonderful woman.
He added, “Men’s hearts and feelings are like women’s hearts and feelings. They feel the same. It doesn’t matter if that heart is covered with muscles or breasts, the pain cuts deeply and the losses crowd in. And it doesn’t matter if the world thinks men don’t feel. You still hurt.”
For more facts on domestic violence, see Media Radar.
Teri Stoddard lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is a proud family rights advocate.