Domestic violence continues to plague our community, with 24 related homicides to date, and 20,000+ reported calls to the Memphis Police Department this year. And, while that number is certain to escalate by year’s end, we still have an unprecedented number of cases that go unreported. Domestic Violence has been, and continues to be, one of the most privately public problems we face in our community today. There’s an abundance of information, resources & statistics that are often referred to where the man is portrayed as the perpetrator. What you see less of; however, are those same sources of information being shared where the man is the victim. I have been in many forums where men have stated that the images, statistics and resources are biased. Others have shared that men can be victims, too, or state that all men aren’t abusers.
The truth is, statistics show that men don’t often report acts of violence against them. We live in a society that holistically still doesn’t understand and/or accepts the fact that men can and often are, abused themselves. In addition, abuse is more than physical. Just like women, men have often been abused or witnessed abuse on some level in their formative years. Men are told from infancy not to cry, not to show emotion & “man up”. They may have been deprived of examples of positive male role models & unsure of how to deal with conflict.
Men who speak out against domestic violence can help empower and encourage other men to do the same. Male victims and survivors can and should work together with law enforcement & support groups in the same way female victims and survivors do. Men can and should report acts of domestic assault without feeling they will be viewed as less manly. Perpetrators need more than just jail time. They need holistic tools to help heal themselves, their families and ultimately, their communities. Men need to speak out and say that domestic violence is wrong, it’s unacceptable & be willing to offer their help and support to both victims & perpetrators. Show the community that there are men who don’t abuse women and children, and encourage those men who advocate for change.