I haven’t blogged in a while. I have indeed been very busy with many different things but I feel very strongly about writing something today.
As everyone is aware I have a real passion for raising awareness around domestic abuse. Up until more recently I have had nothing but admiration, messages of support encouragement and praise. Old school friends reaching out to me, others who have been in situations too asking for advice and I have been left feeling very empowered about everything I want to achieve. I have a Facebook group that I must add is not ‘women only’ although it does seem to be that way, that is very supportive and safe.
This is deeper than just a bad argument ending a ‘toxic relationship’, deeper than just calling someone a narcissist after a breakup. This abuse goes right through the whole process, from charm to harm. If children are involved this includes how social services, the police and indeed the courts handle domestic abuse. I have first hand experience of many of this including court although fortunately not the problems that occur around child contact and the court process there but I can see HOW this has affected many lives.
For a long time I was in denial, I ignored the warning signs and quite frankly this was due to not only little clarity over what constituted domestic abuse but also the way society pigeonhole both victims and abusers. (That is a whole other area all together).
Of late my issues have come to this ..
‘What about men?’ , ‘it happens to men too’ oh and I even been accused of ‘man bashing’ said light heartedly all the same, but that is no way my intention at all. I also feel this is a very unfair reflection on my work.
I shared a post recently which has accused me of lack of clarity when explaining and not being mindful of it happening to men too.
I need to get this straight I AM A WOMAN! My experience and knowledge comes from being a woman, being pregnant, being a mother and being treated in the way I was treated. It is absolutely unreasonable to expect me to understand or advocate raising awareness around what men experience when being victims because I just do not know enough about it as guess what I AM NOT A MAN! This would be much better suited to someone who either is a man or someone who works closely with male victims. I possibly could not take on that role too. If anyone does do this then I would love to collaborate but I’m just one person and it is MY experience I talk from.
However, I have had male victims talk to me too, so luckily I know I do not come across to all that I do not think of men when I do my talks or write my posts.
I accept it is harder for men to admit and therefore goes unreported, but I can bet on the fact that women as victims go unreported too! I KNOW it does! Therefore the statistics although skewed for men are skewed for women too.
Additionally we simply CANNOT ignore the FACT more women are killed by their partners or ex partners than men! 2- 3 each week … that’s 80% of all homicides in a year! These would have all started with emotional abuse in some way shape or form! My awareness is about preventing it getting THIS bad and saving lives.
Men and women ARE different there is no getting away from that. Being a father is different to being a mother and the differences in our genetics and the way we think, love and care are generally different too. I’ve been told in my past it’s ok for men to have multiple sexual partners and that women can’t have meaningless sex like a man for example.
However I never post anything suggesting men do not experience abuse. I never suggest what men experience is less important or significant in any way shape or form. I post opening up to all but again I repeat it’s what I KNOW as I am a woman!
For example a man will NEVER understand how it feels to be pregnant and have your body changing. Losing yourself whilst on this beautiful yet sometimes mentally draining journey. Being abused during a pregnancy, to be cheated on whilst on that journey and blaming themselves as ‘I wasn’t sexually attractive anymore.’ This is just ONE area where abuse between men and women is different! No male victim of abuse would feel that or understand that fully just as no female victim would understand how it feels for a man as a victim for different reasons. There is a difference but no more or less significant than the other!
I also want to point out in this blog that I listed some traits on my post of what constitutes emotional abuse. They are the same traits I list in the description of my group. It is clear that one or two of these traits DO NOT make someone abusive and is very much about context and about how the victim feels when the other behaves in that way.
The traits I listed I could write at length about and maybe I will at some point in this blog but this is something that I am writing about in my book.
I guess it’s like anything the louder my voice will get, will come some who will try and shoot me down too.
I was given this blog post link Stop asking me ‘what about men?’ And it is very interesting! I suggest if you still don’t agree with what I am saying then take a read.
Further, I expect I will get this more and more. Probably be accused of all sorts as my voice gets bigger, but I guess that’s unfortunately the society we live in.
When you next comment to me ‘what about men’ or ‘it happens to men too’ take a second and think. Stop accusing me or suggesting that I’m not thinking about men too, automatically assuming this, is only adding to the problem!
I feel like this is another face to the anti-feminism trend happening. Feminism is about helping both genders because it’s not nice for men to be stuck in toxic masculinity. So when women advocate for and end to violence against women we’re also going after the system that encourages boys to grow into men who disrespect women. It’s not a woman vs man thing, it’s a let’s help women not be victims and men not become perpetrators thing. It helps everyone.
A great post and very needed. I’m sorry you’re getting unfair criticism but keep up the valuable work you do, for women and men.
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Thankyou and yes it seems like this is what is happening. It’s like we need to be careful what ever we say about gender. We are different , that won’t ever change and I just feel if people feel that strongly about men as victims they should put their time and effort into doing something positive about it rather than complaining that ‘men suffer too’. X
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It’s really interesting that I came across this post when I did. I just finished writing about this exact issue, and I hope it might offer you at least a little relief to know that someone hears you. It must be really annoying for men (or anyone, really) to try and silence you for speaking about an issue that is important to you. Keep raising your voice, for it may save someone’s life. The more opposition you get, the more you know that you are being heard.
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Thankyou for your support. That last sentence is spot on! I defo thought this as the fact my post was getting engagement actually increased members of my group so it was actually positive xx
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