Are women equally guilty of domestic violence?
I have written a lot on Violence against women for obvious reasons. Being a survivor, I can’t help but be passionate or perhaps to a large extent biased when it comes to the issues of domestic violence against women. However, my Dad recently drew my attention to the fact that it is not only women who suffer domestic violence. He challenged me to conduct a research on domestic violence against the men and I was shocked at the outcome; it is more prevalent than I thought! I even had ladies admit to abusing their men. Domestic Violence against the men is an issue that requires as much attention as the women’s.
Granted, the majority of domestic violence victims are women, nonetheless, abuse of men happens far more often than you may expect. Regardless of the fact that men are physically stronger than women, it doesn’t necessarily translate to immunity against domestic violence. I know a lot of people would find this baffling but if you pay close attention to the definition of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, then you will see the possibilities.
Domestic violence is simply the abuse of one partner in an intimate relationship. It is the willful intimidation or abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.The abuse can be physical, sexual, psychological, financial, and emotional or a combination of all.
In other words, domestic violence does not always require physical strength or a well-toned arm trained for a Heavy Weight Title, one of the tiniest body member like the tongue could be one of the deadliest weapon of domestic violence.
Now that we have seen that domestic violence is more than physical assault, in what other forms it could be manifested? In what ways can a woman met out domestic violence on her man besides assaulting him physically? Find here a few ways a woman can be guilty of domestic violence:
If she is excessively possessive, act jealous, or harass him with constant accusations of being unfaithful.
If she threatens to hurt or kill him.
If she verbally abuses him, belittles him, calls him names like stupid, moron, etc, puts him down or humiliates him in front of his friends, colleagues, or family or even on social media sites as this is the latest trend.
If she intimidates him with guns, bottles, knives, pestle or other weapons.
If she destroys things that belong to him. For example we often hear of women smashing their husband’s car windshield or oter properties in the home like TV and Glass doors whenever they are upset.
If she prevents him from going to work, takes away his car keys or tries to control where he goes and whom he sees.
If she controls how every penny is spent in the household and deliberately default on joint financial obligations.
If she enjoys fabricating stories or making false allegations about him to his friends, employer, or the outside world generally just so as to damage his reputation or find ways to manipulate and isolate him.
If she makes unwanted sexual demands; forcing him to have sex or engage in sexual acts against his will or to do things sexually that he is not comfortable with.
If she stops him from seeing family members and friends or she is jealous of time he spends with them or she therefore tries to control who he sees, where he goes, or what he does.
If she is stalking him or monitoring his every move in person, his social media accounts, his emails or his phone.
If she constantly taunts him that he is a bad parent or threatens to hurt or take away their children.
Clearly men are not as immune to domestic violence as some of us may have believed. But because men are traditionally thought to be physically stronger than women, they are less likely to report domestic violence due to shame and embarrassment. In view of their masculinity they imagine that the significance of the abuse if reported will be minimized.
But this is not the case as the issue of domestic violence by women against men is indeed getting global attention. Although we have the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and none for the men, the issues of violence against men is fast getting help services, awareness, recognition, counseling, therapy and support in many countries of the world.
We should unite in condemning all perpetrators of spousal abuse whether the victim is the man or woman and treat all victims, men and women, with equal compassion because Domestic Violence is a crime against an individual, not a crime against a gender.
As women let us endeavor to ensure that we are not guilty of abusing our spouses in any form, be it physically, verbally, emotionally, sexually or psychologically. Let us all join in the fight against domestic violence by playing our parts individually so we can help raise the next generation in a violent free environment, thereby preparing our daughters for Princes who they will not abuse and won’t abuse them equally and our Sons to be noble men who will know how to treat a woman right!