In light of the Ray and Janay Rice debacle, once again, the issue of domestic violence has recently earned the title of “breaking news” in the media. It’s unfortunate that such a sensitive part of people’s lives can be so readily accessible and publicly splayed for all to dissect. What’s even more unfortunate is the average person does not have sufficient knowledge or experience to appropriately discern and distill the totality of truth from the situation.
Domestic violence is real, and it deserves to be in the spotlight of awareness much more than it has been.
According to a well-known survey by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives
1.3 women are assaulted by their partner every year
85% of domestic violence reported is against women (key word: reported)
These statistics are commonplace among feminists and domestic violence activists and can often be quoted verbatim, but there is an important statistic that rarely surfaces. According to a survey taken by the CDC in 2010:
40% of the victims of severe, physical, domestic violence are men.
Of course there are many factors that influence this statistic, as with all statistics, but it is worth mentioning. Often, the focus is on violence against women for various reasons. Politics, marketing, and ratings often muddy the waters, thus creating a huge disparity between the sexes, in terms of the cases of violence that are actually reported. Many times, details such as provocation, self-defense, and mental illness surface that later shed more light on domestic violence cases. As a male, I can most assuredly say that I have never (and will never) hit a woman, although there have been situations where I would have felt totally justified in doing so for the purposes of self-defense (disclaimer: In no way am I referring to my current marriage relationship).
Am I condoning violence against women in any way? Of course not. I reiterate, I have never hit a woman. In my opinion, there are many alternative measures, other than striking, that men have to defend themselves against violence inflicted by women (which does happen) . However, I think we all know that some women can be very volatile, and often take advantage of the laws of the land that are in effect (Violence Against Women Act of 1994) where women can easily fill the role of victim, even though many times they are the aggressors. Of course we can witness this type of behavior whenever we look at reality television. Although one may argue that all these shows are “scripted,” it doesn’t negate the fact that many of the behaviors seen by these reality stars seep into the psyche of many faithful viewers; and as the old adage goes: Life imitates art far more than art imitates life (Oscar Wilde-The Decay of Lying)
So let’s talk about this:
Is it ever OK for a woman to hit, scratch, bite, spit on, or physically harm a man?
Does a man have the right to defend himself against violence even if it’s by the hands of a woman?
Editor: Jaime Evans