Keep Your Hands to Yourself
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’re aware I’ve been involved in more than one relationship which has been abusive, be it either physically, psychologically, or both. I prefer not to label myself as either a “victim” or a “survivor” of domestic violence. I prefer to see myself as a scholar of life in general. There have been times in my life when I have made poor choices about relationships, and I have learned many hard lessons, and have moved on to make better choices. That’s all.
You might not think someone who has learned some of these particular life lessons might want to see any sort of violence, but when the now infamous video of Ray and Janay Rice surfaced this week, curiosity got the best of me and I watched it. I watched it, and then I started reading everyone’s reaction to it, and then I got irritated. The more I read the more irritated I got.
Did these people see the same video I saw? It seemed that maybe they didn’t. I didn’t see one “victim”. No, I don’t see Janay as the victim in this as so many others seem to.
I can almost hear the collective “oh my gods” as I type that, and I realize by even writing this blog post I am subjecting myself to all kinds of criticism of my opinion, and even possible backlash, but obviously I’m still doing it, and I can, because this is my blog.
Let me tell you why I don’t take the same view as others have.
I have had vitriol spewed at me, I have had hands around my throat trying to choke the life out of me, I have been kicked and pushed and even had my face used as an ashtray, and never once, not one fucking time, even during states of inebriation, would I have thought to smack one of my abusers in the face, or spit at them, or taunt them with words.
That’s not proof that she’s not a victim of domestic violence, you might say. But if getting punched in the elevator by Ray makes Janay a victim, why don’t her actions towards Ray make him a victim also?
You know why? Perception. Society seems to have an extremely skewed perception that men can’t be victims of domestic violence because they’re often taller, or more muscular than their spouse or significant other, they often make more money, and seem to have more power within the relationship.
But the way things seem to be isn’t always the way they are. Statistics show 40% of domestic violence victims are men. 40%. I would guess the actual number is probably higher than that, as most men are often embarrassed to come forward and admit they have suffered abuse from their partner because of the stigma attached to it.
In my own personal experience, I have seen my brother take being hit, scratched, having his clothes torn off him, and called names by his drunk high school girlfriend while he just stood there and took it. I know other men who have suffered constant verbal abuse, and have been slapped and pushed, by girlfriends or wives, who never once even lifted a hand to defend themselves against these physical attacks, who have stayed in relationships for the same reason abused women do, because they made a vow, or for their kids, or because they’re too scared to leave for fear of what their partner would do if they did.
Am I saying Ray Rice is a victim of spousal abuse? I can’t say for sure, but it appears to me Janay dishes out abuse to him also, just without the same physical result of the abuse he dished out to her. It appears to me they have a very volatile and mutually abusive relationship, and I think it’s sad they feel the need to be in that type of relationship.
My point is this: maybe it’s time to bring the subject of males suffering domestic violence out into the light, because it’s a reality. It happens every day, and it’s very possible you know a man who’s suffering in silence right now.
Please take a minute to check out the following link, and watch the video. This is a hidden-camera experiment which was done to gauge reactions to violence. The differences in onlookers’ reactions to man on woman violence, as opposed to woman on man violence is unbelievable, and to me quite sickening and inappropriate when it comes to seeing the female being abusive to the male.
No one, absolutely NO ONE should have to suffer abuse, be it physical or verbal!
WOW! It is refreshing to see someone who thinks this way. I will NEVER condone violence against anyone and Ray Rice should absolutely be punished for his attack on Janay. She should also be charged for her violence towards him. Unfortunately the statistics seem to support that in these intensely volatile relationships, the women more often than not is the one hospitalized or killed. I suffered for years with an extremely volatile and explosive woman. Few people will ever acknowledge that many men live in these abusive relationships as well. I believe that many women are very abusive physically and continue to be so until the violence erupts and then cry foul when the man hits back. The man always loses in this, the women are seldom if ever charged.
Great post and thoughts!
I don’t think there has been enough research done regarding abuse perpetrated on men, so I think it’s hard to get a really accurate picture of the abuses men are suffering. Unfortunately I do believe it happens a lot more often than we know, and if we all think back on it, Lorena Bobbit was an infamous abuser.
I’m so glad to know that you got out of that situation!
Not sure how you found your way to the post, but thanks so much for reading and commenting!!
You still have the courage to express your well thought out posisitions. I believe that Janay has acknowledged her role in the matter. Due to media attention, the Rices will receive punishment well in axcess of any other violators and now we move on the “Get Godell” on the biggest coverup since Watergate.
I saw that English video a few months ago and it’s disturbing. I have not, and probably will not, watch the Ray Rice video. It’s understandable to defend yourself if attacked (and I don’t know that that’s what happened since I haven’t seen the video), but you have to know what you’re capable of and what the person attacking you is capable of.
My ex-wife was abusive. She attacked me many times but I stood there and took it because I knew she couldn’t hurt me. She also made it very clear on occasion that when she did so she was trying to provoke me into hitting her back so she could have me arrested.
Frankly, domestic violence is a huge problem for both genders. People need to figure out how to deal with their frustration without violence.
I don’t advocate laying hands on anyone in violence, but I do think it’s necessary to defend ourselves from attack at times. So glad you said she’s your ex! In reality, I think it’s possible men stay in abusive situations even longer than women because they think they should be more capable of taking it just for the sheer fact they’re men. And unfortunately, statistics show the end result of women leaving abusive situations is too often death.
My hope is that the topic of men suffering abuse would be brought into the light for discourse. Also the topic of mutually abusive relationships. Girls are getting meaner and more physical with other girls at a younger age, so it’s only natural that they’re carrying those aggressions into their relationships. It’s got to be stopped.
Agreed all violence needs to go.
you are absolutely right, violence is not the way…. but … self defense ….
Everyone has the right to defend themselves, within reason I believe. Unfortunately, oftentimes the law doesn’t see it that way.
I see this is your most recent post. Hope all is well with you and yours.
Everything is great! Thanks for asking. I’m just not blogging as much. Training to be a roller derby queen. ,)