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!