9.10.14: Global – (Lifestyle): Before I start I will say this: Ray Rice was completely out of line for knocking his wife out with a punch to the face. I don’t condone or support abuse of any kind against women.
With that being said, I don’t condone abuse against men either. Since the release the footage that showed Ray Rice dragging his then girlfriend out of the elevator, I’ve noticed social media post that reads: “Let’s stop domestic violence against women” and “No man should put his hands on a woman”.
While all of these statements are very true, we have to understand that the conversation and the act of domestic violence is not a one way street – men are victims of domestic violence; they just don’t discuss it.
October is domestic violence awareness month and PSAs are already starting to air, but each commercial I’ve seen only shows women as victims. In my opinion, given the national dialogue about domestic violence, it’s a great time to talk about how men are victims, too.
I was in a verbally and physically abusive relationship for 18 months. It was a very hard reality for me to face. Everyday people asked me questions like: “why don’t you leave?” or “how could you allow this to happen?”
I made up excuses as to why I was hit and swung on, usually blaming myself. I told myself things will get better.
The more I believed my lies, the more I felt like the abuse was normal. I would often say “its okay, she loves me,” never realizing at that time that I had become a victim.
Her one punch turned into a few, and her few turned into a few more and a few more turned into a straight-up beat down. Mainly because I didn’t want to be another black male in jail, I didn’t hit her back. After every altercation, I asked myself: “what if I snapped on her and caused a scene; would the public label me a monster?”
It’s been seven years since that relationship and life has taught me a lot. More than anything, I’ve learned that men are victims, too.
It’s important to realize that even though men are typically viewed as stronger from a physical standpoint, we are still human beings that are susceptible to the same kind of feelings as a battered woman.
For every victim that might be reading, man or woman, you are not alone and you can get out. My ear is open to those who need it.
Thanks for reading!
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