Battered Men. Fact, Not Fiction

Man in Silhouette, Photo by Chairman 7w

Man in Silhouette, Photo by Chairman 7w

UNITED STATES - According to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistic in June 2013, an estimated 85% of women and 15% of men are the victims of domestic abuse.

According to the statistics listed on the American Bar Association's website, the aggregate number of female and male victims of domestic abuse is estimated at 2.2 million victims each year in the United States.

Of this number, 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually. (Source: Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 183781, (2000) Read Full Report)

In crunching the numbers based upon these figures, the physical abuse suffered by men at the hands of their female partners is actually closer to 42% of the estimated annual domestic abuse cases in this country. Part of the gap in these statistics is probably due to under-reporting of female against male domestic abuse.

Even when statistics seem to support an increasing trend in women physically abusing their intimate male partners, people remain resistant to the idea. It is easier to accept men abusing women because this is often the norm in many countries and cultures throughout the world, including the United States. In an attempt to present fair and balanced reporting, we often note that not all women are victims or all men abusers.

But somehow, it is easier for people to accept a woman being victimized by a man than the converse. This bias was starkly illustrated in an ABC News undercover program in which two actors in a public park feigned domestic abuse in which the women hits, curses at, and otherwise abuses her male partner.

With one exception, when a group of three women decided to intervene and call the police, everyone else walked by as the woman continued to violently strike the seated man. Most of the witnesses passed without so much as a glance, and many who were subsequently interviewed admitted that they believed the man deserved the violent treatment being meted out by the woman.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlFAd4YdQks]

This role play caught on camera, seemed to illustrate that women who have long been victimized, either felt empowered by witnessing another woman “turning the tables” on a man, or sympathized with the female abuser because she was expressing her outrage at the man who must have “cheated” on her.

If in fact infidelity were the cause of this abuse, which it was not, this does not take into account the fact that it takes two people to cheat and neither should get a pass. Nor does cheating give anyone the right to physically or verbally abuse their intimate partner. But this article is not addressing marital infidelity or its causes, but rather, why people in this video felt that it was okay for a woman to physically assault and verbally berate a man in public without consequence.

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Published: 19 March 2014 (Page 2 of 2)

Why isn’t there more of an outcry? Is this payback for millennia of abuse women have suffered at the hands of men? Or is it that the victims remain silent because they have been emasculated in their homes and fear being further diminished by public admission of this fact? Whether it is all, some, or none of these reasons, many men don't report physical abuse at the hands of women because they are supposed to be strong enough to "keep their women in check."

This is a patently sexist assumption which further reinforces conditions that foster an environment in which ordinary and not-so-ordinary men silently endure abuse at the hands of their female partners. In America alone, there are famous athletes, musicians, actors, a scientist, and two American Presidents who are suspected of having been the victims of domestic abuse either through anecdotal evidence or court documents. (Source: 11 Famous Men Who Were Beat Down By Their Women, by Sam Greenspan) 

Though informative, even the tone of the aforementioned article belies the seriousness of the issue. It is yet another reason why men won’t admit to being abused, preferring to keep the abuse a secret even from their closest friends and family for fear of ridicule. But even more serious is the threat and fear of retribution by the woman they accuse, as she may subsequently report to the police that she was merely defending herself against his aggression.

Many people may find this difficult to believe, but I know a man whose former wife hit him, threw a drink at him, and when he left the house to avoid getting into a more heated altercation, he returned a few hours later to find two police cars parked in front of his house, with policemen waiting to arrest him. Though he tried to present his version of events, and even though he never had a complaint of domestic abuse lodged against him, in fact he didn’t have any arrest record at all; he was jailed.

He was subsequently subjected to a restraining order barring him from the house for nearly 2-months until the court date. His wife subsequently dropped the charges and apologized in open court for overreacting, and admitted to her ‘part’ in the altercation; however, this man now has a permanent criminal record. Whereas she has severe anger management issues which were never addressed nor resolved during their 18-year marriage, he was forced to attend court mandated psychological treatment.

Though his story is hard to believe, one need only look at the ABC News video to see how probable his case is, and the likelihood that somewhere, at this very moment, a man continues to be abused by his wife because he has chosen to stay for any number of reasons. Some like the man I know had small children and he knew that his wife would be punitive and keep him from seeing his children.

She also had a history of physically abusing the children by slapping and cursing at them, and thus he felt it would be better for him to remain in the house where he could at least protect them from the brunt of her anger. “Studies show that women who commit violence against the men in their lives have anger management issues, are likely to abuse their children, yet courts still favor giving the custody of the children to the female even after domestic abuse has been proven.” (Source: Domestic Violence: Men Being Abused by Women)

There is such a thing as a “Battered Man,” and there is such a thing as a "Woman Batterer/Abuser," and the sooner we de-stigmatize this type of abuse, the easier it will be for the victims and the victimizers to get the help they need to break the cycle of violence.

If you need support, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women at (888) 743-5754.

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Girls Escape 10-Year Captivity and Rape by Castro

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 01:28 a.m. EDT, 09 May 2013

Amanda Berry, Ohio Kidnap Victim, Pictured with Mother and Daughter, Photo Courtesy of WOIO TV

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Raped, starved, beaten, and kept in chains for over 10-years, three young women were rescued on Monday thanks to the bravery of one of the victims, Amanda Berry, and the heroic efforts of a neighbor, Charles Ramsey.

Ariel Castro, 52, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is a veteran school bus driver fired from his job last fall. He was formally charged on Wednesday with kidnapping and raping the women, who were rescued from his house on the evening of 06 May 2013, shortly before his arrest according to Reuters.

Castro and his kidnapped victims, Michelle Knight, then 21, Amanda Berry, then 16, and Gina DeJesus, then 14, along with Berry's 6-year-old daughter who was born in captivity, all lived in a run down rambler which Castro owned and was located on Seymour Avenue in the predominantly Latino neighborhood in Cleveland.

Although reports stated that his two brothers, who were initially arrested as suspects in the case, were somehow complicit in the decade long imprisonment of the girls, they were subsequently released when police said investigators had determined they had no knowledge of the abductions or captivity of the women.

Castro is accused of kidnapping the three girls during separate incidents, and in the case of DeJesus, he is accused of abducting her while she was walking home from school on April 2, 2004. Once he got his victims home, it is surmised that he restrained each of the girls in the basement using ropes and chains.

Although neighbors and fellow musicians who used to hang out at Castro's house expressed surprise at his arrest, records show that he was no stranger to violence against women.

In 2005, according to court filings, he was accused of beating his former wife, Grimilda 'Nilda' Figueroa, so badly that he knocked out a tooth, dislocated her shoulder, and triggered a blood clot in her brain.

After years of abuse by him she passed away last April, an early death which her family attributes to Castro. The documents also claim that he 'frequently abducts his daughters and keeps them from mother' - although it is not certain whether this occurred before or after he allegedly snatched these three victims from the streets.

There were two heroes in this daring rescue, Amanda Berry and Charles Ramsey, a conscientious neighbor who responded to the screams for help coming from inside Castro's house.

In several interviews, Ramsey said that he was "eating a McDonald’s meal when the woman across the street began kicking at the door and screaming for help, whereupon he went across the street and helped kick in the aluminum screen door through which Berry and her daughter escaped."

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XRzsNbskTA]

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Stalker Kills Mother, Leaves Baby Next To Body

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Patrice Ellerbe, Staff WriterLast Modified: 13:34 p.m. EDT, 07 February 2013

Domestic Violence Awareness, Photo by Liz du CanadaEUREKA SPRINGS, Arkansas - When citizens feel that their government has failed to live up to its promises, by no means is it a good feeling. There has been a lot of talk referring to the United States’ gun laws, but little action has been done in order to keep U.S. citizens safe from gun abusers.

Laura Ponce received a call on New Year’s Eve saying her daughter, 21-year old Laura Acevez, had been found unconscious in her apartment.

Her 5-month old son was found unharmed, sitting next to his mother’s bloody body. A .22 caliber bullet was lodged into Acevez’s skull.

This murder could have been avoided if prior action was taken by local authorities. Police searched for Victor Acuna-Sanchez, who is Laura Acevez’s ex-boyfriend. Sanchez is 18 years-old and was under a court order to keep away from his ex-girlfriend. Sanchez also has two previous domestic batter arrests on file.

After Laura’s murder, the police found Sanchez hiding in the shower at his mother’s home. He was armed with the .22 caliber handgun he used to shoot his ex-girlfriend, Laura Acevez.

According to the victim’s mother, Acuna-Sanchez harassed her daughter throughout the entire relationship. Acuna-Sanchez previously strangled, beat the victim with a baseball bat, and dragged her behind a car. During the week before Acevez was killed, she also told her mother that her ex-boyfriend, Acuna-Sanchez poured bleach in her gas tank while his son watched. Acuna-Sanchez then smashed the windshield of the car with a hammer. On top of the physical abuse, Acuna-Sanchez also emotionally abused Acevez. He told her on numerous occasions that if she reported him to the police, he would kill her and her children.

Victor Acuna-Sanchez should have never been allowed or able to own the handgun. Anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offence or who is subjected to domestic violence restraining order cannot legally buy or carry firearms, under federal law. Sanchez did not fit the qualifications to possess a gun. According to the Huffington Post, Johnathan Lowy, director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s Legal Action Project says, “Gun sellers have no way of knowing if someone is a domestic abuser unless there is a background check. This is a real problem”.

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Published: 07 February 2013 (Page 2 of 2)

There have been some speculation and research done on how gun reform can help domestically abused women. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) stated in a hearing that in states that do require background checks for handgun sales, 38% fewer women are shot by their partners. However, others have viewed things differently, arguing more firearms regulations would make it more difficult for women to protect themselves. FBI data from 2010 say’s otherwise.

Handguns are the most common weapons used, according to 2010 FBI data. In the U.S., 64 percent of murdered women are killed by a family member or partner. Having a gun in the home makes a woman eight times more likely to be killed.

Through recent research, it was found out that since the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on 14 December 2012; more than 90 women were shot and killed by family members or their partners. This is only eight weeks after the shooting.

David Hemenway explains, “The difference in female homicide victimization rates between the U.S. and these other industrialized nations is very large and is closely tied to levels of gun ownership”. Background checks should be provided for all persons attempting to own a gun. The government will need to enforce and be sure that all gun sellers are performing the background checks for potential consumers.

With all of the evidence provided, and each story brought to the public’s attention about shooting and the deadly results, the National Rifle Association is still against the universal background checks. In a “perfect world”, anyone who is not qualified to own a gun or has not had the proper background check performed, should throw their gun in the trash, and not be able to possess one until they meet requirements. However, this is not a “perfect world”, therefore, the question stands, how do we get guns that have already been purchased, out of the abusers possession?

Under federal law, convicted domestic abusers are advised but the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to dispose of their guns as well as ammunition. However, it is up to law officials to actually see this action has been fulfilled. As of now, there has been no one assigned to that task. Therefore, abusers continue to abuse simply because there is no enforcement.

With all of the assault charges Victor Acuna-Sanchez has faced and is facing, there are many questions as to why he was able to have a firearm in his possession. With all of the reports to the police, there are many questions as to why he was able to have a firearm in his possession. Hopefully this is not just another story about a young mother who has been murdered at the hands of her crazy lover. Hopefully, this is a story that sparks action.

Follow Patrice Ellerbe on Twitter
Twitter: @nahmias_report Staff Writer: @PatriceEllerbe
 

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Liquid Lust in India's Parliament

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 21:32 PM EDT, 8 February 2012

NEW DELHI, India - News channels have broadcast footage of three Indian politicians from a morally conservative party watching pornography during a session of state parliament. This revelation would have been noteworthy in itself, but what captured our attention was the fact that one of the men is the minister for women and child development.

The broadcast showed footage of Karnataka state Minister for Cooperation Laxman Savadi sharing a porn clip with his colleague C.C. Patil, the minister for women and child development. The phone is purported to belong to Krishna Palema, the state Minister for Ports, Science and Technology.

All three men have subsequently resigned, though they each categorically deny deliberately watching the porn. The three state politicians explained that they tendered their resignations because they did not want to cause any embarrassment for their party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules the state and is in opposition at a national level.

Pornography is not harmless as some would assert. Proponents of this billion dollar industry advertise that all the actors in the industry are willing participants who are well compensated. On the revenue side, porn moguls defend their massive profits by claiming any type of restriction would infringe upon freedom of expression.

Many men and women who have become addicted to porn, in particular internet and video, have seen their lives ruined because of their unnatural attachment to unrealistic body types and contrived sexual situations. As the addiction progresses they are only able to achieve sexual gratification through the images presented in this LCD universe.

Since most men and women do not look like the people featured in these movies, it becomes difficult for those addicted to porn to develop conflict resolutions skills that are required to maintain intimate relationships in the non-LCD world. Though the industry would be loathed to admit it, pornography contributes to the objectification of the women and men who perform in these films. With regard to women, who in many societies are already marginalized or objectified, pornography can further inure men to their humanity and thus the suffering of all women in their societies.

Girls and women in largely patriarchal India face a barrage of threats including rape, dowry-related murder, forced marriage, domestic violence, honor killings and human trafficking. For these ministers to watch pornography further reinforces the rights of men over women in a country where there already is this social mindset that women are disposable commodities and are seen as transferable property.

Renuka Chowdhary, a former federal minister for women's development and a member of the Congress Party told CNN-IBC that "it really is troubling that the people who are in positions of power and have the responsibility to change things actually have the same mindset and are busy watching porn."

Communal Complicity in 'Honorable Murder'

Honor killings, domestic violence and rape does not only occur in Muslim countries, it is happening more and more in the United States, and we are each responsible for doing our part to stop this scourge. It happens in Western and Eastern cultures, and also in Christian and Islamic countries. This post does not seek to indict one faith or group of people over another, for the real culprits are the men of any nationality, culture, and faith who feel that women are chattel, and deserve to be treated with disrespect, physical and sexual violence, and even death. This behavior continues unabated because the perpetrators know that there will be no repercussions for their acts of violence.

"Awareness leads to interest, which leads to desire, that leads to action."

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