Violence Against Men: It Is More Prevalent Than We Think
By Penelope R Van Buskirk*
Mark and Valerie had just left a movie theatre. Hand in hand, they strolled toward their car and suddenly heard shouting and screaming. They stopped walking. The mall parking lot was well lit. They listened, scanned the area but did not see nor hear anyone.
As Mark opened the door to their car, they heard the loud voice again. A male voice. "Leave me alone!" he shouted. This has gone on long enough. I'm filing for divorce. You're a sick woman! You just broke my nose! You need professional help. I'll take a cab and get my car and the children at the house. So just leave!" Then, silence.
Mark started the car and put the windows down. They listened for voices but heard none. Suddenly the voices could be heard again. A female voice was shouting, "Oh no you won't! I'll take you to court so fast you won't have time to retain counsel. You are not leaving! I won't allow it!"
His voice was louder this time. "You don't have to allow it! Now stop punching me. My nose is already broken. Keep your hands off me or I'll call the police! NOW!"
Valerie was dumbfounded. "Mark?" she whispered. "Have you ever heard of a man being abused? Or are we just misinterpreting what we are hearing?"
He thought for a moment. "No, I don't think so. You hear plenty of stories about violence against women but I don't recall ever reading about a man being the victim. I don't understand. Why doesn't he just push her away, get in the car and leave?"
They decided to drive around, windows down, and find out where this was coming from. After a few minutes, they spotted the couple. They were both tall. He was well built, however she was overweight. They were standing behind a late model black sedan. Mark found an open parking spot near the sparring couple and turned of the lights.
"Wow," Valerie said quietly. "I really thought he was the attacker. But look at his face. He is covered in blood."
He was about to respond when they heard the man yell out in pain. They had a clear vision of the woman, punching him in the face and arms, ordering him to get back in the car.
"That does it," Mark said and dialed 911.
In minutes, the police arrived. Mark got out of the car and flagged them down. He briefly explained what they saw and what they heard. He gave the police his driver's license, phone numbers and directed them to the couple.
Thirty-eight percent of injured victims are men. Referred to as The Battered Male Syndrome, men are reluctant to admit they have been abused by their spouses or anyone else. These victims often suffer in silence and try to maintain peace in the household, protecting their children as much as they can. And just as female victims tend to lie to coworkers, friends or family, they will like about the cause of visible injuries.
Many Domestic Violence Shelters across the United States now offer protection to abused men. And with sufficient evidence, they will be given custody of the children by court order.
The oldest Men's Rights Organization in North America began as The National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM) in 1977. It is now called The National Coalition of Men, Inc. The Organization also includes women.
I urge everyone to get invovled. Don't turn the other cheek if you witness domestic violence or abuse. ACT ON IT. Dialing 911 is easy. You could save a life!
*Penelope Van Buskirk authored the book For Worse Never Better: Diary of An Abused Wife and Escape to Freedom. You can purchase on Amazon (soft cover is cheapest) or from Authorhouse.com which is even cheaper. 50% of proceeds go to the Chrysalis Domestic Violence Shelter