HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
November 29, 2012
Contact Information

Kerene Nelson
Florida A&M University

(BPRW) Men and Domestic Violence

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Domestic violence does not discriminate against age, race, color, creed, gender or sexual orientation. Women may hesitate to call for help and men are even less likely to seek assistance. Society has been taught to think of domestic violence victims as women and sometimes don’t stop to recognize the behavior by women against men that is also titled violent.

In traditional relationships, the man in a relationship is supposed to be the provider, the man is supposed to take care of his household and protect those around him. But who is there to protect the man if he is with a physically dominant or emotionally abusive female?

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, battering or intimate partner violence, occurs between people in an intimate relationship. 

“I would never hit a woman,” said Wayne Williams, 23, from Perry, Fla. “My mom raised me to know better than to hit a woman; I have to be respectful regardless of what a woman does.”

Domestic violence against men can take more than one form and these include emotional, sexual and physical abuse. Threatening to abuse an individual can also be seen as domestic violence as well and is not limited to homosexual or heterosexual relationships.

A study from the National Domestic Violence Hotline showed that in 2003, approximately 74 percent of their calls came from women while 12 percent came from men and the other 14 percent came from an unknown gender. The U.S. Department of Justice estimated that 4.5 million physical assaults against women and 2.9 million physical assaults against men occur annually. The 2.9 million assaults against men represent 39 percent of all such assaults. It is estimated that males make up between 15-35 percent of all victims annually.

“It’s crazy, I know a guy whose girlfriend always questions him and pokes him on the side of the head,” said Jasmine Williams, 22, from Tallahassee. “But if that situation was turned the other way the police would have arrested him.”

Women who are abusive toward men usually have unrealistic expectations and make unrealistic demands of men. These women will typically experience repeated episodes of depression, anxiety, frustration and irritability which they attribute to a man's behavior. In fact, their mental and emotional state is the result of their own insecurities, emotional problems, traumatic experiences during their childhoods or even withdrawal from alcohol. Many women allow their insecurities to guide their decisions sometimes and the emotion can become overwhelming and it can cause somewhat of a bullying.

“Women feel as though they are invincible,” said Jamal Banchner, 18, from Tallahassee. “The law almost makes everything tailored towards them.”

“Sometimes I don’t think that people take the time out to analyze a situation and really see if it was really the male’s fault,” says Brittany Lorenzo, 19, from Atlanta. “I have been in situations where I know I provoked my boyfriend and I know that even though I was telling him to ‘hit me,’ that that’s not what I want for him to do, but if I was to call the cops about an argument, the first person they would investigate was him, not me. I would automatically become the victim.”

Ms. Lorenzo also stated that she knows a lot of women that provoke their boyfriends and husbands, hit them on the side of the head, push their foreheads back and call them names and break their electronic devices, but women are protected so they can get away with it until a man decides that he has had enough. 

According to Florida law enforcement, in 2010, 113,378 crimes of domestic violence were reported to agencies resulting in 67,810 arrests. During the same year, Florida's certified domestic violence centers provided 477,489 nights of emergency shelter to 15,789 survivors of domestic violence and their children. 

Many more survivors of domestic violence are not reporting their abusers to the police or accessing services at domestic violence services due to reasons such as shame, fear, or being prevented from doing so by their abusers. For this reason, we may never know the true extent of abuse in our country and in our state.