One sad and recurring feature in select families across the United States, including in Ohio, is the abuse -- both emotional and physical -- that one partner visits upon the other and, often, the children in the family home. In some families where domestic violence is prevalent, both partners are aggressors and victims, respectively.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month across the nation, a designation that is certainly warranted for the opportunity it affords for reflection, educational outreach on violence and fund raising that can be put to optimal use in victim-support programs.
Each October, advocates across the country make special efforts to stress the magnitude of the violence problem that plagues the country, and the point is invariably stressed that women are the victims in a high percentage of all cases.
Few people would dispute that, and domestic violence centers and other support venues can quickly verify the fact. Females in both ongoing relationships and involved in the divorce process suffer violence at a disproportionately high rate, and a strong focus on that tragic fact is eminently justified.
As some commentators note, though, acknowledging the point cannot and should not obscure the fact that millions of men are also victims of abuse. Data from the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that, on average, about one male is murdered by his partner in the country every day. Various surveys also indicate that both sexes initiate assaults at approximately the same rate.
As one columnist recently noted, “men rarely report violence that may be going on in their homes,” for various reasons. They are sometimes concerned that they will not be believed. Some men fear ridicule. Others fear that police officers arriving at the door will simply assume the female resident is the victim.
The bottom-line with domestic violence is that it is a tragic occurrence regardless of who is the perpetrator and who is being battered or otherwise abused.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month most powerfully serves its purpose when it conveys that message.
Source: Auburn Citizen, "Men also victims of domestic violence," Rachel Gregory, Oct. 6, 2013Domestic Violence Resource Center, "Domestic Violence Statistics," undated