Sunday, 16 June 2013
Today, June 16, is Father's Day, when those who are fortunate enough to still have them, thank their Dads for being there, for being their support and their friends. They give them cards and gifts, hugs and love...but not every Dad is so lucky...
All they will get today is something nobody should have to be on the receiving end of....DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
But he's a man, I hear you cry...domestic violence is only a woman's problem, isn't it? DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT!! Every single day, thousands of MEN are on the receiving end of mental and physical abuse and violence, and it goes totally ignored.
So this is what this post is about, to bring your attention to the 50% of our society who tend to get a raw deal when it comes to the support and equality and every other darned thing we women have come to demand as our right. We expect to have someone to turn to and somewhere to go when marriages or partnerships break up, and particularly when we face domestic crises, be it physical violence or psychological, verbal, even financial abuse. Well so do men - and they're not getting it. The matter is not taken seriously by those who should be able to help - the police, local authorities - leaving the men with nowhere to go to seek escape. Nationwide (England and Wales) there are 7,500 refuges available for women, for men a mere 60.
Now call it a cultural thing, a hidden taboo, but our oh so civilised society seems to think that a man taking bullying or a beating from a woman (or a same sex partner) is either a coward, a wimp or a liar. They don't see him in the same light as they see a woman and quite often don't take the threat seriously, dismissing it with a wave of the hand and an instruction to 'man up'. Well it's damned well time they did take it seriously. Men are getting injured; some are being KILLED in their own homes, by those who purport to love them.
Here are some interesting facts you may not be aware of.
In the UK:
One report suggests that more than 40% of domestic violence victims are male. Source: Guardian Article
The above are appalling statistics you have to agree, yet did we know about them? I certainly didn't. And why? Because it's an issue that is deemed to be 'not that important' and swept under the carpet and not publicised. Some bodies will have you believe that domestic violence against males simply does not exist at all.
Well the cat is now well and truly out of the bag, and statistics like those above should be spread far and wide to make everyone aware of the scale of what goes on behind closed doors. Women get protection, children get protection, hell, even the family gerbil has legal protection from cruelty and violence, so why not a man? Is he any less deserving because of his sex? Less deserving than a rodent? Judging by the statistics it would seem so and it makes me weep at the injustices in our society.
I am UK based, so the links below are too, but wherever you are, a quick Google search will bring you someone who can help.
Men's Advice Line
These organisations need your support. Men, women, everyone - do something positive this Father's Day, make a difference, spread the word that help IS out there. Find them, like them, follow them on Facebook and Twitter if you can, anything, just get them noticed.
Men - please, don't suffer in silence, get help, and not only for yourself. If you know of or even suspect someone of being a victim of domestic violence, of either sex, by speaking out, you may even save a life - it could be yours.