Social justice

Male Domestic Violence Survivors

October has come to a close and another domestic violence awareness month has gone. I wanted talk about the men who have suffered or are still suffering from domestic violence. Men also experience domestic violence, it is not just a woman’s issue.

Statistically speaking the reported incidents of domestic violence are higher for women than men. The perpetrators of domestic violence are often men.But it happens to men as well and I think they are often left out of the conversation.

In my childhood home my mother terrorized and abused my stepdad. She would abuse him and then he would abuse me. When I went with him on the road in the truck he never hit me. He was a totally different person away from my mother. As a child this really confused me.

As I have been writing my memoirs I have been reflecting on this part of my life and have been looking at it through my current adult/educated lens. The memories have been staying in my brain, circulating around like trash on a windy street. I keep seeing my mom hitting him over the head with her ceramic coffee cup while he was driving. Him pleading with her to stop and that he was afraid he would crash the car and kill us all. My mom chasing him around a vacant lot in the car while my sister and I were bouncing around in the back seat. Her insisting that he had to “beat me” and him protesting at first that he didn’t want to hit me. I remember him telling me that his mother used extension cords to beat him so what he did to me wasn’t that bad. I think that was how he reconciled his behavior, it was always not ” quiet as bad as what he got”.

I recently heard a description of abuse: ” people who don’t heal their pain continue to pass that pain onto those they love”. I think my stepdad was tortured his entire life and was never in a place to heal his pain. I however have been given the space and support to heal mine. I ended this cycle with my own children. I healed my pain because the thought of passing it on to my own children terrified me.

My mom got a divorce from her husband several years ago. She fired a gun at him over a disagreement about a TV show. She was so angry that he actually called the police on her! He has gotten remarried and moved on. I don’t hold any love in my heart for my stepdad, he was really awful to me. I feel like I understand why he is the way he is. I still go out of my way to avoid him and I do not want him in my life or my children’s lives. He is extremely unstable and I am afraid of what he is capable of. I do see how possibly he came to be that way. I wish him the best in possibly finding some healing and recovery from the nightmare that has been his life.

To all the men out there with scars and open wounds from domestic violence we see you. You do matter and you are part of the conversation. You deserve to feel safe, loved and valued.

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