Men suffer abuse and harassment at the hands of others. Either in same sex relationships, or from women. Men can be driven to feel the same sense of worthlessness a woman feels. Can be stripped of everything that makes him unique. What another person says, or does to him, time and time again, can ultimately destroy him. And this is hardly ever talked about.
Our society is destroying men. Even now, when the fight for equality and balanced thinking is at an apex – men as victims of abuse, domestic or otherwise, is still considered a taboo subject. I’m aware that there’s room for a deeper argument here. Perhaps the pressure men put on themselves to live up to what is expected of their gender, doesn’t help matters. But neither does society’s ignorance towards the root cause, and the ongoing problem.
And what happens afterwards too – when some men feel there’s simply no way out of their abusive situation, than to body-and-soul remove themselves from it? This scenario is met with even more deliberate blind-sightedness. Perhaps interpreted as fear. Either way, it isn’t taken seriously. Not by many people, not by many charities. And certainly not by the police. From my experience, a situation of this kind is brushed under the carpet as quickly as possible. Anyone directly involved, discharged within hours. And the broken families, simply left to pick up the pieces.
‘Imagine a virus we don’t fully understand. Imagine it is killing young men in record numbers. It kills three times as many British men as women, although nothing adequately explains why. The government confirms that while almost all other leading causes of death are being slowly eroded by medical and social progress, deaths caused by this virus are at their highest for decades. Yet the money we spend on researching and treating the problem stands at a fraction of what we spend on those other leading causes of death, as do charitable donations from the public.’
The above is taken from Sam Parker’s article ‘What can we do about Britain’s male suicide crisis’ published last year. In sharing this, I’m not at all saying that male suicides are always directly linked to domestic abuse and harassment. They certainly aren’t. But, there is an important link to be made. As with issues of men as victims of abuse, the vulnerable man is in focus. Or more pertinently, out of it. And for some reason, the legitimate presence of male vulnerability isn’t being talked about or properly addressed. Why? I have no idea. But this reaction seems pretty common and consistent, and from where I’m sitting, drives the stigma attached to the man who has been hurt, or who hurts inside, deeper into the foundations of our society. As a result, this makes the issue very, very hard to address. Even for me. A woman, who fully and openly supports the #metoo campaign, can’t seem to get much interest on the importance of #mentoo, as an equally abominable and pressing situation. Not just a fucking footnote. If this is how it is for me, how hard do you think it is for the man who’s actually suffering? Do you think he’ll even suppose he might be taken seriously, or heard?
I sometimes think that if things had been the other way around for my dear brother, he would be behind bars right now. Matthew was the kindest man I know, and the most dignified and often, the quietest. He was the one pushed to the point of no return. And the person who did this to him, hasn’t had to answer to it once.
In two weeks I’ll be 30. I’m writing this post because, what I’d love, is for anyone here considering buying me a little something, to donate a sum of money in the name of the charity ManKind Initiative. They’re a small charity (no surprises there) providing emotional support and practical information for men who are abused and harassed in the home. Because yes, it happens. And yes, it’s a big problem as abuse and harassment towards women.
Today I say #nomore
Charity donations: http://uksaysnomore.org/mankind-initiative-support-available/
Other links: Why will no-one fund male domestic abuse chairites?