African culture tends to give credence to the belief that domestic violence perpetrated by women on men does not exist. People think that women are the only victims of Domestic violence, but contrary is the case in many families.
When a story about a man being a victim of domestic violence is reported, people laugh it off in disbelief. This is because women tend to report more than men. I am neither for nor against any gender when it comes to domestic violence, what is wrong is wrong no matter who was caught. The worst thing that happens in life is when people go through emotional pains and can’t share it; this affects virtually all our activities in life.
Societal definition of a man is “that gender that is superior and not permitted to cry or show weakness no matter the circumstances”. Men feel reluctant to report abuse due to fear that they won’t be believed or so as not to feel embarrassed. They also do not want to face the stigma of lack of machismo. Society does not recognize that there are men who are also vulnerable, men who are not perpetrators but victims.
Men find it hard to see themselves as victims of domestic violence because of the fear of losing face in the society, family, workplace and being ridiculed. Men grow up in society where “heroism is synonymous to manliness”.
People think domestic violence is just limited to violence, emotional and verbal abuse can be worse because you leave them thinking and making decisions that normally should not be. It makes men feel less of themselves, belittled and humiliated, this reduces their ego to nothing. Most women hit, punch, spit, kick, push, destroy properties even bite their spouses. Many go to the extent of attacking them when they are asleep. Some women deprive their spouses of their sexual rights, that your libido has reduced or you don’t have at all does not give you the right to deny your spouse his marital right, but when they cheat, the whole community will hear; cheating is wrong though. Some of these women under the cover of being dedicated to their religion forgets that The-Maker has made the man the head of the home. How can you pick and choose what you want in your religion, if you keep one and forget the other, you have failed in all. Some men face domestic violence when they are sick and unable to stand their ground, you will see some cases where their medication are taken away from them as a punishment most especially the elderly ones. It can also occur when women make false allegation about men to families, friends, employers and religious head. Even to the Police or their children in order to frustrate or punish them. Forcefully taking away his belongings to stop him from going out and trying to control where they go or who they see, even stopping them from relating with their family members and friends.
I am not writing this to condemn women or for my readers to hate or judge women but for the society to know that men are also victims and deserve to be listened to and also to be believed. People should not rush to condemn men when family issues are being reported.
I want to use this medium to reach out to all men out there who face these challenges that people are aware and you are not alone in this situation. Speak out, find help. Admitting the problem and seeking help does not make you less of a man or a husband, you did not bring it upon yourself and also it does not mean you are weak. It can only bring you relief and possibly permanent end to the problem. There are avenues for your protection just like female victims. It’s ok to tell.
You are loved!!!