Tuesday, October 10, 2006

domestic abuse, there's no excuse

Man walks down the street, punches a random stranger in the face. Turns out he has 'issues' from his childhood. Who do you feel sorry for? I figure people usually feel sorry for the victim/ Strange thing is, when the victim is the man's partner, sympathy is often turned to the perpetrator. Yup, you read it right. Some folk feel sorry for the guy who threw the punch.

I felt I had left this issue behind for a while, but it seems to be cropping up in a number of blogs I've been reading lately. Also, at the Buddhist Centre recently, a fellow explorer of the Middle Way (not one of the order members, but a fellow attendee) tried to convince me that these poor men who abuse their partners are more to be pitied.

No. Way

Let me put it on the record. These 'poor' men who have 'anger' and 'control' issues generally manage to control their anger when they are in the company of a 6' rugby player, or a policeman or generally any member of Joe Public. They generally manage to control their anger enough to avoid making any visible injury. Of course, sometimes they screw up, pour souls - you can tell when because their partner manages to walk into (yet another) door. Or they go just a wee tad too far and kill the woman. Mind you, I dare say she was asking for it - probably didn't get his tea to the table on time.

Here are a few stats: 1 in 4 women may experience violence in their relationships with men (Women's Aid Federation [England] report, 1992) Severe, repeated and systematic violence occurs in at least 5 of every hundred marriages in Britain; Between 40 and 45% of murdered women are killed by thir male partners; Between 1 and 2 women are murdered by their male partners every week; more than 25% of all violent crime reported to the police is domestic violence of men against women, making it the second most common violent crime; (Domestic Violence - Action for Change, G. Hague & E. Malos, 1993) 100,000 women per year seek treatment in London for violent injuries received in the home (Punching Judy, BBC1 TV programme, 1989)

You won't be surprised to know that I have suffered domestic abuse at the hands of a previous partner - apart form my obvious interest in the subject, the statistics alone make it fairly likely.

I won't tar all men with the same brush. Mr India is a wonderful man and I will not insult or demean him and men such as him by implying all men are the same. However, I REALLY WISH that folk would engage their brain on this subject. Why is it that when ever the subject of violence against women comes up I hear the refrain 'But women abuse men, too.' I know this. But I Was talking about violence against women. Why is it that people seek to justify the unjustifiable? ' He was worried/drunk/had a hard time as a child.'

You know what naffs me off the most? Just as in the example at the Buddhist Centre, it is usually the women that espouse this heap of nonsense.



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