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Violence In Society Essay, Research Paper
The first reaction to hearing about the topic of battered men, people
tend to think of it as being absolutely false or very uncommon. Battered
husbands are a topic for jokes because people always assume that it is the
women who are battered. One researcher noted that wives were the
perpetrators in seventy-three percent of the depictions of domestic violence
in newspaper comics. Battered husbands have historically been either ignored
or subjected to ridicule and abuse. Even those of us who like to consider
ourselves liberated and open-minded often have a difficult time even
imagining that husband battering could take place. Although feminism has
opened many of our eyes about the existence of domestic violence, the abuse
of husbands is a rarely discussed phenomenon. One reason that husband
battering is not investigated is that it is a rare occurrence. Another
reason is that because women were seen as weaker and more helpless than men
pertaining to sex roles, and men on the other hand were seen as more sturdy
and self-reliant. The study of abused husbands is considered to be
In 1974, research was done to compare male and female domestic violence.
In this study, it was found that forty seven percent of husbands had used
physical violence on their wives, and thirty-three percent of wives had used
violence on their husbands(Gelles 1974). Also in 1974, a study was released
showing that the number of murders of women by men was about the same as the
number of murders of men by women. Although it had finally been shown that
there was violence being perpetrated both by wives and husbands, there was no
evidence about the severity or who initiated the abuse and who is acting in
The idea of women being violent is a hard thing for many people to
believe. It goes against the stereotype of the passive and helpless female.
This, in spite of the fact that women are known to be more likely than men to
commit child abuse and child murder. Laws about domestic violence is always
orientated toward the female victim. Society states that it is the woman who
suffer from abuse. These reasons explain why most abused men, no matter how
capable they are of doing so, offer little or no resistance to their
partners’ physical violence. And many women, well aware of these fears, may
actually continue their abuse, knowing they can get away with it. While
battered men find few facilities or support, there are a variety of programs
(many of which are run by feminist men’s groups) to help abusive men deal
more effectively with their violence. But for violent women–strangely
enough–no comparable treatment programs exist. This fact further illustrates
a serious problem: society is simply unwilling–or unable–to acknowledge and
deal with violent women. Resources and facilities to combat domestic
violence are, unfortunately, in short supply due to cutbacks in almost all
social services. Perhaps some battered women’s groups fear that if society
recognizes that men are victims too, what little money is available will be
diverted. But acknowledging men’s victimization in no way involves denying
that women are victims. Women’s groups that help battered women could also
help battered men, while men’s groups that counsel abusive men could make
their expertise available to violent women as well. Continuing to portray
spousal violence solely as a women’s issue is not only wrong–it’s also
counterproductive. And encouraging such unnecessary fragmentation and
divisiveness will ultimately do more harm than good. No one has (or should
have) a monopoly on pain and suffering. But until society as a whole
confronts its deeply ingrained stereotypes and recognizes all the victims of
domestic violence, we will never be able to solve the problem. Domestic
violence is a neither a male or a female issue–it’s simply a human issue.
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