Why Domestic Violence Against Men is Invisible

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, November 27, 2018

By Angela Roughton

Community Advocate Inner Banks Hotline

Reliable statistics show that about 1 in 3 women have been physically assaulted by an intimate partner in their lifetime. And about 1 in 4 men have also experienced physical assault by a partner sometime in their life.

These domestic violence figures tell us that this is clearly not an exclusively female issue. Attitudes of male superiority, entitlement, or privilege don’t explain over 4.9 million incidents of domestic violence that happen to men each year. Raising boys to “stuff their emotions” can’t explain the 2.3 million incidents of severe domestic violence perpetrated on men annually.

With domestic violence statistics showing nearly as many male victims as female, why do we so often call it “violence against women”?

Women are more affected by domestic violence; due to biological differences in size and strength, they are more prone to injury or fear of being injured.

Men under-report incidents involving domestic violence more than women. Male victims likely feel more embarrassed and a greater social stigma than their female counterparts.

A man abusing his wife or girlfriend fits with what we expect to see. A woman abusing her husband or boyfriend must have acted in self-defense, we tell ourselves.

Organizations that carry the banner of protecting women are in line to receive government funding and donations. It’s called the Violence Against Women Act, not Violence Against Partners Act.

Our 24-hour Crisis Line number (for women and men) is 1-877-429-5526.

The Inner Banks Hotline offices and Thrift Store are at 507 US Hwy 64 East (beside Family Dollar) in Columbia, telephone 252-796-5526. Thrift Store hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations are accepted in the back in the open carport.

IBX Hotline staff are: Janie Spencer, Executive Director;  Emily Edwards, Client Advocate; Angela Roughton,  Community Advocate; Gloria Owens, Thrift Store Manager; and Lisa Woodley, Faith/Hispanic Outreach Advocate.