Thursday — October 07, 2021
by: Joseph Saenz Yanez
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and during this month we connect and collaborate in unity with individuals and other organizations throughout our Nation to raise awareness about domestic violence and share about prevention efforts being made. When one hears the words “domestic violence,” the visualization that comes to mind is typically a female victim of male-inflicted abuse. Although statistics do show that women are more commonly victims of domestic violence, it is important to realize that violence against men is a very REAL issue that is under reported. Why though?
“Be a man!”, “Men don’t cry!”, “Man up!”, “Stop acting like a girl!” and “Suck it Up!” are all phrases that men have heard repeatedly, with a sentiment that conveys the idea that strengths and weaknesses are somehow a part of an individual’s gender. Statements like these have established the idea that men are supposed to be strong and cannot feel hurt or express their emotions, which oftentimes prevents men from reaching out for help when they really need it. Due to the media/societal standards and norms that revolve around the male gender and domestic violence, men often feel embarrassed and/or ashamed to report violence that they experience, or they simply feel that they will not be taken seriously. Sadly, often they aren’t! So, how can we address the stigma surrounding men and DV victimization? The answer begins with letting men know that they are not alone. It is our job as a society to normalize the idea that domestic violence respects no gender, and violence is violence regardless of one’s gender. To help end the stereotype that men must be tough and show no vulnerability or feelings, we must normalize expressing emotions and talking about individual feelings within the family unit, amongst our peers, and in society. Domestic violence is already a sensitive and difficult matter to experience/talk about, so let’s not make it more difficult to address for our future generations.
So, if you are a male who is currently experiencing any form of domestic violence, we encourage you to reach out for help and break the cycle of silence. An advocate can assist you in navigating the system and share with you the various resources that can support you in your specific situation. Our hotline is open 951-392-1919.