When one thinks of domestic violence and sexual harassment, images of battered and traumatized women come to mind, but you’d be surprised to learn that a large number of men are also subjected to such brutalities.
Statistics or accounts of these battered men are hard to find, but they do exist.
Jed Diamond, a victim of domestic violence, describes his experience, “Like many men in these kinds of relationships, I sank deeper into despair, and became more and more cut off from friends. I was ashamed to tell anyone that my wife was abusing me. I already felt like a poor excuse for a man since I couldn’t seem to stand up for myself. The thought of telling others that I was a hopeless wimp, which was how I saw myself, made me feel even more demeaned.”
Sounds strange coming from a man doesn’t it? But he’s not the only one.
According to a research in US, “In 100 domestic violence situations approximately 40 cases involve violence by women against men. An estimated 400,000 women per year are abused or treated violently in the United States by their spouse or intimate partner. This means that roughly 300,000 to 400,000 men are treated violently by their wife or girl friend. “
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 16.3% of men (an estimated 2.7 million individuals) in the UK experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16.
Domestic violence against men can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse as well as threats of abuse. The phenomenon can occur in heterosexual or same sex relationships.
A former employee of Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford recently accused him of sexual harassment.
Rutherford was accused of luring the male employee to his home, touching him inappropriately, and offering bribes and issuing threats in response to rejection.
The first court case involving sexual harassment of a man in the workplace was in 1995. The case was a Domino’s Pizza female supervisor who sexually harassed a male store manager by caressing him and even pinching his buttocks. She later fired him.
The case went to trial in Tampa and the manager was awarded $237,000 in damages.
For quite a number of men, sexual harassment is a reality.
“Many people mistakenly believe that harassment is limited to females,” says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, a human resource expert. “The truth is that this type of experience is just as damaging to men.”
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOCA) in 2011, 16.3% men filed charges of sexual harassment.
Men are routinely undermined by their gender and are limited by the stereotypes society has placed on them. Certain careers, like being a nurse or nanny, are considered reserved for women.
“From Family Guy to The Simpsons to King of Queens, men are always depicted on television as grossly incompetent knuckle-draggers. According to Marge, Homer "chews with his mouth open, hangs out at a seedy bar with bums and lowlifes, blows his nose in towels and puts them back, and scratches himself with his keys.
Similarly, Family Guy's Peter Griffin is a lovable oaf who "isn't afraid to say what's on his freakin' mind — usually the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time," says Ryan Murphy.
As Kelly R. Barkhausen-Rojahn rightly puts it, “In the long fight for women’s rights, we sometimes forget that there can be collateral damage. As we work to bring them up, we have to make sure we aren’t accidentally dragging men down.”