Abuse Prevention Expert Says Men Can Be Victims of Domestic Violence Too

By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker

A popular men's issues columnist says an important fact is being ignored during this year's “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

Glenn Sacks is a men's and fathers' issues columnist and host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show His Side with Glenn Sacks. He is also a member of the advisory board of Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE) , an international group set up to help all victims of domestic violence. Sacks says that during October's Domestic Violence Awareness events, most activists and the media commonly focus their attention on abuse against women, but fail to acknowledge that domestic violence is a two-way street.

According to Sacks, the shelter movement that gained momentum in the 1970s and helped save many battered women was originally “very heroic.” But he feels that movement has changed over time, becoming, as often happens, an industry with entrenched notions and multiple avenues for exploitation.

“There is a domestic violence industry, a multi-billion dollar enterprise in the United States, and it's very much wedded to this concept that it's only men who batter and it's only women who suffer,” Sacks says.

According to the columnist, being able to play the “domestic violence card” has given women who choose to divorce enormous power. Among other things, he says, that leverage has allowed some women to use claims of abuse to drive husbands out of their children's lives.

But Sacks notes that current research indicates abuse of wives by husbands is actually decreasing, while abuse of husbands by wives is on the rise. However, the writer says it is unlikely that most people will hear about that evidence during this Domestic Violence Awareness Month, or at any other time.

“Every time [researchers] have studied it in a randomized fashion, they've found that women are just as likely to be abusive as men are,” Sacks says, “but it's not politically correct to talk about men as victims of domestic violence, and it's very politically incorrect to talk about women as being abusers.”

Sacks says in today's society, it is practically taboo to portray women as doing bad things or being evil or cruel. “It's only the man who's bad; it's only the man who's cruel,” he says.

Due in part to this way of thinking, the men's advocate feels men are discouraged from reporting or even admitting that they are being abused. Sacks says he believes many men are hesitant to report abuse because they assume police will automatically treat them as the perpetrator rather than the victim.

According to statistics reported by Menshealth.org, a man is battered every 14 seconds. While 1.8 million wives are assaulted by their husbands each year, two million men are assaulted by wives or girlfriends each year. Women commit 54% of the domestic violence that is termed “severe,” and commit two-thirds of parental child abuse.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press).

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