Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

Date: December 27, 2012

Men Don’t Tell…About Being Abused

I post because of Richard, because of Chris, because violence and abuse against anyone must be stopped.  And Richard’s abuser constantly stalks my blog because she knows I’m telling the truth.

Here is a fascinating page about domestic violence against men, Men Don’t Tell About Being Abused.  It begins with a description of the movie Men Don’t Tell, which can be watched on that page:

On March 14, 1993, CBS aired “Men Don’t Tell”, a TV movie about domestic violence starring Peter Strauss and Judith Light. The twist: Strauss’s character, construction executive Ed MacAffrey, was abused by his wife Laura, played by Light.

Based on a true story, it dramatizes the story of a loving husband, who is terrorized by the violent behavior of his wife.  He had long endured the physical and emotional abuse heaped upon him by his neurotic wife.

Ed MacAffrey tolerates this not only because he loves her and is concerned over the welfare of his daughter, but also because men are traditionally regarded as weaklings if they allow themselves to be battered by their wives.

After one of Laura’s destructive tantrums brings the attention of the police, Ed is suspected of being the aggressor!

Finally, Laura goes too far and Ed tries to defend himself–whereupon Laura crashes through the front window of her home and is rendered comatose. Ed is arrested for Domestic Violence and Attempted Murder.

It also links to a page which reads,

After its initial broadcast, CBS came under pressure to never show the movie again, or allow for its release on VHS. Nor has any other movie of its type ever been made again. 

WHY? The movie had a twist to it. Based on a true story, the main character, construction executive Ed MacAffrey, was being abused by his wife, Laura.

Starring Peter Strauss and Judith Light, the movie was the first of its kind to ever be made addressing the problems and issues of 40% of domestic violence victims, who happen to be male.

March is the 20th anniversary of the original broadcast. Join the effort to get CBS to rebroadcast the movie, and bring together the still surviving members of the original cast and the director, Harry Winer, for interviews of the making of the only movie ever made addressing the problems of male victims of domestic violence.

Actually, I have seen other such movies.  One is the movie version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

Another is an independent movie about three men who share a lodge for annual get-togethers: One marries a woman who begins battering him, while sitting home and doing nothing, until he tries to leave and she starts physically stalking him.

She even goes to an agent hoping to get a song? published, but abuses the receptionist in a psychotic rage.  (One of the men is a college professor who cheats with a co-ed.)

Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, just that it was an independent movie made in the late 1990s or 2000s.  I have seen the actors in other movies, but forget who they were.

Also on the original page is a video of an investigation by ABC News, showing bystander reactions to men being abused by women.  This video disturbs me greatly.  The couple may be actors, but the bystanders don’t know that.

What is the matter with people that instead of reacting to this apparent abuse the same way as if it were done by a man to his girlfriend/wife, they walk on by and even cheer her on, saying he “looked guilty” and they figured he deserved it?  I’m glad that somebody, at least, called 911!

I can understand if they were scared: Women who abuse their husbands/boyfriends/children are just as scary as men.  If you confront her, or if she discovers through other means that you feel she’s abusing her husband and children and needs to STOP, she’ll turn on you.

I saw this firsthand, which is why I’m so concerned about this subject.  I saw things Tracy did to her husband and children (such as verbal abuse, ridicule, hitting, screaming at the top of her lungs, smacking a tiny child on the back of the head), I heard from the husband about even more things (such as hitting and punching him, even worse verbal tirades, verbally abusing the children and spanking them too hard).

She tried to force me to be friends with her or else she’d punish me in various ways, such as accusing me of moving in on her husband, ridiculing anything I did or said, trying to shame me, going off on me in jealous rages, acting all sweet to my face while telling her husband how horrible I was, accusing me of nefarious motives for keeping my distance from her.

The psychological torture was subtle but strong.  She kept pinning the blame on me for everything, just as she did her husband and children and anybody else she had a disagreement with, and saying I was the one who needed to change my behavior, that I deserved what I got.  (You don’t EVER deserve abuse!)

She convinced her husband to go along with it, even to agree with her.  She crowed in triumph, not just privately but publicly, when my friend finally betrayed me.

He allowed her to pull out the stops and verbally abuse me full-force, accusing me of things that were not true–when he knew DANG well that I did not deserve any of it, that I was innocent of her charges, that she was blaming me and yelling at me for things he had done, things that had been his idea.

The emotional fallout has been devastating as I try to sort out what happened and crawl back up from feeling just the way she wanted me to feel, like a worm, like I should be ashamed, even though I had done nothing to be ashamed of.

Imagine what it’s like to be related to or married to such a person, unable to just walk away and cut them out of your life.

So I would certainly understand if these bystanders were scared of her, because there is something to be scared of.  Women like this are dangerous.  They could turn the beating on you.  They could tell you to mind your own d*** business.

It takes courage to stand up and say hey, stop doing that!–courage that I wish I had had.  But no, these people walked by because they didn’t think it was that big of a deal!  One even said that she herself is too nice and should do more of what the actress was doing.

Women should know very well what other women are capable of verbally and physically, that they’re not all angels, because we deal with such females as this all the time growing up and in the workplace.

And imagine what it must be like to be the husband or child of someone who feels she has free reign to abuse you–and you can’t get out, whether because of the stigma, love, lack of resources, or the very good chance that you’ll be the one arrested or losing the children to her.

But there’s still a stigma against men who are abused, that they either deserved it or are wimps.  That a small woman couldn’t possibly harm a larger man.  It just isn’t true, and what about the children who are smaller than the woman?

Then people try to tell their stories and hear things like, “What did you do to get her so mad?” or “You should forgive!” or “Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.”

I post to raise awareness.  I feel helpless because I did all I felt I could do, but it wasn’t enough, I couldn’t stop it.  But if society starts treating men who are abused the same way it treats women, maybe things can at least improve.

But this post at the bottom of the page, from Male Victim on 2/20/11, makes me feel better about stepping in, disastrous as it may have been:

Please please please, if you see anything that might even remotely look like abuse, for a man or woman, step in. Error on the side of thinking there is instead of ignoring.

Myths and Realities of Domestic Abuse Against Men

I post because of Richard, and because of Chris.  Richard’s wife stalks my blog because she knows I’m telling the truth, and she can’t stand it, because abusers don’t want the truth about them to get out.  Her constantly stalking me–rather than just laughing it off–is proof.

It’s amazing to hear of people not believing that women can abuse men.  Does nobody remember “The Taming of the Shrew” anymore, or words like termagant?  Is it a man’s fault if he’s henpecked so heavily that his spirit is broken?  Is it really okay for women to hit men or verbally abuse them?

I’d hear girls say to boys on the playground, “Boys can’t hit girls, but girls can hit boys.”  This was between first and second grade, and yet I already knew that was a screwed-up attitude, that it was neither just nor fair.

Growing up, I could identify girls who were just as mean as any boy bully could be.  Their bullying could be verbal and emotional, as girls do to screw with each others’ heads, or physical, such as when I saw clumps of hair all over the girls’ locker room one day after two girls had been fighting.

I avoided such girls as much as I could, though unfortunately they would come after me anyway.

In high school, one day I sat in a classroom as a girl and a boy passed the open doorway–and I heard a loud smack as the girl punched the boy in the arm.  I knew that wasn’t right.

So why do people act like it’s no big deal for a woman to abuse a man, or like it’s not even possible?  Maybe some men think all women are angels and couldn’t possibly do this, but us women should all know better!

Here is a website naming 8 Myths and Realities of Domestic Abuse Against Men.

MYTH #1–ONLY MEN WHO ARE WIMPS ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE ABUSED BY WOMEN….Men who are physically assaulted by their abusive partners via punches, bites, kicks to the groin, attacked while they are driving and hit with hard objects etc. without retaliating are the real men.

I see this attitude on occasion, that abused men are wimps.  I even saw it in Youtube comments on the movie Men Don’t Tell.  What do they expect men to do to stop the abuse against them–smack the b**** up?

I even heard from a shocking source, “If she hits me in the face, I’ll fight back, and no judge in the state will convict me.”  This from a man who is much larger than his wife and could smash her like a bug if he got angry enough.

Is that how you’ll protect yourself–by killing your wife?  Is sitting in jail for assault or even murder going to keep you safe?

MYTH #2 – THE ABUSER IS THE BIGGER, STRONGER PERSON AND THE VICTIM IS THE SMALLER, WEAKER PERSON….Callers to our helpline have reported that they have had their arms broken, been stabbed and shot at, been hit with heavy objects that caused them to go to the emergency room to get stitches and had their intimate partners try to run them over with a vehicle.

Numerous abused men have reported life-threatening injuries at the hands of their intimate partners.

Not just that, but women can be skilled at twisting your mind through emotional, verbal and psychological abuse.  Just ask any target of mean girls in school.  Do you think those mean girls grow up to be sweet and kind?

MYTH #3 – WOMEN ONLY USE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN SELF DEFENSE.

I’ve seen a woman smacking her husband on the arm in anger.  Not play, anger.  That is domestic violence.  And as a witness, I saw absolutely no reason for her to do this.  He was not smacking her or in any way intimidating her; he was just sitting there, and something he did or said–I did not know what–had upset her.

He also tells me she’s gotten so angry that she would punch him, that he would restrain himself, but if she ever hit his face during these sessions, he would lose control and fight back.  How is it self-defense, then, for her to hit him, period?

MYTH #4 – IF THE ABUSE WAS THAT BAD HE WOULD LEAVE BECAUSE A MAN CAN EASILY LEAVE A RELATIONSHIP.

Can he, when he’s the one taking care of the kids and house while she makes the money because she makes more?  When it’s been ingrained in his head that men are not supposed to leave, that it would be a sin against God to divorce his abusive wife?

For the most part, incidents of domestic violence have been found to increase in severity when a victim leaves. Leaving an abusive situation requires resources such as money, housing, transportation, and support structures, all of which may have been eroded by life with an abuser.

Men stay for many of the same reasons women stay in abusive relationships. These are just a few:
• to protect their children from an abusive parent;
• family is important, when they got married it was for life;
• their abuser controls the finances;
• the abuser makes promises to change and/or get help for their violent behavior;
• they love their partners and don’t want the relationship to end, just the abuse;
they feel and/or are told they are responsible for the abuse that is perpetrated upon them.

MYTH # 7 – RESEARCH SHOWS THAT IN 95-98% OF THE CASES WOMEN ARE THE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND MEN ARE THE PERPETRATORS.

I know of at least two men (Richard and Chris) who have been physically battered by their wives.  And those are just people with whom I’ve been close enough in contact the last few years that I would know this.  Or wait, maybe that’s three, based on some Facebook posts I’ve seen….

My Facebook friend count is in the low 200s, so out of that, 3 is about 6%.  Even 2 would be 4%.  Or maybe that’s 4 men, come to think of it, which would make it 8%…..Who knows how many of the guys just on my Facebook have been battered?

And as the article goes on to note,

Patriarchy and oppression of women does not account for the high rate at which domestic violence happens to lesbians, gay men, transgendered people or heterosexual men. Domestic abuse is said to occur in approximately 30 to 40% of GLBT relationships.

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