Domestic violence continues to contribute to an already divorce rate that is astronomical. It can cause death, illness, injury, disability, emotional and psychological trauma, homelessness, alcoholism, drug abuse, and physical health injuries. These traumatic outcomes are not limited to women.
According to national studies by multiple organizations, 16 percent of domestic violence victims are men. Some of the symptoms of domestic violence include:
- The intimate partner calls the victim names, insults him or constantly criticizes him
- The intimate partner tries to prevent the victim from leaving the house, getting a job or going to school
- The intimate partner isolates the victim from friends or family
- The intimate partner acts jealous or accuses the other party of misconduct
- The intimate partner makes a threat or mentions having a weapon
- The intimate partner physically harms the victim by hitting, punching, slapping, biting, choking, kicking or otherwise inflicting physical harm
- The intimate partner abuses or threatens to abuse the victim’s child or pet
- The intimate partner forces the victim to engage in unwanted sexual behavior
- The intimate partner blames the victim for his or her behavior
Men are less likely to report incidents of domestic violence. Women are 7 to 14 times more likely to report domestic violence than men. This is a result of the stereotyping regarding men and women. The American culture emphasizes male domination, prowess and strength. Being a male victim of domestic violence does not correspond to this stereotype. Additionally, gender norms associate men with being naturally stronger than women, causing many men to believe that they can handle the situation and choose not to report the domestic violence events.
Men are also reluctant to report domestic violence because law enforcement officers
may not take the allegations seriously. Furthermore, there are fewer resources available to assist male victims of domestic violence when compared to woman who are allegedly victimized. Some men may be afraid that if they report domestic violence because they may be sought a perpetrator rather than a victim.
Various researchers studying women’s violent behavior toward intimate partners have asserted that women’s main motivation is self-defense. Many have found that women who use physical force against intimate partners are battered women themselves and strike out to stop attacks on themselves and/or to escape such attacks. A number of other studies point to a medley of reasons for battered women’s assaultive behavior that ranges from retaliating or punishing for past hurt to gaining emotional attention, expressing anger, and reacting to frustration as well as stress (Bachman & Carmody, 1994; Dasgupta, 1999; Faith, 1993; Fiebert & Gonzalez, 1997; Follingstad, Wright, & Sebastian, 1991; Gonzalez, 1997; Hamberger et al., 1994, 1997; Lillja, 1995; Straus, 1999). Taken individually, the majority of these reasons would not generally meet the standards of legal or social approval as they are not executed in self-defense.
The need for self-defense from a wife is an indication that the wife feels threatened. The husband needs to begin with a self-evaluation. This self-evaluation is based on the primary tenets of the Original Design of Marriage. The three components of the Original Design of Marriage include – Purpose, Path, and Position.
Without purpose, it is impossible for the husband to lead his wife. When a husband does not have a purpose, his wife will determine the purpose for him. The natural response is for the husband to become offended resulting in the need for the wife to maintain a self-defensive posture.
Next, the husband must know his path. His path is determined by the instructions that God has provided for how to interact with his wife. According to Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. If a husband loves his wife in the way that Christ loved the church, there is no need for the wife to feel that she must resort to self-defense to protect herself.
Finally, the husband must know his position. His position is the team leader. Which ultimately means that his wife is the ultimate team player. Since effective team players focus on the success of the team there is no need to treat the wife in such a matter that she must resort to self-defense to ensure that she is not a victim of domestic violence.
Dr. Derrick and Minister Sheila Campbell
PO Box 4707
Cherry Hill, NJ 08012
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