Domestic violence affects both genders

Ronel Ghidey

Three weeks ago, a man and a woman were fighting outside of Walmart. The woman hit the man, which created no disturbance, and a dozen people passed by them with no care.
This reaction isn’t an uncommon one. Many people believe that domestic violence is an issue that affects only women, when it’s actually an issue that affects everyone.Granted, domestic violence is a serious issue that statistically affects more women than men.
For example, three women a day are killed by an ex-male partner. More than 38 million women in the U.S. alone have experienced abuse in their lifetime, and about four million females a year are domestically abused. Violence against women is still, and always will be a huge issue that the American society needs to address more frequently.
But it’s violence against men that lacks the most attention. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four men will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. Although these statistics aren’t as jaw-dropping as the ones for females, they are still sobering.
It’s important to remember that men, not just women, are also victims of domestic violence. However, there is a blatant disregard for female or male on male violence by American society.
The Department of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach, compiled a study that examined 286 scholarly investigations, and realized that in a relationship, women are more violent than men.
Granted, when they are violent it’s usually not to the extreme extent as when men are, but the fact remains that women are not the stereotype of being weak and nonthreatening. Abuse against males exists, and it is important to talk about it. Oftentimes, however, violence toward men is not taken as seriously as violence against women.
If a significant other beats a man, society usually sees him as weak or blames him for the encounter. He’s less likely to get the amount of sympathy an abused woman would. A modern day example of this scenario is Hope Solo.
Solo, a soccer player for the United States soccer team, attacked her nephew and half sister last year, and faced assault charges.
Even though the charges were never cleared, FIFA allowed her to play in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. That, along with the lack of media covering her case, shows how much of a disparity there is between how people react to domestic violence against men and violence against women.
The media coverage of Solo’s case was very different from how newspapers across the country wrote about the infamous actions of football player Ray Rice.
Rice sparked a scandal after assaulting his then fiancée (now wife) Janay Palmer at the Ravel casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
After a video of Rice’s altercation submerged, his contract with the Baltimore Raven’s ended, he was suspended for two games and he was indicted by a grand jury on third-degree aggravated assault with a fine of $15,000.
A surprising fact behind this situation is that six weeks later, Rice and Palmer got married. This shows how much of a difference the media interprets domestic violence. Even though Rice was forgiven by his significant other, he was continuously attacked by the media, while Solo, whose case is still unresolved, barely gets mentioned.
This shows how cases of domestic violence are not taken as seriously when women are the perpetrator and are not dealt with the same severity as cases where the man is the assailant.
Although there’s a multitude of examples of domestic violence cases where a man can be the victim, the main point is that people should not forget that domestic violence is an issue that affects everyone. This is a serious problem, one that cannot be truly fixed if it’s not fully addressed.
So the next time you see a man and a woman in a relationship enter into an altercation, don’t let your double standards against men distract you from the scenario at hand: anyone hitting another human being they are supposed to love is never okay. It is important to speak up against all forms of domestic violence, regardless of the gender of the victim.
Infographic by Neil Cathro