Why The Odds Are Stacked So High Against Male Victims Of Domestic Abuse | 5Why:
The damning evidence of Amber Heard’s abusive, aggressive and manipulative behaviour towards Jonny Depp is a chilling reminder of the side to domestic violence we’re not so used to seeing. For years, people close to Depp were standing in strong defence of his loving nature and gentle character, yet cries of mercy for the star fell on deaf ears.
The fact we’re used to the alternative, of violence against women, shouldn’t deter us from awarding male victims the fair hearing they’re entitled to.
The high profile of Depp shouldn’t deceive us into thinking that male victims of domestic abuse are rare. 1 in 20 men have been sexually assaulted and/or threatened since the age of 15. Whilst the statistics for male violence certainly don’t level to the same heights as females, it’s still a statistic, there are still experiences, and stigmas are preventing males from speaking out – or when they do, they’re voices are ignored.
Stigmas associated with male victims speaking out against their abusers are often that they’re weak or the violence is in fact their own fault. Support sites routinely feature the question,
“What if people don’t believe me?”
Whilst the benefits of the strength and perseverance of the #metoo campaign are beyond question, it seems its enduring momentum has rendered it almost impossible for male victims to receive our objective support. We’re so entrenched with a single sided view to domestic violence that we’ve all but forgotten that perpetrators are females, too.
Domestic violence and abuse have, unfortunately, dominated social feeds in recent months. The allegations stacked up against disgraced R&B singer, R. Kelly and now, those defaming the late Michael Jackson have been followed by social reactions that almost mirror each other. Both artists have had music pulled from all streaming platforms and airways. It then begs the question, if Heard is now too a perpetrator, should Aquaman be boycotted?
There seems to be such a prejudice against males as perpetrators at the moment that I highly doubt similar reactions will incur. Heard is a perpetrator here, let us ensure she doesn’t escape a hefty judgement simply because she represents a side to the story we’re not used to seeing.