The national coalition against domestic violence says one in three women have experienced domestic violence during their lives. Specifically, nearly 20 people per minute suffer physical abuse do to the actions of an intimate dating partner or spouse. This equates to 10 million people per year. The numbers can be broken down even further to illustrate that 1 in 4 women and 1 and 9 men experience physical violence do to the actions of their spouse or intimate dating partner. It is eye opening to realize, 1 in 4 women and 1 and 7 men have experienced severe physical violence meaning they were strangled, burned ect…
No legitimate sources dispute that domestic violence against women is a serious problem and unequivocally an ongoing and dangerous situation problem for women all over the United States including Texas. However, violence against men does not garner the same attention. Should domestic violence against men be given equal treatment?
Domestic violence committed by men against women has a far worse result. Men that physically attack their spouse are far more likely to kill them. Perhaps its not even fair to compare the two. The issue is that men have also been victims of domestic violence. I have represented men stabbed, beaten or run over by their girlfriend or wife. I have also represented a far greater number of men that have been falsely accused of domestic violence after their significant other has assaulted them. The police are not as likely to believe that men are being abused. Men are also unlikely to report such crimes for fear of not being believed and the shame associated with making such an accusation. A lot of times, communication sent by the parties via text or email become very important in proving who is the victim. Many false allegations occur after the other party has threatened to break up, or cut off financial support of their partner.
Socially, people do not give much concern to violence against men by their wives or dating partners. To a certain degree the entertainment industry treats female on male violence as a joke. To illustrate this point look to the Muppets and “All around to Mrs. Browns.” The former depicting Kermit taking the brunt of Ms. Piggy’s assaults, and the latter having depicted a real-life domestic abuse case. The show depicted aired this segment as a comedy and gave the women an award given out on the show called “mammy of the week. Specifically, the segment had the daughter describe how her mother would assault her father with household object and on at least one occasion with a knife while the audience laughed. These shows expose the double standard of placed on male victims of domestic violence.
The question is whether social stigma combined with shows such as the two listed above make male victims of domestic violence more vulnerable? In our society we have a stigma that surrounds male victims of domestic violence, and we have an idea of what a real man looks like and a real man is not a victim of domestic violence by his wife or girlfriend.
I had a case a few years ago where I represented a man accused of family violence. The entire family said the man was the victim and not the perpetrator. The family described a long continuous violent history by the wife. Law enforcement, the prosecution and the court did not believe the man. In a subsequent accusation that was refuted beyond a reasonable doubt, law enforcement refused to pursue charges on the wife for filing a false police report. Quoting a policy not to dissuade victims of family violence from reporting the crime. We had absolute proof that the accusation was entirely false. Still no charges.
Violence is never funny, should never be the subject of humor, and never create a social stigma. Disrespecting any group of victims hurts all victims of violence. Those people accused of domestic violence deserve the same fair and equal treatment regardless of gender. We should all be afforded our due process protections under the United States Constitution. If you are the victim of family violence you should never feel stigmatized or discouraged from reporting that criminal offense.
If you are accused of family violence, have a criminal charge, protective order or divorce or child custody case filed against you please call my office if you have any questions at (512) 335- 5245.
Clifford Swayze is committed to his clients and advocating for their well-being. In addition, to helping clients with divorce and family law matters, Clifford Swayze is an experienced and skilled child custody lawyer practicing in the following communities in and around Round Rock, and Williamson County, Texas:
Cedar Park, Round Rock, Leander, Georgetown, Liberty Hill, Hutto, Taylor, Killeen, Temple, Coppers Cove and Austin.