Because men abuse: Men commit the great majority of domestic and sexual violence. Even when men are victimized, other men are most often the perpetrators.
Because men are abused: We often don’t think or talk about it, but it’s a fact. Men are not immune to the epidemics of domestic and sexual violence. Nor are male survivors safe from the stigma that society attaches to victims. When reporting abuse, male survivors are often doubted, called gay, or blamed for their own victimization. Frequently they respond, as do many female survivors, by remaining silent and suffering alone.
Because violence confines men: Taking into account that 97% of domestic and sexual violence is perpetrated by men, it becomes virtually impossible for women to distinguish from “safe guys” and men who are dangerous, and may potentially abuse. The result is a society with its guard up. Relationships with men are approached with fear and mistrust. Intimacy is limited by the constant threat of violence.
Because men know survivors: At some point in every man’s life, someone close to him will likely disclose that they are a survivor of abuse. Men must be prepared to respond with sensitivity, compassion, and understanding. Ignorance on the part of men can only hinder the healing process and may even contribute to the survivor feeling even more victimized. A supportive male presence during a survivor’s recovery, however, can be invaluable.
Because men can stop abuse: Abuse is about maintaining power and control. For abuse to stop, men must be empowered to make different choices. All men can play a vital role in this process by speaking to other men about behaviors that support abuse, and by raising awareness about the damaging impact of abuse.