Domestic Violence: Women do it too.

This article highlights domestic violence against women, and domestic violence perpetrated by women.

I imagine that when most people hear the phrase domestic violence, the automatic image of a man hitting a women appears. In most cases of domestic violence, it is a man hitting a women. However, it is important to note that while the majority of domestic violence cases result in battery of women, there are other major components of domestic violence.

What is domestic violence?

Merriam-Webster defines domestic violence as, “the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another; also : a repeated or habitual pattern of such behavior.” Domestic violence usually involves someone hitting another person in a close and intimate setting. The infliction of a “physical injury” is common, but it is not the only form of abuse. It is important to realize that verbal and financial abuse are also major problems in relationships. Verbal abuse can be anything regarding name-calling, swearing, and yelling. If a husband were to continuously yell and call his wife a bitch, that would be verbal abuse. There may not be any form of hitting or physical contact, but it is still considered domestic abuse. Financial abuse is when an abuser takes away someone’s access to money or financial stability. Kerry Washington went onto Ellen Degeneres’s talk show and explained how financial abuse is one of the most used forms of abuse. If a husband takes away his wife’s financial access, she is more inclined to have to stay in that relationship. If a woman were to decide to leave that abusive relationship, often times she will return because she cannot support herself.

Women also commit domestic violence.

As women, it is important to realize that domestic violence does not just affect women. The stereotype of women having to be nurturing and wanting to watch over and take care of children is not always true. Many abusive attacks on children are committed by women. Children are affected by abuse when it is physically impacted on themselves, and when they have to witness physical abuse. Children often do not have the ability to express when abuse is happening to them. They do not have the voice to speak up and express the pain being inflicted onto them by female abusers. If children were not often seeking medical care due to domestic abuse, we might not even have evidence to support the fact that female violence exists. The famous novel titled The Child Called “It”, is a perfect example of female abuse in the household. The novel is an autobiography about a boy named Dave, and his horrible childhood of being beaten and tortured by his alcoholic mother. Dave stays obedient to his mother and does not tell his school teachers about what she does to him, even when they ask. He tries to protect his mother because he lives in fear of what she might do to him.

Double Standard

We must take into consideration all forms of domestic violence. Making men out to seem like they are the only ones that can contribute to heinous acts of violence will only disadvantage women. Women cannot be excused for being violent simply because they are women. Although it is rarely documented, women do hit men, but there is a double standard. When women hit men it is not seen as a big deal. In fact, in today’s media, we see many images of women slapping men in movies and on television. If a man were to say something offensive to the woman, she would respond by slapping him and this is totally normal. What if the woman said something offensive to the man and he responded by slapping her? This would be seen as abuse.

Women are able to manipulate men and other women. Women are able to beat and yell at their children. We must change societies perspective that domestic abuse only happens when men hit women. Although men do hit women, women hit men as well. Playing into the idea that men only hit women will enforce the stereotypes of men being “macho”. It also tells men that it is acceptable to be the “dominant” person in a traditional relationship. It also enforces the suggestion of women always being the victim and being submissive.

This is a quote from the article ““Ending Violence” from Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics” by bell hooks. Page 63.

Do not teach your sons that violence is a means of control.

There is also the problem of mothers telling their sons that it is acceptable to use violence in order to enforce power. Telling children that violence is the solution to exerting power is problematic because children are impressionable. Mothers telling their sons that violence is acceptable means that the cycle of abuse will not end. It is important for boys to learn from a young age that any sort of violence against women is not acceptable. If they do not learn then they will grow up with the idea that they can use violence to achieve anything they want, and that men are allowed to violent.

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