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  Male Victims of Violence go Unnoticed
by J. Grant Swank, Pastor
26 October 2002

This is domestic violence awareness month. Even though women are responsible for comparable amounts of domestic violence incidents against men, why is everyone only focusing on violence against women?


In Maine, police discover males hiding in closets and under beds. The
officers have responded to domestic violence cases when they come upon such
finds. In many instances, the police report, the males are hidden by
females they've beaten.

Sick.

In one case, Lewiston officers, doing a routine check, opened an apartment
door to hear a male yell, "I thought I was safe. You guys always come on
Mondays."

Sick.

Some evenings, police make up to four arrests for domestic violence-related
incidents. The female victims are then sent data about local help centers
and a team of officers is obliged to make a visit at the home.

In Lewiston, female-as-victim abuse doesn't appear to be going down. Such
abuse also seems to be escalating throughout the state--increased by an
estimated 10.2 percent.

When reading this, I thought to myself: With 834,000 cases of female abuse
against males reported annually by the U. S. Department of Justice, is it
time to have community, house-to-house police checks for the benefit of
violated males?

What would the officers find? Females caught in the act of madness,
screaming and taunting, nagging to the nth, physically assaulting a male,
throwing lamps, baiting a male to take a swing?

And where might the police discover the abusing females hiding out--hidden
by their male partners--hidden from public view? Behind closed curtains and
tightly sealed windows?

And from whom might these males actually be hiding the abusing females?
From the nice neighbors? From the proper church folk? From the children's
school teachers? From the police officers and town hall board of directors
and family doctor and aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers and the
rest of the clan?

And why? To keep the males' jobs intact, to protect the family image, to
shield the "little ones" from mother's repeated violent acts, to smooth
over still another "scene," to hope for a better tomorrow?

What would happen if the males stripped away the curtains and unsealed the
windows? Would they then lose everything they had worked for, hoped for,
prayed for?

What would be the cost of the truth getting out, that is, that they, the
males, were victimized by females who concluded the males could do nothing
about the abuse except expose their male selves for total destruction?

Sick. But it happens.

And when it does, will the local police mail appropriate data to the
victimized male so that he can derive free assistance from a community
agency? And will those officers make follow-up calls to his home to assure
his safety?

When is the public mindset going to balance out this act?

The associated press release focusing on twin cities Auburn and Lewiston
Maine is sadly another push in the direction of
males-are-sole-abusers belief while continuing to ignore the
female-abusing-male stats from the U. S. Department of Justice.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow all this has to change.

Email J. Grant Swank

BIO

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor, New Hope Church, Windham ME

Graduate of accredited college (BA) and seminary (M Div) with graduate work at Harvard Divinity School.

Married for 41 years with 3 adult children.

Author of 5 books and over 2000 articles in various Protestant and Catholic
magazines, journals and newspapers. Writer of weekly religion column for
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD newspaper, Portland ME.

Hobbies: Traveling to So American, Europe, Middle East, Canada; writing;
watercolor painting; meeting new friends.

Current occupations: Pastor; Teacher at Alternative Learning School for
at-risk youths.

Pastorates: Calgary, Alberta; Indianapolis IN; Akron OH; Fishkill NY;
Manchester CT; Walpole MA; Windham ME.

Winner of First Prize Writing Contest which yielded a three-week guided tour
of the Middle East.