By: Cynthia Nwadukwe
Gender Based Violence (GBV) has been one of the the oldest crimes known to man. This is where one gender suffers extreme violence from the other. To be more specific, women (whom are perceived to be weaker), suffer extreme violence from men (whom are presumed to be stronger).
With evolution and time, a lot has changed in the world which also includes crimes. Unlike in the previous times where women were always victims of violence, now men too suffer from gender based violence. Yes, women beat men, maltreat, rough handle or any other adjective that suits you.
Stereotypically, men are stronger and aren’t to cry or show any form of weakness. As a man is to be on top of his game, his life( including family, friends, spouse, children, etc), on top of the food chain, so isn’t supposed to stack otherwise he’s considered weak and incompetent to lead. If a man can’t lead, what else can he do?
Going by record, 80% of suicide cases occurring today are of men. The stereotype doesn’t allow a man complain about the ordeals he goes through; be it at home, work or life in general. He is supposed to bottle up everything and come out with a solution, any which way.
On that note, I beg to differ from the status quo on writing on the article ‘gender based violence’ in line with the female story, I will be writing on the male side. On men who are victims of all sorts of violence but do not speak up because to the society, he is the solution giver, if you have a problem as a man, keep it to yourself, just give us answers. So this article would be focusing on a different kind of violence and a different gender.
What is violence? Any action which causes destruction, pain or suffering is considered as violence.
95% of persons suffering physical violence are women. Of course, it only makes sense as a woman, who is weaker than a man cannot physically beat a man unless with help (weapon or another person) and this has been the centre of concern when gender based violence is addressed, not completely ruling out the fact that men too are victims of physical violence, with only very few cases out in the open.
80% of emotional violence victims are men. “If you can’t beat him physically, crush his spirit” and this has been the game plan of many women who feel the only way to get back at abusive husbands or men figures in their lives is to emotionally demolish them. This of course is done by word of mouth or an adamant refusal to be submissive to his authority ( in the case of spouse or parent). It is often said that people may forget what you did for them or what you said to them, but worse forget how you made them feel.
As humans, we are more prone to give into negative thoughts/ words especially if they come from someone dear to us. It is in a man’s place to be the head and provider of his household and in a situation where he can’t, he is being emotionally tortured by society ( wife, children, parents, even his extended family). Words said to him could lead to depression, which could in turn make him suicidal and that on its own can be referred to as emotional violence, because it has caused him pain and suffering. This is for the home front. A young man still struggling to get ahead in life or even make ends meet is faced with so much pessimism from family, society, on-lookers and these should/could be considered as gender based violence.
Just because few men speak up on the ordeals they go through shouldn’t rule out the fact that they actually go through these things too. They need to be encouraged to speak up about the things they go through. Women, on the other hand, need to be more tolerant and considerate about the things they say to men. We all, should be more appreciative of what men do for us, it may not be what we want or all that we need, but let’s appreciate the fact that he is at least trying to make ends meet for us. Think before you want to break him emotionally. Yes, he might be breaking you too physically, but it’s better to walk away. To err is to human, to forgive is divine. We need to be more understanding of each other, where we can’t, we need to speak up to one another or to a specialist.