In silence I suffer :Hidden Hurt of DV male victims


In silence I suffer

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The neighbor’s house was silent.. curtains were drawn.. no loud screaming noises, no crashing of things aimed and thrown around, no plates and vases hurling out of the door, no abuses and insults. It was not normal.

I watched in horror the deafening silence that prevailed in the house right in front of my bedroom balcony. Something was not right. I felt strange to think like that, It is normal to have a quite, peaceful home so why was I not happy to see the blissful silence?

I scanned the entire house for some activity. The twilight of a long weekend was soon going to turn into a night of terror. I was sure of that. With my heartbeats audible from a mile I decided to venture out and checkout if the house was locked.

But then I spotted him. His shadow more visible than his battered frame against the backdrop of the terrace wall.

He stood leaning against the railing, nursing wounds that bled deep somewhere in his soul. His mind, body and spirit abused and battered by the woman whom he had given everything possible. His wife and so called companion for life.

A lump rose in my throat and I locked the door, ran down the stairs, crossed the dark lane and landed breathlessly at his terrace door. I knew it was going to be lethal if She found out but the communication channels were closed and I was concerned.

Slowly I approached him from behind. Suddenly he turned as if half expecting a blow.His well built body very vulnerable and shattered at that time.

His eyes welled up as a maelstrom of emotions rose within him, a fear of unknown gripped him as he scanned his surroundings for the presence of his tormentor but all was quite.

He winched as his touched his arm. It was dark and I knew the severity of beating must have crossed it’s limits this time. Raging from with in I drew him close. In silence a thousand tales of sorrow, pain, shame and hurt flooded down his cheeks.

I wondered why he suffered in silence and why I never stood up against the injustice and reported the domestic violence that rocked their home daily.

Maybe we both knew the answer.

Slowly the story emerged. He had come half an hour late from office. tired, drained and tensed about his job and the recession which had affected many people around him. A volley of accusations, abuses and a cordless telephone hit him before he could realize what was happening. What followed was a frenzy which left him completely worn out and isolated.

I asked him where she was and found that she had picked up their car and gone some where drunk with rage and jealousy.

We went home and there I saw the extent of damage. It was a sight that cut through my heart and soul like a double edged knife. I could have killed that woman at the first opportunity. How could anyone be so cruel and heartless. I made a drink and did some first aid as he watched me with eyes that made me reach out to him.Never in my life I felt so helpless. He knew he had a listening ear and a comfort zone in me but that was not enough to change the situation. Something had to be done ..soon. It was pointless at that moment to suggest any options, we had gone through it all before. So I just let me pour out all that was welling up in his heart.

The hurt was too much to bear and I wondered how much more time before he snaps. He suffered in silence, his pain hidden from the world. Taking on all the untrue accusations, abuses and beatings, trying hard to diffuse any potentially violent situations. Blatant discrimination, disbelief, gender bias and the fear of social stigma keeps many male victims of DV suffering in silence even if the abuse is life threatening. Treated by the society as a joke these men who are mostly caring, loving sensitive people face isolation and terrible psychological problems.

The cases are never reported, the law never takes them seriously and the fear of social stigma makes them more vulnerable to further abuse.

They use survival tactics in vain to hoping to stop the abuse but it gets worse with time.

I watched the man sleeping peacefully on the bed. An exceptionally talented person with a good job and a heart of gold he had the dark side of him which was hidden from the world. A side which need to be brought to light and justice. Seeing the couple walk down the street or talking to them could never reveal the horror that lay behind.
Behind the closed doors and curtained windows of their home there was an abyss full of uncertainty, pain, humiliation mixed with rage, and violence.

The society is reluctant to acknowledge that females could be perpetrators and males could be victims. It is a hard thing for the victims to come forward due to the feeling of powerlessness and other aspects.

I wonder if our society really is a male dominated one.. ??? Are creating a silent class of male victims in our pursuit to protect women’ rights?

With a law that favors women are we not doing a grave injustice to men by blindly labeling them as tormentors and glorifying women as eternal victims of abuse.

Does the stereotype image of a “man” come between justice and the silent sufferer?

I searched for answers as I watched him with tear filled eyes. When will it all end. Is there any hope?

What was in store for this man who tried really hard to live peacefully some moments of his life?

I wish I could do something more than just being a shoulder to cry on, though it’s something many victims don’t have all through their life unless they brave the onslaught of society and speak out.

Some things in life make you wonder what you have achieved as a human being and have you really done something to justify your existence on this earth.

All I would say is please do not suffer in silence.. It is one life that you have ..live it on your terms. Chase your dreams and catch them before it’s too late. Keep the faith and believe in the fact that you are unique and deserve your share of happiness in all forms.

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40 thoughts on “In silence I suffer :Hidden Hurt of DV male victims

  1. phew!! now i know what you meant!!! horrible stuff to treat another person like that! its disgusting!!!

    and you write powerfully and with such heart too.

  2. Tikuli, your language is very powerful in its use of sensory images — feel, touch, sizzle, heat, cold…. it’s a gift. And the social issue that you’ve brought forth here is indeed a pooh-poohed one… who’d imagine a man so broken? But then, you’re a sensitive writer. You can only tell these things with such impeccable style. Good post!

  3. Thanks Nabina I write about things which are close to my heart and feel that some things are better out in public and eradicated than shoved under the carpet.

  4. OMG! This must have been a nightmare. I didn’t expect this when I clicked on the link. Women sometimes do take advantage of the situation and get away blaming the men for everything. This is very very disturbing.

    thanks Rads for reading. These things are normally pushed under the carpet . am glad I to bring them out and raise my voice for those themselves are often muted.

  5. That was horrible, the person suffering should stand up to his rights and give it back. I have a friend who’s husband left her the very first day after their wedding saying that he’s been forced to marry and he didn’t want to see her face again. Kinda feels like a filmy dialouge but it happened and those were the exact words he said. She didn’t sit and cry but instead went out, got a life and is now going to marry a guy who understood her and loved her for what she is. Be it guys or gals suffering in silence will not help, it only gives heartache. If a partner doesn’t respect his/her co-part then its his/her problem and the other should leave them with their problems and move on with life. Before departing they should try to talk or meet a counseller and sort it out but if nothing changes after that too, then its better to leave it at that and simply say ‘tata bye-bye, hope we never meet again’.

  6. It is true men too suffer from domestic violence. Am glad you wrote about it. There should be a forum where DV can be addressed irrespective of gender.

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  8. Am glad, someone from opposite sex actually wrote this. I know most of us cant even make the society believe that these are possible. In this case he has some visible bruise to proves his case; what about those who are step by step decimated with verbal and psychological abuse? Some things will never change, coz its fashionable to cry for violence against females. Though I fully agree the females need support – but tipping the entire balance of law and society against the males – just strangling some soul for words. Thanks again for giving those silent tormented despairing souls…

    Thank you for reading and understanding the sensitivity of the subject. I wish more people would come out and speak about it, take support from the NGOs and live with dignity and joy of living which they deserve. I agree about the women being the vicitims most of the time but these men , thousands of them need every bit of understanding and support.

  9. This post is inspired by a true life story and this is a cause for which every one should come forwards irrespective of gender and resentment. I know some women who stood up and spoke how men have treated women over the centuries but then do we do the same to them and hold them at ransom if they protest?
    please be compassionate when you read it. pass on the link and get more votes if you agree with what I say

  10. While there are all sorts of stories about Women DV everyday, this story of yours really hits the head on the nail.

    So, DV is not about men or women – its humans abusing the other – it can be either the husband or the wife. Given the society’s notions on protecting the women more, these kind of DV have a taken a backseat, which is quite sad.

    And its nice to see that you’ve brought it out well.

    And all the very best for the Contest !!! :)

  11. Pingback: Avant Grande Awards,A Post on DV male victims, Votes and Tuesday Thoughts « Spinning a Yarn Of Life

  12. Still in state of shock! Does it really happens? OMG! I loved your blog Tikulicious.. You are the winner! Congratulations in advance.. ;-)

  13. i know of someone who was/is a victim of his father’s abuse – not sexually but physically and mentally. His father would beat him up for every word he spoke in his childhood, when he grew up he became is under confident,introvert ,,which almost everyone he met either ridiculed or took advantage of…such is life..cruel. Your post brought back some of those memories.

  14. Gosh! This ones so sad :( I just hope he gets the strength to walk out and save himself from all this agony :( Its really really sad :(

    Here from Avant Garde. Congrats on winning the contest :)

  15. Abuse is a learned behavior. It is true more women are abused by men than men by women but abuse is abuse and is violation of human rights.

    The case you narrated here has its roots in the childhood of each incumbent. The self esteem issues, insecurities and sense of entitlement and guilt heavily play in such circumstances.

    The men who are abused usually come from families where mother was pushy and used passive aggressive tactics to manipulate her spouse and children. It is for sure the childhood was ridden with hight drama and to molify the scene spouse and children just gave into the demands of the abusive parent.

    The modus oprendi of abuser is to isolate the victim and cut him or her off any available support. Social stigma like family honor and stereotypes such as, hen pecked husband or uxorious husbands prevent both men and women from reporting abuse.

    There is legal help available, it requires proper documentation of abuse. Any bruises and injuries need to be medically documented and photographed with the date of picturization. Verbal and emotional abuse is usually berating and controlling person’s movements should be journaled and shared with some confidant who would stand by when the time comes.

    Supporting an abused person is a long term committment and requires sustained support. Encourage them to seek professional help and report the abuse. To leave or to stay should be the decision they make not the supporter.

    Here are some resources that could help in understanding how abuse works:

    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/how-abuse-begins/

    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/cycle-of-violence/

    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/your-rights-in-a-relationship/

    Peace,

    Desi Girl

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  25. I feel sorry for the person who has to live through these difficult moments in a relationship. I have been through them and can understand the pain.

    I wish we could all help but there is no one better than the person himself trying to find ways to defend themselves.

    Do consult and get advice from people who are positive and experienced in conflict resolution.
    However your first source of strength is accepting that existence has presented you this challenge so that you learn to handle it and grow in the process. ( by accepting a difficult situation as an opportunity to defend yourself is an amazing source of strength ! )

    Usually the person who tries to put you down is a weak person within themselves. To feel better the other person tries to put you down.

    The solution is threefold
    – by observing , understanding and accepting this situation it solves a major part of the problem.
    – paradoxically by finding ways to strengthen the person’s insecurity you limit their need to destroy you.
    However, the most important is by finding smart solutions to strengthen the other we strengthen ourselves !
    – be patient and persistent. If you have tried your best and over time if it doesn’t make an iota of difference then it is time to change your path ( start with a brief separation ,if things still don’t improve then the make a clean break )

    This solution is general and will need adaptations to different situations / people as each case is different.
    However each situation needs the following in common
    – observe ( be alert )
    – understand ( compassion )
    – acceptance ( faith )
    – patience
    – persistence

    Good luck and remember God is always there for you,near you, within you.
    If you fall he is there to pick you up and you will continue to walk on the path of life.

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