By Kat Paterson
TW: Sexual violence and abuse
From partners to father figures to brothers and friends, women cannot seem to escape the violent tendencies that many men are plagued by. It seems as though every woman in the United States can recount at least one time that they felt threatened or were threatened by a man. The sad fact of the matter is that it seems like every woman has a story, because almost everyone does. One in three women are likely to experience physical violence from an intimate partner and one in ten women have been raped by their partner.
One would assume that if they are in a relationship with a man and that man loves them that they are safe, but unfortunately that is not the case. In a CNN article titled “Men tell Oprah why they beat the women they love,” two men describe the way that they were feeling when they were the abusers in their relationships. The one man details the times that he beat his wife to the point where he thought he might kill her. He says that he would be filled with blind rage and experience tunnel vision where all he could see and feel was his anger. He has since been able to learn to control himself and his anger and he is no longer beating his wife, but he says that he believes that he became abusive because it was all he knew. He claims to have grown up in an abusive household where he never learned how to de escalate his feelings and emotions so instead he would use his wife as a punching bag to release his anger. However, the instances that sparked his rage were not just him being angry, it was him realizing he did not have complete and total control over his wife and that is what enraged him.
In a world that is run by men, controlled by men, and created for men, men often forget that they cannot control other people, and especially not their significant others. There are similar behaviors in abusers that are often linked to control issues such as being manipulative, trying to be in charge of all aspects of the relationship, and they also typically think of themselves as the true victims. Even the man from the aforementioned CNN article believed to be a victim himself because he grew up in an abusive household so how is he to know how to control his anger? The truth is that he could have broken the cycle, he could have fought his urge to strike another human being, but he didn’t until his wife said she would leave him and take their kids with her if he hit her again. In almost all instances abuse stems purely from the need to feel in control and more powerful over someone else. It is mostly insecure, weak men who are the first to strike a woman and until all men go through therapy, no one is safe. Unfortunately, most abusive men won’t end up in therapy until it is court mandated.