It wasn’t me it was the drink

2 Mar

Is it acceptable to use violence against the person you’re supposed to love? Is it acceptable to blame that person for YOUR actions? Is it acceptable to even blame being drunk?

The answer to these questions is quite simply no. Under no circumstance should you ever use violence against your partner.

The reason I have chosen to discuss this topic for this issue is because of something that happened during a formal event on Saturday. I’m not going to delve into too much detail because I would like to respect the privacy of those involved, but basically a drunken argument between a friend and her girlfriend got way out of hand involving her girlfriend being punched and pushed to the floor in front of all of her friends.

A more important issue I want to raise through writing this article is that because they were both girls, nobody jumped into to stop it except my friend and me. In any other situation I would always leave a couple’s argument to them because it’s nobody else’s business but in this case a private problem was made into everyone else’s problem when she decided to become violent.

On the one hand I can see why people didn’t run to help, because they are two girls it could have appeared to be a drunken scrap between friends, and obviously if it was a man hitting a woman the physical strength ratio would be different.

However, that’s not the point. Domestic or physical violence within a couple does not just exist where it’s just a man who harms a woman. There are so many cases of domestic violence that exist between two men, two women or even a woman being violent towards a man. Those of you who watch Coronation Street (poor you) will be very aware of this through the storyline between Kirsty and Tyrone.  For those of you who don’t watch Corrie (well done) this storyline is based on how Kirsty physical abuses Tyrone and he does nothing about it, protecting her secret.

Showing this on primetime television, I think has been an incredible step forward in making people aware of domestic violence. It’s making people see the variations and it’s making male victims feel less ashamed and alone in their pain.

According to the National Centre for Domestic Violence website:

  • The police receive a 999 call every three minutes from a male victim
  • 1 in 6 men will experience Domestic Violence in their life
  • Every third victim of Domestic Violence is a man
  • Domestic Violence equates to approx 25% of all reported violent crimes
  • 9% of all reported violent crimes are Domestic Violence cases involving male victims
  • Approximately 4 million men are affected every year by domestic violence
  • Practically the same percentage of men as women are victims of severe acts of Domestic Violence.

http://www.ncdv.org.uk/maleDVweek.html

These statistics are quite shocking because when I hear the phrase domestic abuse, I automatically picture a poor defenceless woman being abused by a man. I never think about it any other way, until Saturday that is.

The worst part of it was that after I pulled my friend away from her girlfriend and asked what the hell she was playing at, she said…

“I just want to talk to her.”

This remark made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever because, correct me if I’m wrong, if you want to talk to someone then talk to them!

I was so infuriated with her behaviour I started thinking about how many victims of physical violence by a partner are outside the stereotype of men hurting women, or how many of these victims get blamed for the other person’s actions. How dare they blame them?

People were more than likely just assuming it was a typical drunken cat fight and it wasn’t a big deal. But the truth about domestic physical violence is that it’s not about physical strength in the slightest…

Think about it, male victims would probably be able to overpower a female attack because (unfortunately) they are genetically stronger. So, why don’t people fight back?

One word…FEAR.

Take spiders for example; how many of us are afraid of spiders and run away at the mere sight of them? When you think about it though, spiders are a fraction of our size and we are a million times stronger. Doesn’t stop us from cowering away though does it?

It’s the same for abuse victims. Your fear overcomes your power.

Another thing that came out of what happened was my friend’s mother saying how she couldn’t comprehend the anger and upset when “she warned her she was going to hit her anyway.”

That makes is acceptable does it? No it absolutely does not. If my partner, who has never used violence against me, threatened to hit me whilst drunk, I wouldn’t think she was being serious. The threat of it is bad enough but to actually go through with it is a whole other ball game.

Physical abuse within a relationship doesn’t just happen from a man to woman. This is the point I want to raise from this article; it can happen to anybody and it’s really important to be aware of that. Men should never feel ashamed of being a victim, and it should never be assumed to be a catfight between two women, or a “lad scrap” between two men.

Some people are afraid to fight back, no matter who it is. Remember that.

About the writer: Melody has just finished a degree in Journalism, Film and Media with a 2:1. She aspires to work with vulnerable women and children subject to domestic, and or other forms of abuse. She is an animal lover and has a small obsession with Fearne Cotton. She is a constant joker and can be found on Twitter.

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