Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.
By Quinn Nystrom, MS
Though it has been many months since the verdict, I (like many) believe that the wild media circus known as the Johnny Depp -vs.- Amber Heard’s defamation trial worked to shine a fresh spotlight on domestic violence.
During this trial, I worked hard to avoid getting caught up in the hype and sensationalism of it, but there was a glaringly obvious thread. It was also a thread that desperately needed to be discussed as well; men can be the victims of domestic abuse too.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this topic is something I feel very strongly about. Too many victims of all races, religions, and genders have been silent because of fear of pushback and ridicule.
Or because of fear.
Love it or hate it, the much-publicized trial of Depp and Heard has opened the door to honest conversation. Thousands of women and men came forward with stories of intimate partner abuse and why they refused to stay silent any longer. The result is the confirmation that men are also the victims of domestic violence at a startlingly high rate than once thought.
In a WCNC online article, Joan Harris, the operations director at Safe Passage, shared, “Men experience domestic violence at the exact same rates as women do.” It is less talked about because there’s a stigma within our community.”
I would like to amend that by saying there is a “stigma within our world.”
So why do men stay silent in abusive situations? There are hundreds (if not thousands) of pieces of data that reveal what we all know; our society has bought into the belief for far too long that men are “tougher” and “can handle anything.”
As a result, males are left to suffer in silence because they feel that coming forward as a victim would label them as “wimps.”
Domestic violence is violence committed by someone in the victim’s domestic circle. This includes partners and ex-partners, immediate family members, other relatives, and family friends. Let me be clear, just because someone is related to or married to someone does not give them the right to cause emotional, mental, or physical harm.
Resources like the National Domestic Violence Hotline or NCADV are free, discrete, and ready to help if you need a listening ear or know someone caught in a dangerous situation.
Everyone deserves relationships free from domestic violence.