Intimate Partner Abuse With Male Victims

Sadly, domestic violence, also known as intimate partner abuse, is a problem that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. When it does receive attention, it is usually cast in the light of a male abuser and a female victim. And yes, the statistics for female victims is staggering. A 2010 study of intimate partner abuse in the U.S. estimated that 35.6% of women will suffer some form of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking from an intimate partner. That statistic is heartbreaking. What that means is that approximately 1 in 3 women has been abused by someone she loved/trusted.

But this isn’t about them. This is about the male victims. The same CDC study estimated that 28.5% of men will suffer some form of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking from an intimate partner. That means that in the U.S., approximately 32 million men are victimized by their partner. And yet the stereotype prevails that women are abused more often than men.

Yes, that is technically true. But the gender gap in domestic violence is not nearly at wide as many might think. Annually, 5.9% of women in the U.S. suffer intimate partner abuse. 5.0% of men suffer the same abuse. That is only a 1% difference.

So, how why aren’t we focused on domestic abuse as a violence problem, rather than a gender problem? Why are there 100s of domestic violence shelters for women and children, and few if any for men? Where are the advocates fighting for the protection of men?

These are questions I don’t have answers for. But what I do know is this…domestic abuse against men will not gain awareness until women start speaking out against it. No one, regardless of gender, deserves to be abused. The same rhetoric we use condemning the victimization of women, needs to condemn the victimization of men. We should be condemning domestic violence…not casting it in gendered terms.

Link to CDC study

Day 22: What do you think is important in keeping a BDSM/kink relationship healthy? What differences and similarities do you see in a kink relationship and a vanilla relationship.

There are a number of things that are vital to the maintenance of a healthy relationship. These things are also important to a vanilla relationship; however, it is my experience that a vanilla relationship failing does not have the same intense emotional impact that the end of a kink relationship does. Yes, there is pain and grief at the end of a vanilla relationship. A kink relationship, however, is one of intense extremes. There are times when you may be quite literally trusting your partner with your very life. I believe there are three things that are absolutely required for a healthy kink relationship: self-awareness, trust, and communication.

Self-awareness: Some come to a new kink relationship with years of experience under their belt. Others come with nothing kinkier than doggy style sex. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have. What matters, is knowing yourself. As you explore your sexuality, be open to your own thoughts and emotions. If you don’t like a specific kink activity, that’s okay. If something triggers a negative emotional reaction, that’s ok. What is important is being aware of the reactions and being accepting of yourself. Don’t try to force yourself into a box you don’t fit in. No matter how hard you try, the square peg won’t fit into the round hole unless you shave some of it off. Don’t shave some of yourself off just to fit into a label.

Trust: Trust yourself. Trust your partner, but first trust yourself. Self-doubt is absolutely toxic to any relationship, but perhaps more so in kink relationships. Regardless of which “side of the slash” you identify with, you must trust yourself. It is only then that you can be psychologically okay with some of the more extreme aspects of kink.

Communication: This one is the one every one talks about. In a vanilla relationship, communication typically is about things like feelings, finances, home decorating, careers, etc. A kink relationship has all of those same things, but more. Communicate your desires with your partner. Let them know if you want to try something new. Let them know if you didn’t like something done in a scene. Let them see your vulnerability. Let them see you.

An Open Letter to his Ex

Although you don’t know my name, I know many things about you. See, we used to have the same social circle. My friends were also your friends. I was the leader of a group you sought acceptance in. You joined my group claiming that you were beaten and abused, that he was a drunk, and a wife beater. You screamed it from the rooftops, desperate for someone to hear you. And I did…at first.

I reached out to you, offered a kind ear. You ignored me. You preferred to be as loud as you could, telling all who would listen what a victim you were. Yet, you’d only make these claims in public, never in private to someone trying to help. Rather than blame you, I watched you. The more you talked, the more I grew suspicious.

Your recounting of the events of that fateful night, the one where he went to jail, changed multiple times. First you said he’d choked you. Then you said you’d broken ribs. Then you said you’d broken your ankle. And to heap horror upon horror, you said he beat you over a broken jewelry box. A shocking story. And one, if true, that deserves my sympathy. Better yet, my empathy.

For I too was abused. For 7 years, I was married to a man who slammed me against the wall with his hand around my throat. A man who said he could kill me within seconds. A man who threatened to kidnap our children and take them to another country. A man who believed it was his right to keep me in line, and it was my duty to make him happy.

But here’s where the rubber meets the road.

Your story was a lie.

The night you claimed you had multiple broken bones, you were taken to the ER. The ER found no injuries. The jewelry box that you broke…you know the one that started the fight…it was his dead mother’s. And he wasn’t mad that it was broken. After you stormed out of the house that night, he sat and picked up it’s pieces, saving what he could. You returned home and mocked him, and his pain. You said you couldn’t believe he would cry over a box, since he didn’t even like the “bitch” anyway.

And then you assaulted him. When he refused to run from you, or to let you bully him, you tried to push him around. He stood his ground. And then, as you had done so many times before, you called 911.

The officer that arrested him that night was the same officer that had offered him the opportunity to file charges against you previously for filing a false police report. But, because he didn’t want his children to lose a mother, he declined. Maybe that was his mistake.

He was released on bond, and you were waiting. You ran up to him to give him a hug, and he turned you away. It wasn’t his choice. Part of his bond was to have no contact with you, and you knew that. Yet, you repeatedly sought him out. You showed up at his residence. You sent him a number of messages saying it was all your fault, and could he please come home.

And I watched it all unfold. I watched you go from begging him to take you back to raging at him and verbally abusing him…in the matter of two hours. Two hours…that’s your cycle. You seek out an interaction, and you appear happy and conciliatory. When you don’t get your way immediately, you change into an angry, hostile, and abusive monster.

See, the problem with your kind of abuse is that you manipulate people. You took a man who sought to serve you, and you abused his natural servility. You would volunteer him to help your friends, and then you would blame him for helping them, rather than spending time with you. You would get drunk, and then blame him for buying the alcohol. You would physically assault him, then blame him for standing his ground.

Once he bought you roses. You were grateful for less than a minute. Then you launched into a tirade, accusing him of being unfaithful, and using the roses to cover up an affair. You accused him of desiring any woman he spoke to, even if it was just in casual small talk at the grocery store.

But, all that is in the past now. The charges you filed against him have been dismissed. The courts decided that you had zero evidence to support your claims of injury. They refused to find him guilty. I know, because I was there.

I was there to support him. And yet, my very presence angered you. You said it was disrespectful of him to bring me. How dare he bring someone to support him in a matter that was all about you.

And there’s the crux of it. You believe that everything is about you. After the court refused to find him guilty, you sent him sent another message. You wanted to be his friend. You said that you’d once been best friends and that you missed him. Could he please be your friend again?

No. Absolutely not.

He has every right to walk away from you. To cut the toxicity out of his life.

Unfortunately, he has to deal with you, for the next 14 years, and since he has to deal with you, so do I.

But, I have boundaries, and you will not trample my boundaries. You will not push me around the way you push others in your life.

You will no longer be allowed to send messages to him at all hours of the day and night. Obviously, if there is an emergency, he will respond. But the petty messages, designed to maintain your grip on him, will stop. You see, you’ve pushed him so far, that he no longer wishes to read any of your messages. I screen those for him, and alert him to any that he needs to address.

Your rage falls on deaf ears. Not totally, as I see it, and hear it. But the thing is, you can’t control me. You can’t bully me.

You’re in my world now.

Good luck!

Apologies, Dear Readers

Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve made a habit of writing at least once a day. For those of you following me, I’m sure you’ve missed the regular emails about a new post.

I have chronic fatigue, so there are times when I simply do not have the energy to sit up, much less exert the mental energy required to post insightful essays. I believe I am back in the swing of things, and regular posts should resume.

Bear with me as I get back in the daily cycle.

Day 18: Do you have any kinky/BDSM pet peeves? If so, what are they?

I have a number of things that irritate me about the community; however, I’m not sure those qualify as kinky/BDSM pet peeves. For what it’s worth I’ll address those irritations.

  1. Using RACK as an excuse to look the other way regarding safety.
    I have recently been to a group that states that they are a RACK group, and that they trust that all involved will be aware of the risks in their activity. While that sounds good on the surface, I observed a number of safety concerns that could be easily remedied. Unsafe equipment was probably the easiest to remedy. The other major concern I had was the repeated welcoming of an individual who had demonstrated predatory behavior, and had a number of complaints against him.
  2. Using “brattiness” as an excuse for poor behavior
    I’ve written a whole rant about this previously, so I won’t bore you all again. Suffice it to say, that being a brat is a kink. It is not welcome when brattiness is imposed on those who do not appreciate it, and using the excuse that: “I’m a brat, I just can’t help myself” – Well, that’s garbage. We are all adults, even brats.
  3. Demanding that those who use a similar label all act similarly.
    I am dominant. I am also little. I recently went to a discussion where the presenter said that being little is a bottom position. Although he was corrected by another group leader, the fact is the stereotype of littles as bottoms is there for a reason. It is the norm. However, we should not impose our definition of a label on anyone but ourselves.

Day 16: What are the most difficult aspects of having a sexuality that involves kink or BDSM for you personally?

I am out about my kinky predilections, however, I do not impose my kink on others. What this means for me, is that I do not discuss my kink with those that I would not ordinarily discuss sex with. The only difficulty I have found that kink creates for me, at times, is a limitation of the dating pool, and perhaps the odd occasion where I have had to tell someone where I’d been the night before.

Over time, I have come up with ways to engage in social conversation, without actually lying. A conversation with a co-worker about weekend activities may involve discussion of whether I went out or not. When asked, I will say that I went to a party. I don’t typically provide more details than that. When a joke is made about BDSM, especially since 50 Shades Darker recently was released on DVD, I just avoid those conversations.

What is it about that series that guarantees the BDSM conversation will come up with vanillas at least once a year? Le Sigh