Domestic Violence is now more of a mainstream issue than ever.
And there is plenty of advice in the air.
Rosie Batty is campaigning against domestic violence as Australian of the Year. The Prime Minister has floated the use of ankle bracelets to monitor domestic violence offenders. But first they have to be brought to court. Most aren’t. Mark Latham suggested that poverty and unemployment are the cause. He didn’t really suggest a solution. Sallee McLaren claimed that women contributed to domestic violence and needed to be more assertive. Phil Barker stated that it was men who needed retraining.
Perhaps this scenario may yield another point of view…A man who was brought up never to strike a woman finds himself in a situation of domestic violence. After the initial shock, he resorts to non-confrontational tactics and seeks safety in work, parenting and housework. Most of the time that provides solace. It never occurs to him to seek help because there isn’t any. But after years of avoidance and abuse, he retaliates.
The police become involved and he is served with a Domestic Violence Order. Despite the woman admitting she initiated the violence, she is not charged. The man reflects upon his actions. He ultimately determines that he shouldn’t have retaliated regardless of the provocation. He takes responsibility and does get help.
But it doesn’t change things. For, from that point onwards, more violence occurs. This time the man does not retaliate. He bides his time and in time leaves.
Perhaps the Men’s Rights Activists would see this as a defeat by rampant feminism. Perhaps their advice would be for the man to be more assertive. But much like Sallee McLaren’s advice, it would have made things worse.
At no stage does it change that fact that most domestic violence is male against female. Neither does it justify misogyny nor misandry.
But from this scenario emerges a man who has seen both sides of domestic violence. And from this man comes an answer which many people may not agree with….
And it’s isn’t that rather over-used cliché, “Why doesn’t she just leave?”
No it’s the opposite : “Why doesn’t HE just leave?”
In fact, whether victim or perpetrator, it is easier for the man to leave the relationship.
And for this man, domestic violence is now a relationship ending event.
And for this man, any domestic violence leaves him one course of action. Leave. And he should.