“If you want to change the culture, you will have to start by changing the organization.” ~ Mary Douglas (1921-2007)
Monday and Tuesday I gave you my opinion about the Father’s rights Movement, that I think it may have started out as some good fathers and men attempting to make their children’s lives better. I said that I believe abusers have taken that over and ultimately made children’s lives worse through the Family Court System.
After all, it is abusers that want to maintain power and control of their victims and could care less about what is really best for their kid’s. They will twist everything so that it appears to those they are manipulating that the victim is the one in the wrong or that the victim is the abuser.
Today, I felt it was only fair to discuss the various avenues that a truly good father can take to protect him and his children. I’ve already stated that I don’t believe that just being a parent (whether mom or dad) makes a person a good parent. There are men out there that are abused by women and there are kids out there that are abused by moms.
Most of the time men that abused will not seek help; mainly for the same reasons a woman won’t, but with the added social embarrassments that women don’t have. What will their friends and family think about them ‘letting’ a woman abuse? Men are most often not believed either; by friends, family, and professionals.
The reason for these two additional factors is because the way society as a whole thinks about gender. A man doesn’t ‘let’ himself be abused anymore than a woman ‘lets’ herself be abused. No abuse victim wants to be abused, in any way, regardless of what type of abuse it is. An abuser can gain power and control of their victim in many different ways and the victim rarely sees this happening until it is too late.
When a man finds himself the victim of domestic violence or abuse and seek help they often find no services geared specifically for men. The main reason for this is that most men (not all) are not abused to the point that they can no longer provide for themselves or that their lives are in physical danger. The shelters that are set up to help women can’t house abused men in with abused women for many reasons, mainly because many abusers attempt to play themselves off as victims to gain entrance into a shelter to find their victims... horrifying! But also because most shelters are not set up for co-habitation between males and females.
Organizations and shelters can however still help men that need that help. The can help them by providing emergency assistance with vouchers for hotel for a couple nights for their safety, this is one of the things a man would have to know to ask for though... even most women don’t know to ask for a voucher when told the shelter is full.
Men can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for Men and Women at 1.888.743.5754 to ask for advice and help in their particular situation. Online a man can go any of these sites (which I found here):
- Start with our list of Programs Closest to You
- Battered Husbands Support
- Battered Men.com
- Battered Men: Research Reveals A Secret Side To Domestic Violence (Originally published in The Pacific Sun, overview of research and stats related to female perpetrators)
- Domestic Violence Against Men (From Oregon Counseling)
- Domestic Violence Against Men in Colorado
- Domestic Violence - Another Perspective from MenStuff.org
- Male Depression.com
- S.A.F.E.: Stop Abuse for EVERYONE
I would suggest that any man who is a victim of domestic violence visit An Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection: http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/malevictims.shtml There are a lot of good resources there that can help a man and their children.
There are good fathers out there, I just want them to be able to help themselves and their children without getting sucked into the FR Movement. After all abusers can manipulate anyone, that is what makes them good at lying in court and getting their way, rather than the best interest of their child being protected by the court.