Suffering in Silence.
Sadly, it isn’t shocking that a high percentage of women reported abuse at the hands of sexually intimate partners. Roughly 60% of bisexual women have been stalked, physically abused, or sexually assaulted. More than 40% of lesbians and more than 30% of heterosexual women also reported abuse. Men are also victims. Approximately 40% of bisexual men, and 26% of gay men reported physical or sexual assaults, and stalking by their intimate partners. The surprising average was heterosexual males at roughly 30%. But this probably does not mean that hetero-women are less violent. The one thing I’ve learned about statistics is that they’re only as good as the numbers reported.
When a woman does step forward, the intrusive questions begin: “Why didn’t you just change your behavior?” “What did you say to get hit?” “Why didn’t you leave sooner?” Besides the insensitive questions, women face the likely consequence of incurring more physical and verbal abuse. They avoid reporting due to lack of knowledge of support systems available, lack of financial resources, fear they’ll be ignored, or they’re too ashamed to let anyone else know. Meaning that a larger number of women stay with abusive partners than those who seek help. Knowing that women face this, it should come as no surprise that fewer men report incidences of domestic violence. In a culture that still believes in the uber-manly myth (at least judging by popular movies and mass attraction to brawny athletes, anyway), there is limited room for men to show weakness, fear, or even pain. Imagine how many more men would seek help if our society were more supportive.