The hidden Crime – Violence against Men

Violence against men is one topic the society avoids to talk about, yet is usually done in hush voices if the need arises. The shame and the perception that men cannot be vulnerable or have their rights violated is one thing I cannot come to terms with. In the search for research and academic papers to contribute on this topic, more topics related to violence against women came up despite the fact that I typed ‘men’ as my first word in the search. The upcoming campaigns to empower the boy child is one that cannot go unnoticed, not only an aspect that they are being left behind but also as a realization for the women that men play an important role to achieve Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, men have a shorter life expectancy than women which is 69.1 years.

“You are not man enough’; a statement vetted out by the society to men when they do not accord to the prescribed perceptions, it degrades their masculinity and their need to keep the ‘macho’ has made men not to consider themselves as victims of violence.

Women and girls are particularly vulnerable, but men also face violence. Men endure physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and domestic violence.

Susan Nyabena

Physical violence is inflicted on one’s body that includes pinching, slapping, kicking, and attacks with objects. Career choices have been a great contributor to physical violence to men. Men who work in the army or as peacekeepers, in mass killings, they are often targeted and killed. Forced constriction is also an example of the physical violence that men face.

Domestic violence occurs in intimate relationships such as marriages, families, cohabiting relationships and dating. Men have been battered by their wives or girlfriends and coaxed into sexual relations. They experienced physical violence that targets their private parts like chopping off their penises; repeated incidences that were experienced in Kenya, being hit or threatened by weapons ranging from knives to guns.

Psychological and emotional violence involves controlling and manipulating a person to feel inferior, worthless and useless. Men experience psychological and emotional violence that is manifested in verbal abuse, threats, extreme possessiveness, flirting or forceful cutting ties with parents and friends, blackmail for financial support leads to the destruction of personal and valuable items, constantly jeopardizing their work. Suicidal and murder threats, abuse of the children in relationships or after separation to punish or get back at men have a great emotional and psychological effect. It can trickle down to court orders barring the men from having shared custody or visitations. Women can also be violent to female friends and relatives of the man. There are also cases of women stealing sperms from men to get pregnant and women being unfaithful in relationships and marriages.

Sexual violence involves forcing someone to participate in sexual activity without their consent. It also includes rape between married couples. Sexual violence is associated more with women and girls being raped or losing their jobs if they refuse sexual advances, but men also are vulnerable to sexual violence.

Boys are more prone to sexual violence than male adults. It can occur at home and even at schools. It ranges from being touched on their private parts, made to watch pornography, masturbation and sometimes rape. In armed conflict and in prison, men experience sexual violence such as rape and castration that is caused by fellow men as a way to instill fear and demoralize them. Men also get blackmailed or framed in rape cases.

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