By Atziry Garcia
This past summer, domestic violence by National Football League players caught the attention of many. Players Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens and Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers have been charged with domestic violence against their partners.
The commotion of NFL domestic violence cases has raised awareness of the issue. Political women’s group Ignite presented a segment on domestic violence at a recent meeting. Zoe Rumpff, a Brookhaven College student, conducted the presentation.
Rumpff showed statistics of domestic violence on women in the U.S. The presentation noted one in four women will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, and 1.3 million are assaulted by their partners every year. One in three women are killed by violent partners.
Furthermore, three women a day are killed by their partners. The number of female victims of domestic violence in the U.S. alone is 4,774,000 a year, and one in seven women will be victims of violence. Half of gay women will experience violence in their lifetime, according to huffingtonpost. com.
Asmara Saleemi, Brookhaven government professor, said women need to speak out because there is help awaiting even for those who feel they cannot because they are financially reliant on their partners. She said there is government-funded housing for abused refugees.
Rumpff followed the presentation with a short video that raised awareness that men are also affected by domestic violence. The video was set in a public arena in a London park. A pair of actors played out the role of a problematic couple.
The first time around, the man played the role of the abuser as the woman was being victimized. The man started to shove and push his victim while they appeared to engage in a bad argument. Some of the crowd interrupted the act to defend the woman. The actress responded politely, saying that she could handle it.
When they went at it again, the roles were reversed. While their argument played out, the female abuser physically and verbally attacked her victim while bystanders with smirks on their faces just passed and laughed. Not one person tried to assist the man.
Once the video finished, Rumpff asked why the man was overlooked by the people and not helped. Audience members suggested social clichés were to blame, such as the notion that because the victim was a man, he should be able to defend himself. “There needs to be as much awareness for domestic violence toward men as there is for women,” Rumpff said.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 835,000 men are abused by a partner each year, and approximately 23 percent reported being raped, assaulted or stalked by a partner.
According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report in 2004, 55 percent of male homicide victims were murdered by a spouse, ex-spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend.
Because men are more likely to be financially independent and less likely to experience fear upon leaving a violent relationship, men are less likely to seek emergency shelter and other domestic violence services that shelters provide, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Women and men looking for help can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline through its 24-hour telephone number, 1- 800-799-7233.