Over 40 Percent of Men Experience Domestic Violence
Research shows that 40% of men globally experience domestic violence.
A study by Maendeleo ya wanaume in 2008, reported that at least 2.1 million men in Kenya experience abuse daily which is carried out in many forms, including battering and inflicting bodily harm.
It is sad that men don’t come out to report the cases despite the cases reported increasing from 1.5 million in 2009 to a 2.1million in 2013.
Kenya’s demographic and health survey 2014 shows that domestic violence increases every day, with 9% of ever-married men experiencing physical violence, and 4% of married men experiencing sexual violence.
In Kenya, around 18% of males have reported violence and about 5% of men and boys are survivors of gender-based violence, something that has not been given greater attention as compared to women who have been subjected to gender violence.
Most men prefer to keep silent about their issues as compared to women who share their problems, who tend to let it out to friends and relatives thus making their mental stability more positive.
“On 21st September 2013, the day she was preparing to leave, the previous night I was on duty the whole night so I came to the house at around 5:30 am in the morning. So when I came to the house she was still sleeping, I went to the bed because I was so tired. Later she woke up, packed, and was ready to leave. While still sleeping, I felt a splash on my face. The solution she had poured on was burning and I thought it was maybe hot water or cooking oil. When I jumped out of my bed trying to reach out for cold water so as to reduce the heat on my face, I stepped on the floor and I felt a shock again. I just screamed for help and my neighbor came to rescue me. Already my wife had run away.” A survivor reported.
Due to cultural expectations of masculinity, men are thought to be stronger than women therefore partner violence against men is often not recognized.
If society recognizes a man suffering from violence then he is ridiculed, stigmatized, or even reduced to a laughing stock which leads to many of them committing suicide.
“Men are seen to be left out. Whenever they run to the police, they are not offered any help. Going back to their homes they are also beaten mercilessly by their wives and even their children. So where shall we run to, who will hear our cries if every place we call home is not conducive for us to live” another victim of GBV said.
Many times people perceive domestic violence to always mean physical violence, however, psychological and emotional violence are part of gender-based violence.
Therefore many men do not just suffer violence but suffer terrible psychological and emotional abuse which leaves many of them traumatized or even mentally ill.
“Men have been violated in the country and global for many years. The sad thing is that we do not talk about it, nobody wants to walk out there saying that they have been battered by their wives. And we were to look at the history of this man from childhood whereby the child has been sterilized where girls are valued more than boys from that tender age and as they grow we realize that a big difference between boys and girls and the way they are handle and the way their things are addressed and now if we were to look at the psychological torture which is a form of violation the boy is exposed to this at a very tender age nobody talks about it, so the boy feels rejected, stigmatized and discriminated” specialist of GBV said.
Achieving gender equality means that even men should be treated equally while addressing cases of gender-based violence.
The government should strengthen and have targeted sexual and gender-based campaigns that are all-inclusive.
These men are our family. They need our support and care and through this, they can get mental support hence they will open up about violence in their marriages and relationships.