Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,
Another common perception is that domestic violence is a women’s issue, and therefore men don’t have to take responsibility. Often the victim is blamed for doing something to have caused it.
Patrick Stewart, the English actor, with a career spanning almost six decades, is challenging the idea that domestic violence is a women’s issue. As a young boy, Patrick Stewart would lie rigid in bed at night waiting to hear his father rage at his mother while bracing to throw himself between his parents to protect his mother.
At a panel event organized by the domestic violence charity Refuge, Patrick Stewart said the reason why he was speaking was “Because domestic violence is a man’s problem. We are the ones who are committing the offences, performing the cruel acts, controlling and denying. It’s the men.”
Unfortunately, the people listening are almost entirely women. At this panel, there were five men among the journalists, activists and supporters. Women run the charities and staff. When victims speak out, they tend to be women. But this should not give men reason to look away. Many don’t understand the problem and don’t come to listen and participate. Patrick Stewart and other men who are speaking out about domestic violence are changing that dynamic by encouraging the male population to get involved and support the victims.
In my novel SOMETHING TO BE BRAVE FOR, Katie is has two male abusers—her father and husband. Both of them demand that she stay in a marriage where she is being physically, mentally, emotionally and financially abused. They tell her it’s her fault, and she needs to try harder—keep the family together at all costs. When she decides to go against them she is accused of being mentally unstable and is cut off by her father and husband with no support. She is a failed wife and mother. In spite of that, Katie fights them and struggles to gain her freedom with her daughter.
Take good care of yourselves,
PRISCILLA BENNETT XOXO