Hey Man! Break the silence…

While there are many avenues that plead with women to report cases of violence, I feel that men shouldn’t be left out. Why? Because they too have a large number of them being abused.

Maybe it is the gender expectations that the society has on both genders that could result to the reason why most men do not report violence. Fear could be another reason.

Ken a 32-year-old business man, was one night walking towards his home when he was suddenly ambushed by a gang of 5 men. He was sexually abused by all the five men. He was so devastated and wanted to commit suicide. He felt weighed down and was scared to tell his wife about the ordeal.

He went to the hospital where he received treatment. Ken gathered up some courage and told his wife what happened to him. As they say, ‘for better for worse’ is just a phrase until disaster strikes. Ken’s wife was overwhelmed with Ken’s story that she decided to leave Ken.

Ken only felt worse because just when he needed his wife most, she left him. Having gone through that he didn’t have the courage to talk to anybody else. He was afraid to lose them as well. He was already feeling completely alone.

Lucky for Ken, the hospital he had gone for treatment had a support group for victims of sexual violence. For 8 months he went through counselling and had a lot to share with other victims of violence. He also learned a lot including legal measures to take in case of abuse. After 8 months of sharing and counselling, Ken healed. He gained strength and hope to carry on with his life. His self-esteem also greatly improved.

Most people are afraid to talk about their worst moments in life. When it comes to Gender Violence it’s not only kids who shy away from talking about it but so do adults. Some are so afraid of talking about it that they cannot tell their spouses because of the fear of being left just like Ken.

Gender Violence is nothing to be ashamed of. We are all vulnerable and at risk. Being a man does not save you from it and it shouldn’t make you afraid of speaking about it. There are many benefits when you report violence. Whether sexual, psychological or physical abuse when you report it, you are helping yourself.

I have had the chance to speak with men who have been victims of violence and most say that they felt afraid to come forward because they felt ashamed. In as much as that reaction is normal, it is important to know that Violence is Violence and anybody can become a victim hence it is upon us to stop it. It all begins by stepping forward and speaking about it.

I encourage men to come forward and break the silence against Violence.

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