I want a man to hit me
Young men who admit to hitting, kicking, choking and even wanting to kill the women they claim to love are opening up to Winfrey and giving an unprecedented look inside the minds of abusers. Sir says the first time he laid his hands on his wife, Christy, was just weeks after their wedding. He says he got jealous after a party where she was dancing with someone else. I remember walking up to her and smacking her full force," Sir says. Then, I walked her over to the bushes and threw her in there, and I just started choking her. It was with every bit of rage, every bit of anger I've ever had.
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8 Heartbreaking Reasons Why Men Abuse The Women They Love
The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. This article was published more than 5 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current. The guy I am calling Jimmy was trying to remember the first time he hit his girlfriend. You'd think the event would stick in his mind. But Jimmy was 18 at the time, and they'd been going out for three weeks when it happened, and they stayed together for nearly a decade, so there were quite a few candidates for the honour: a punch, throttlings, manhandling, times the cops had been called and times they hadn't, plus the night that led to three months in jail.
Jimmy had it down to two possibilities: The first was either the time he slapped her, or the time he smeared blood in her face. Jimmy is a weightlifter. He's 28, has a three-tuft beard, acres of ink, and a compressed, energetic air, as if he were made of India rubber balls: You sense that once he starts bouncing, he won't stop any time soon.
We're sitting in his church, on one of those seamlessly grey Nova Scotia days that makes you think the sun hasn't been invented. Why do men abuse the women they love? I thought it was an important question, which is why I was talking to Jimmy. Almost all the perpetrators of the most serious domestic violence are men. Statistics give us some sense — only a sense, given how many cases go unreported — of how often women are abused. The headline-making controversies surrounding the violent behaviour of everyone from Ray Rice to Phu Lam Edmonton's killer, last Christmas to the alleged transgressions of Jian Ghomeshi and Charlie Sheen remind us how pernicious and pervasive abuse is.
But what you discover when you drop into the private world of domestic violence is that no one actually knows, for sure, why men abuse women. Experts have many, and often competing, theories, but those tend to identify the symptoms, not the causes, of an intimate and individual problem.
If we can figure out why men abuse the women they claim to like and love, maybe we can get them to stop. Maybe we can get better at preventing men from abusing in the first place. Maybe we can also begin to resolve the standoff between those who believe abusers should be punished and jailed, and those who believe they can be rehabilitated as well. It's a lot to hope for. It took me two months to find three men willing to talk about their lives as abusers, and then, only if I used pseudonyms.
They're not representative — but no one is. What makes them even less representative is their willingness to talk in the first place. The most serious abusers don't come forward, don't talk about their violence, don't seek help. So this is unavoidably a story about individuals — about Jimmy and a few men who intimidate and hit women, about how they got that way and maybe why. It is also their story, from their point of view, in some cases without the corroboration of their partners.
These people could, in theory, be snowing me. But this is, so far, a secret world, and you have to start somewhere. Jimmy eventually worked one thing out: The first time he hit his girlfriend was the time he slapped her. This was one evening back when he was in the game and dealing and had money galore, before he went to jail again for robbery. One day, out of the blue, she said, "I cheated on you. Like a lot of guys who smack their partners around, Jimmy says she pushed his buttons.
She once smashed a bottle over his head, once threw a knife at him. Also like a lot of guys who hit their wives and girlfriends, he claims to have adored her, thought he was uncontrollably in love.
He still feels that way three years after they split up. He didn't do anything at first when she said she'd cheated on him. He just looked at her. Then she said, "Well, aren't you going to hit me? Why don't you hit me? Pretty soon, he claims, he felt as if he had to hit her, so he slapped her. He can't remember what he was thinking the moment he struck her. It felt like a fugue state. The impulse came from somewhere in him that he couldn't locate.
He starts stuttering and crying when he tries to describe it. He seems ashamed of himself. Maybe he's faking. He tried to leave the house a few weeks later, after another vicious fight, but his girlfriend's three year-old daughter ran after him and said she wanted him to stay.
He did, for nine years. Years later, telling me about the blows he'd dealt her, he says that "a lot of the things came from what I thought I had to do. As for the blood-in-the-face incident, that happened well after that initial slap. Jimmy and his girlfriend were bickering one day while she did some ironing, and she said something about his family, and he retaliated by insulting her mother, so she threw the iron at him. Violence should be unacceptable in any domestic circumstance — let's lay that rule down right here — but like a lot of their fights, this one seemed to start in more than one place.
The iron hit him on the left side of his head, which started gushing blood. Then he said to her — said is probably an understatement — "If I was any kind of bad man or wife-beater, you know what I'd probably do right now? I'd probably wrap this cord around your neck and chuck you over the stairwell. He did not do it gently. I should've walked away. Should've called the cops, to be honest with you. The first time anything like that happened, I should've called the cops.
Because the next thing she did was call the cops on me. According to police arrest statistics, there were 97, reported victims of intimate-partner violence in Canada in More than 80 per cent of them were women. Over the course of their lifetimes, as many as a third of Canadian couples have some experience of domestic violence.
Women are more likely to be victims if they're dating than if they're married, and especially if they're between the ages of 25 and Roughly one-quarter of all violent events involving spouses come to the attention of police, according to Canada's General Social Survey; of those, more than 70 per cent result in charges being recommended or laid.
Intimate-partner violence entails "a range of abusive behaviours that occur within relationships," and "can encompass physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and financial victimization or neglect," according to Statistics Canada. Shouting and name-calling can qualify. Lasting consequences can include depression and what one expert refers to as "the complete dismantling of a personality.
It shows up in all classes and at all income levels. It's a field where people try to hang on to numbers: If we know how much violence there is, maybe we can control it.
Instead, the data tell the same horrifying stories over and over again. Sixty-five per cent of spouses accused of homicide in — almost all of whom were men — had a previous history of attacking their victim. Get out while you can. Nearly half the women who become victims of spousal violence were first assaulted before they turned Having been victimized makes you more likely to be a victim again. About 35 pregnant women are assaulted by their husbands every day. Eight out of 10 physical intimate-partner attacks are common assaults — "an offence with little or no injury to the victim," as one federal statistical report cavalierly puts it.
Common assault includes pushing, slapping, punching and face-to-face verbal aggression. There is also, obviously, fear, which is not included in the formal definition. The next-most-common forms of intimate violence are uttering threats way down at 9 per cent and criminal harassment, or stalking at 7 per cent.
The majority of men use their hands, rather than a weapon. Maybe assault feels more personal that way? Ontario has the lowest rate of family violence; Saskatchewan has the highest, after Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
The good news: Domestic abuse seems to have been declining for decades. From to , the rate at which women were murdered by their intimate partners — a rate that is almost always reported, and indisputable — dropped 48 per cent. The most commonly reported motives for killing a spouse are still jealousy, frustration, and despair, in that order.
The bad news: That decline has evened out in the past decade, and has been flat for the past few years. The rate of intimate-partner homicide against women actually rose 19 per cent between and More than 80, Canadian women are still abused every year, judging by police statistics alone, and we're not doing enough to stop it. But those are numbers. Let me tell you about a woman I'll call Laura, a woman I met last fall.
She was 20 when she met her husband. Again, this is her account; contacting him to corroborate it runs the risk of endangering her. She was on vacation in Prince Edward Island. He was 20 years older than she was, a schoolteacher, "a dream come true. He was secretive about money, wouldn't even let her get the groceries. That kept her in the house.
He seemed almost paranoically insecure, but at first she figured she could change him: "I thought that, if I loved him enough, and he loved me, we could work it out.
Men tell Oprah why they beat the women they love
Men who abuse rarely do it once, even if they are rich and famous. So, if you're in a relationship with a guy who has pushed, hit, or slapped you once, take it as a warning sign. You can expect him to do it again and again.
Earlier this month Keira Knightley launched an ad campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse. Two women die because of domestic violence every week and while , victims go to the police each year, an estimated 60 per cent of all cases remain unreported. When I was a girl, to outside eyes, my family appeared to be living the upper-class English dream. Our home was a Queen Anne manor house set in hundreds of acres of fields in the Home Counties where my father could land his helicopter with ease. My elder brother Daniel and I were looked after by two nannies and there were about a dozen other staff.
On Sunday; When Men Hit the Women They Love
I got myself a nice girl. They'd grown up friends in the Chelsea part of Manhattan. Their mothers played dominos together. For some reason, three years ago, Eve decided to call Juan's beeper. They started hanging out, then dating. They liked the same music -- rap, reggae, house. You know what it is? Eve can dance.
Can domestic abusers be rehabilitated?