Today’s Editorial December 18: Change attitude about domestic violence

The news that reports of male domestic violence is on the increase is troublesome yet welcomed.

We sincerely hope that the increase in the numbers of male domestic violence is because abused men are becoming more aware of the need to seek and get help; that it’s no longer an embarrassment to admit you’re a man being abused.

Domestic violence is all about control and manipulation.

Those who abuse often have low self-esteem, may refuse to accept responsibility and may believe the violence is justified.

But it’s not.

Defined, domestic violence is abuse that happens between members of the same family or people in a close relationship.

While the majority of victims are women in the Cayman Islands, we do know that men are also being abused by their female partners and that boys are being abused by their parents.

Domestic violence can involve emotional or verbal abuse.

It can include physical abuse, sexual abuse and property or economic abuse.

Domestic violence can be triggered by a myriad of issues from jealousy, frustration and anger to controlling behaviour.

And it affects more than just the abuser and their victim

Statistics show that of the children who witness domestic violence, 60 per cent of the boys will become batterers and 50 per cent of the girls will become victims.

If you suspect abuse of either a man or a woman, you should take steps and notify the authorities.

Not getting involved won’t help the situation and could involve the death of someone.

If you do know someone you think is being abused tell them that you’re afraid for their safety, for the safety of their children and that they deserve better.

Domestic violence against men is no laughing matter. It exists and it is a real problem in the Cayman Islands.

Suspected domestic abuse should be reported to the Royal Cayman Islands Police or to Children and Family Services.

There is help in the Cayman Islands for abusers and those they are abusing.

All you have to do is ask for it.

While we are all becoming more aware of domestic violence and the numbers of cases being reported are up, we don’t have room to become complacent.

At the end of the day we need to change our attitude toward domestic abuse on all levels. We have to learn and teach our children that it isn’t OK for anyone to hit or abuse someone else to get their own way.

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