The executive committee of the Western North Carolina Conference of United Methodist Men recently voted unanimously to become advocates of Peaceful Living, adopting the concepts outlined in Men against Domestic Violence (M.A.D.V.) and professing to the world that we honor our wives.
The deafening and disabling silence that has surrounded the abuse of women and children must be broken. Overwhelming numbers of women and children in our churches and communities are being battered, raped, emotionally and psychologically abused, physically and sexually assaulted. The abuse occurs in similar percentages in communities of every racial composition and every economic status, in rural areas as well as cities, in families adhering to every religion and to no religion. Silence shields us from our complicity in the violence as well as our failure to overcome it.
The above statement was not recently written in response to events in the media. It comes from the 1992 Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church. As United Methodist Men, we have not been doing enough to break the cycle.
Domestic Violence (as defined by the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence) is when two people get into an intimate relationship and one person uses a pattern of coercion and control against the other person during the relationship and/or after the relationship has terminated. It often includes physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse.
COMMON MYTHS AND WHY THEY ARE WRONG
Domestic violence only happens to poor women and women of color.
- Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.
Some people deserve to be hit.
- No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.
- Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.
Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence.
- Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence; they may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers often say they use these excuses for their violence.
- Generally, domestic violence happens when an abuser has learned and chooses to abuse.
- Domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness, but it is often used as an excuse for domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife.
- Domestic violence affects everyone.
- About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
- In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
- 40% to 60% of men who abuse women also abuse children.
If it were that bad, she would just leave.
- There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused.
- Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave.
For more information
Article about the formation of Men Against Domestic Violence
North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence