How the system can sometimes fail our men and children.

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black family / domestic abuse / domestic violence

domestic-violence-and-men

This morning whilst reflecting, I thought about how men are subject to domestic violence and abuse yet society does not seem pay enough attention to this. Even though men experience Domestic Violence and Abuse on a smaller scale compared to women and children; some men are vulnerable, and feel helpless because the system favours women as there is a general perception that men are most commonly the perpetrators of Domestic Violence and Abuse.

It is well known even though it is not widely spoken about that; some women for reasons best suited to their own interest and agendas, would without a flinch of guilt, nail their partners to the cross by telling lies and show no remorse. Such women do so with malice and with the intentions to deliberately destroy their partner’s livelihood, their jobs, and to even ensure that the man is deprived from seeing their children by the authorities involved. These men have found themselves victims, and because of the stereotypes around men being the main culprits of Domestic violence and Abuse, they have been unfairly sentenced or dealt with for alleged domestic abuse/violence that they have not committed. Sometimes, as we have seen in the media, such situations have driven men to suicide, severe depression, excessive drinking and men becoming victims of circumstances of sorts, as they become caught up in a system that does not examine circumstances in-depth.

Quite often, professional such as Social workers, and health visitors are called in if children are involved. Such professionals hold the ‘power’ when it comes to issues such as child protection and working with vulnerable adults. However, as we may have heard or read in the media; we need to be found criticising some of their practices and hopefully can have dialogue on behalf of innocent men because we are very much aware of the dangers involved with professionals exercising too much power. A lot of the time, many aspects that could help towards treating falsely accused men fairly are overlooked. Also, quite often professionals come into the equation with a biased view that determines how they will work with a family undergoing domestic violence and abuse; and ultimately how they treat the alleged perpetrator. Quite often, we may have observed that being a black man and in this situation, does not help either as social workers and other professionals use their bias and misunderstanding of black men. Also, a lack of knowledge around cultural aspects influence how professionals work and execute their cases. It is extremely important to note at this point that whilst the mother of these children places the future of her children in jeopardy (if she is being malicious); there is also the risk that these children will lose their father and be placed into a system that is considered safe for them, yet aides in emotionally damaging them as they struggle to get used to a different environment and form different relationships whilst their father is cast out.

The social work and such professions should recognise the need to be aware of issues of power and potential misuse of power that can lead to discriminatory and oppressive practices that ultimately affect families, as practices that overlook the biases of the professionals, as well as the use of stereotypes are being enforced, that determine the outcome of cases and do an injustice to children ultimately as the family is broken by what is understood as being the law.

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