I Think I Messed Up What Would You Do?

  • Thread starter lisab
  • Start date
In summary: I'd guess, that he had to bear the brunt of it - as a child would have.In summary, the conversation was about a witness account of a young couple having an argument, where the woman was behaving erratically and trying to kick the man. The observer initially hesitated to intervene due to her own gender stereotype, but later realized that the situation could have been reversed and she would have taken action. The conversation also touched on the issue of domestic violence and discrimination against men in such cases. The conversation ended with a discussion about maturity and how some people never seem to grow out of childish behavior.
  • #36
genericusrnme said:
You're totally right, a man being abused by his female partner (who he should be more powerful than) isn't going to harm his mental health in any way.


Too many girls go about with the idea that they can attack men without any kind of repercussions because they feel that they're pretected by the force field of 'im a girl'.
Maybe it's just from my perspective. Almost all women are shorter than me and a lot weaker than me. I've never had a woman who hits me when she's angry, so I guess I wouldn't know how it feels to have a woman I love abuse me. But what I was getting at was that the situations are different. Women who are in relationships like that sometimes feel stuck, or afraid to leave because she's intimidated by the man. So the beatings she takes are a lot more damaging and can be ongoing because she's afraid to leave him, or doesn't have anywhere else to go. Usually a man isn't going to be intimidated by a woman, and usually a man will have somewhere else to go because he will most likely have a job so he can afford to leave.
I know I'm generalizing, and I'm sure there are exceptions, but the vast majority of the time, the danger of an abusive woman doesn't hold a candle to the danger of an abusive man.
 
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  • #37
The fact that this discussion has gone on this long is disgusting.

Abuse is abuse. Period. Doesn't matter who's abusing whom.

lisab, if, in your opinion, the woman you observed was being abusive (and from your description it certainly sounds like she was), you should have reported it the same as if you had observed a man being abusive. All you know is that you observed her assault him without any apparent provocation. You don't know all the details, but you don't have to to report violence to the police. The fact that there was a child involved makes it even worse, since if she's abusive to her partner, it's quite possible she's abusive to her child as well. Child services should have been called (either by you or the police).

To all others saying something to the effect of "you shouldn't report it, because he wasn't in any real danger", it's people like YOU that are the reason female on male abuse is under-reported in the first place. First off, if a person is abusive once, they're likely abusive at other times as well. She may not be a credible danger in the park, pushing a stroller, but how about next time, when she's holding a knife or something else that can be used as a weapon? Second, she may be threatening him in ways other than physical: "If you ever leave me, I'll make sure you never see our child(ren?) again" or possibly even worse "If you ever leave me, I'll tell everyone you beat me, and send you to jail". In either of these case, reporting this incident could have gone a long way to ending the ongoing abuse, or preventing a tragedy later on.
 
  • #38
In summary:

Yes, you did mess up. Learn from it and make a better choice if you find yourself in a similar situation again.
 
  • #39
I believe that if your gut feeling tells you there's no danger, most likely there isn't any danger.
But if your gut feeling tells you to pay attention and that something is really wrong, that you should act on it.

You should still be careful with preconceptions, since they may bring you to ignore your gut feeling.

I dare to assume that in this particular instance, the actual danger was non-existent, and that any action would only have had a counterproductive effect.
 
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  • #40
leroyjenkens said:
Maybe it's just from my perspective. Almost all women are shorter than me and a lot weaker than me. I've never had a woman who hits me when she's angry, so I guess I wouldn't know how it feels to have a woman I love abuse me. But what I was getting at was that the situations are different. Women who are in relationships like that sometimes feel stuck, or afraid to leave because she's intimidated by the man. So the beatings she takes are a lot more damaging and can be ongoing because she's afraid to leave him, or doesn't have anywhere else to go. Usually a man isn't going to be intimidated by a woman, and usually a man will have somewhere else to go because he will most likely have a job so he can afford to leave.
I know I'm generalizing, and I'm sure there are exceptions, but the vast majority of the time, the danger of an abusive woman doesn't hold a candle to the danger of an abusive man.
You're still missing the point. It has nothing to do with what organs that hang between the legs of the people involved. It has to do with aggressor and defender.

If the aggressor is in danger of overwhelming the defender then there's a problem. If the defender does not feel the situation is out of hand, then there's no call to interfere.

Gender is irrelevant.
 
  • #41
NeoDevin said:
The fact that this discussion has gone on this long is disgusting.

Abuse is abuse. Period. Doesn't matter who's abusing whom.
This is true. But it is not necessarily relevant. You must first show that this was indeed abuse. The general consensus we have here - based on observance of the only other person in the exchange who is qualified to judge - is that it was not.

NeoDevin said:
To all others saying something to the effect of "you shouldn't report it, because he wasn't in any real danger", it's people like YOU that are the reason female on male abuse is under-reported in the first place.
Straw man. Deal with the case presented, not with a hypothetical.

LisaB did what she thought was right given the individual circumstances presented. You can't have a blanket response to ALL scenarios.

NeoDevin said:
First off, if a person is abusive once, they're likely abusive at other times as well. She may not be a credible danger in the park, pushing a stroller, but how about next time, when she's holding a knife or something else that can be used as a weapon?
Ridiculous over-generalization and reductio ad absurdum.

NeoDevin said:
Second, she may be threatening him in ways other than physical: "If you ever leave me, I'll make sure you never see our child(ren?) again" or possibly even worse "If you ever leave me, I'll tell everyone you beat me, and send you to jail". In either of these case, reporting this incident could have gone a long way to ending the ongoing abuse, or preventing a tragedy later on.
Again. You have no business making assumptions about what you don't see. You might as well skip ahead and just assume she's a terrorist.

Look, we're all aware that abuse is a big issue. But knee-jerking with absolutes is not an appropriate reaction.
Crime is a big issue but we don't have capital punishment for pickpockets. Black and white attitudes would destroy the world we live in.
 
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  • #42
DaveC426913 said:
You must first show that this was indeed abuse.
Sorry, I thought she tried to kick him, after screaming at him? My mistake... Oh wait! That's exactly what the original post said! If you really don't think verbal and attempted physical abuse is abuse, then you're part of the problem.
DaveC426913 said:
Straw man. Deal with the case presented, not with a hypothetical.
I did deal with the case presented. I clearly stated that she didn't know, and couldn't possibly know, any other circumstances in the situation, and that that is specifically why it should have been reported.
DaveC426913 said:
LisaB did what she thought was right given the individual circumstances presented. You can't have a blanket response to ALL scenarios.
I didn't suggest a blanket response to ALL scenarios. Just a sensible response to observed domestic violence.
DaveC426913 said:
Ridiculous over-generalization and reductio ad absurdum.

Again. You have no business making assumptions about what you don't see.
Assuming a person acting violently is a violent person is an over-generalization now? You are correct that she may not be a generally violent person, but again lisab had no way of knowing this.
DaveC426913 said:
You might as well skip ahead and just assume she's a terrorist.
Or to take your stance: we can watch someone try and fail to blow up a building, and decide that they're not a terrorist...
DaveC426913 said:
Crime is a big issue but we don't have capital punishment for pickpockets. Black and white attitudes would destroy the world we live in.
Now who's making men of straw? I merely pointed out that she should have reported it, not that the woman be beheaded, or even face any penalties at all. Just that it be reported so it can be invetigated.
 
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  • #43
You're still missing the point. It has nothing to do with what organs that hang between the legs of the people involved. It has to do with aggressor and defender.

If the aggressor is in danger of overwhelming the defender then there's a problem. If the defender does not feel the situation is out of hand, then there's no call to interfere.

Gender is irrelevant.
If gender was irrelevant, there would be no correlation between gender and which person is likely to get overwhelmed. Is a man more likely to physically overwhelm a woman, vice versa, or are we to pretend that we can't know this answer simply to avoid stereotypes?
 
  • #44
NeoDevin said:
Sorry, I thought she tried to kick him, after screaming at him? My mistake... Oh wait! That's exactly what the original post said! If you really don't think verbal and attempted physical abuse is abuse, then you're part of the problem.

No one here is arguing that abuse didn't take place, only that physical harm to the man was unlikely.

leroyjenkens said:
If gender was irrelevant, there would be no correlation between gender and which person is likely to get overwhelmed. Is a man more likely to physically overwhelm a woman, vice versa, or are we to pretend that we can't know this answer simply to avoid stereotypes?

Gender is irrelevant in the sense that on a case to case basis, if the defender is capable of handling themselves, regardless of what gender they are, then there is no need to call for assistance. Obviously in the big picture gender is a significant factor because MOST men are larger and stronger than MOST women.
 
  • #45
NeoDevin said:
Sorry, I thought she tried to kick him, after screaming at him? My mistake... Oh wait! That's exactly what the original post said! If you really don't think verbal and attempted physical abuse is abuse,
Regardless of what you or I think, the boyfriend didn't feel he was in any danger of abuse. That's what's relevant here.

NeoDevin said:
I did deal with the case presented.
Good. Deal with the fact that the situation was not out of control.

NeoDevin said:
I didn't suggest a blanket response to ALL scenarios. Just a sensible response
Which is exactly what she did.

NeoDevin said:
Assuming a person acting violently is a violent person is an over-generalization now? You are correct that she may not be a generally violent person, but again lisab had no way of knowing this.
So we should assume she has a bomb strapped to herself under her jacket? You went from a hissy fit to knife. A bomb is not out of the realm of your possibility.

NeoDevin said:
Or to take your stance: we can watch someone try and fail to blow up a building, and decide that they're not a terrorist...
See the difference there? You pretend like this woman is more guilty than she is. Sure, first it's a hissy fit, but then it's a knife, or blowing up a building.

This is a hysteria.
 
  • #46
DaveC426913 said:
Regardless of what you or I think, the boyfriend didn't feel he was in any danger of abuse. That's what's relevant here.
First: You have no way of knowing how he felt. Second: He doesn't need to "feel he was in any danger of abuse" to be a victim of abuse. What lisab observed was abuse, plain and simple. Therefore he wasn't "in danger of abuse", he was experiencing it at the time.
DaveC426913 said:
Good. Deal with the fact that the situation was not out of control.
I would say screaming and kicking are "out of control". And that's an aside from the fact that control, or lack thereof, are completely irrelevant as to whether an abuse should be reported.
 
  • #47
Drakkith said:
No one here is arguing that abuse didn't take place, only that physical harm to the man was unlikely.

The likelihood of physical harm is irrelevant. Why does everyone discount the psychological harm that comes from verbal abuse? To both the man and the child, in this situation.
 
  • #48
DaveC426913 said:
See the difference there? You pretend like this woman is more guilty than she is. Sure, first it's a hissy fit, but then it's a knife, or blowing up a building.

No, you seem to automatically assume that she poses no threat to anyone. I'm not the one making any claims either way. The hypothetical situations were merely meant to illustrate situations that many in this thread discount out of hand. Situations that do happen.

My position is quite simple:

Abuse was observed, and should have been reported.

That's it. No further assumptions about danger, harm, or what is or is not "normal" behavior for this woman. Now, please stop trying to misrepresent hypotheticals that were used for illustration as me making claims about this particular woman's behavior.
 
  • #49
NeoDevin said:
Abuse was observed, and should have been reported.
You have not demonstrated that it was abusive.

"He would evade, but he did not try to get away or strike back, or try to stop her. "

I'm not suggesting for a moment that it wasn't atrocious behavior; it was.

But police? What exactly could police do?
"Did she strike you?"
"No."
"Were you injured? Frightened? Cornered? Anything?"
"No."
"Was this just a hissy fit?"
"Yes."
 
  • #50
DaveC426913 said:
But police? What exactly could police do?

Absolutely. An incident happened to me once in the UK (remember UK law and police procedures may be different). I was walking across a road in tne middle of town carrying a large heavy suitcase, using a crossing where I had right of way over cars. I realized there was a car driving towards me at about twice the speed limit, with no obvious sign of stopping.

I jumped back out of the way of the car, and in the process let go of the case which hit the car. I picked up the car and carried on walking. A few seconds later I was expectedly pushed to the ground from behind by a middle aged man who as "effing and blinding" and accusing me of deliberately attacking his car. I decided the best option was "play dead" rather than get up and provoke any more aggression. Shortly afterwards a woman (a passenger in the car I assume) turned up, called the man off, and they went back the the car and drove off. I got the car number. When I got up I discovered (or assumed) the guy's expensive wrist watch had come off when he pushed me, I had fallen on top of it, and the glass was cracked.

There happened to be a police station only about 200 yards away, so I went there to report the incident, and took the watch rather than leaving it in the street. As with DaveC's questions, the basic response was

Was anybody else involved apart from the two of you? No.
Do you have ID of any witnesses? No.
Have you suffered any personal injury or damage to property? No.
Do you know if you actually damaged the other guy's car or not? No.
Are you sure the watch belonged to the other guy? No.

Conclusion and advice: Throw the watch in the trash can on your way out, and forget about the whole thing. We aren't going to waste our time on paperwork just in case the other guy makes a complaint. If he doesn't know who you are, that's his problem not ours...
 
  • #51
AlephZero said:
Conclusion and advice: Throw the watch in the trash can on your way out, and forget about the whole thing. We aren't going to waste our time on paperwork just in case the other guy makes a complaint. If he doesn't know who you are, that's his problem not ours...

In Neo's defense - or in my own - I am not suggesting that because the police won't do anything means it's futile to report it. I am not suggesting that at all. A crime should be reported, and you did the right thing.

What I am suggesting in LisaB's case is that there is no crime to report. The police can't do anything.
 
  • #52
DaveC426913 said:
In Neo's defense - or in my own - I am not suggesting that because the police won't do anything means it's futile to report it. I am not suggesting that at all. A crime should be reported, and you did the right thing.

What I am suggesting in LisaB's case is that there is no crime to report. The police can't do anything.

I am not sure about Canada, but here in the US if you shout at someone and attempt to strike them that is a crime that the police can definitely do something about. The "victim" may decide to not press charges but that does not mean that there was no crime or that the police could not have potentially done something about it. Your hypothetical exchange between the man and the police is pretty common of abused women as well. They are often afraid, embarrassed, and/or ashamed. Why do you think that a man is more capable of cowing his partner than a woman? Do you think that women never try to ignore abuse or pretend like it is not happening/has not happened?

If you saw a man shouting at a woman and watched as she side stepped attempts to kick her and just kept walking and acting like it was no big deal would you seriously not call the police? Would her gender perhaps make you more inclined to believe that she was just putting on an act and was in fact bothered by the situation? Even if she did seem to genuinely think that it was no big deal do you think that you would have still perceived it as being no big deal? or do you think you might decide that she is being stupid and not paying attention to the real threat of abuse from her partner and that maybe she needs someone to call the police to help her protect herself and try to show her how wrong that situation is?


And I forgot about you Lisab, sorry. If it was just a few moments that they were there as this was going on there was not really anything you could do. All the gender perceptions and such aside there usually isn't much you can do about such things. Nearly every time I have called the police regarding domestic abuse situations the fight was over or the people were gone by the time the officers arrived.
 
  • #53
NeoDevin said:
The likelihood of physical harm is irrelevant. Why does everyone discount the psychological harm that comes from verbal abuse? To both the man and the child, in this situation.

The likelihood of physical harm is entirely relevant. You simply don't call the police in this situation because it is pointless. You don't know what their personal life is like from one incident. You may think you know, but you do not.
 
  • #54
DaveC426913 said:
What I am suggesting in LisaB's case is that there is no crime to report. The police can't do anything.

As TheStatutoryApe pointed out, there certainly was a crime to report. Attempting to strike another person is illegal in both Canada and the US. Screaming at someone may or may not be illegal, probably depends on the situation, location, etc.

The reasons for reporting abuse don't stop at immediate police action. Having a report filed may help the abused party in future, whether through making it easier to get a restraining order, making it easier to gain custody of children, or making it easier to successfully press assault charges in the future.

Ask yourself honestly: If the situation had been reversed, and a man was observed shouting and attempting to kick/hit a woman (in front of their child!), would you recommend reporting it? If the answer is yes, then the difference in response to that situation and this one is just plain sexism.
 
  • #55
NeoDevin said:
All you know is that you observed her assault him without any apparent provocation.

Just to correct my earlier post. According to some quick research online (and therefore possibly not entirely accurate), what you observed was an attempted battery, rather than assault. Assault appears to require credible threat, which was not necessarily present in this situation, while battery covers any offensive contact (and therefore trying to kick him is attempted battery).

I am not a lawyer nor a police officer of any sort, and this was found with 10 seconds of Googling, so take it with a grain of salt. I just thought I would add it, so that we have a clearer idea of what crime was actually committed.
 
  • #56
Do you also report littering and jaywalking?

A crime that could be reported is not the same as a crime that must be reported - and to what level not reporting it is considered ... what was the word ... oh yeah:

NeoDevin said:
...disgusting...
 
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  • #57
DaveC426913 said:
Do you also report littering and jaywalking?

A crime that could be reported is not the same as a crime that must be reported - and to what level not reporting it is considered ... what was the word ... oh yeah:

And the question still remains: Do you consider it less "disgusting" to not report female on male abuse than to not report male on female abuse? I know you have already said that you feel it was not necessary since Lisa reports that the male did not seem bothered or perturbed by the incident, but as I asked already: would you still not consider it necessary if a female did not appear bothered or perturbed by seeming abuse from a male?
 
  • #58
TheStatutoryApe said:
And the question still remains: Do you consider it less "disgusting" to not report female on male abuse than to not report male on female abuse? I know you have already said that you feel it was not necessary since Lisa reports that the male did not seem bothered or perturbed by the incident, but as I asked already: would you still not consider it necessary if a female did not appear bothered or perturbed by seeming abuse from a male?

It is certainly a good point. But what it highlights is that fact the sexism works both ways (It biases an otherwise objective viewpoint). If we see a woman easily dodging the aggressions of a man, obviously unperturbed and unthreatened by it, why would we assume we know better than her, whether she is threatened?
 
  • #59
I certainly hope if I was in that situation that someone wouldn't call the police and say my wife/girlfriend was attacking me. I would never live it down with the guy friends who will interpret that as "got beaten up".

It's probably a good thing you didn't call. Whilst domestic abuse goes both ways, I think in most cases, a woman attacking a man is not as grievous as the other way around. Although they both are equally wrong in principle. Unless there were weapons involved, the general kicking and punching isn't really going to do much to most males, and judging by what you said about his evasive action, it confirms it was really not much. Contrast this with him being attacked by another male, it's likely that evasive action there would have ended in him being knocked out.

It's just how things are.
 
  • #60
DaveC426913 said:
Do you also report littering and jaywalking?

A crime that could be reported is not the same as a crime that must be reported - and to what level not reporting it is considered ... what was the word ... oh yeah:

Good point.
 
  • #61
those who doubt a woman can be a threat to a man have not seen some of the women around here. besides a weapon changes all that in an instant, even a club, certainly a knife, and even more a gun. here in georgia there are laws that allow people to carry concealed weapons, and as everyone knows, in states like florida they can shoot anyone who makes them feel threatened.

so the "only women should feel threatened" argument seems logically to allow the conclusion that any woman can shoot any man in any argument situation. interesting...

the only validity to any of these gender distinctions I can imagine is a possible biological link whereby males may be wired (by testosterone) to be more aggressive. I think it has less to do with size or strength.

I am also guilty of these biases in behavior since I have also neglected to report cases of women abusing men, whereas I would probably not ignore the other way around. The reason may be that the news usually reports the male eventually harming the woman fatally more often than the other way around, but it may just be chauvinism.I also think there is a flaw in the principle that a physically weaker person should be allowed to abuse a stronger one. If you have two children and you allow the younger smaller one to beat on the older one without allowing the older one to retaliate, you may well cause more trouble than you prevent. A feisty small person can often defend him/herself quite effectively against a larger one. Abuse is about psychological dominance.
 
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  • #62
mathwonk said:
those who doubt a woman can be a threat to a man ...

Surely no one actually thinks this.

The only issue that should be on the table is whether in the defender's opinion (whether male or female) they feel the situation is out their control.
 
  • #63
lisab said:
She was having a complete meltdown, a world-class temper tantrum. Her shrieking escalated, but the young man did nothing but stand there.

I kept watching, feeling guilty about it, but it was like watching a train wreck. This woman was nuts!
I personally might well have called the cops based on the fact she seemed crazy. What you describe sounds like a manic episode, or possibly the result of a drug. The domestic abuse aspect would probably not have occurred to me. I'd be wondering if she was a bipolar person off her meds, or on crack, and I'd call to report her crazy behavior mostly because her shrieking was bothering me.
 
  • #64
NeoDevin said:
The reasons for reporting abuse don't stop at immediate police action. Having a report filed may help the abused party in future, whether through making it easier to get a restraining order, making it easier to gain custody of children, or making it easier to successfully press assault charges in the future.

I think this is one of the most important reasons why you should report abuse like this. The courts are very much biased against guys and there certainly are guys who are abused by their spouse/gfs. It doesn't matter whether or not the guy could easily defend or shrug off this abuse, all that matters is that there is abuse. If they were married and did happen to get a divorce, regardless of the physical danger, this would be a clear example of the woman's possible mental instability that could be brought to a judge.

As far as whether or not the physical abuse need be reported solely because of the physical characteristic, I agree with mathwonk. If you saw a man screaming at a woman on the street, I believe a vast majority of us would report it because I think everyone here knows that there's a chance it could escalate to physical violence quickly and that's not something we're okay with leaving to chance. If you see a woman attacking (even unsuccessfully) a man, people should realize that that could escalate as well. You don't need to be a man to hit someone on the head with something and put them in the hospital.

The woman doesn't need to be send to jail, but police do need to step into show that this is unacceptable behavior in our society.
 
  • #65
There seems to be a few people suggesting that a man can leave a relationship any time he wants and therefore cannot be abused in the same way a woman can. The fact is that a huge percentage of abused women stay with their partner and not only through the physical threat of what would happen if they left. Although it is true that victims of domestic abuse should leave the situation, it is not a valid reason to dismiss any abuse that they are subjected to.

And contrary to what certain people are saying, a man cannot easily defend himself in these situations unless he wants to end up in court for domestic abuse.
 
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  • #66
I wouldn't report them, simply because I don't report much stuff. I should do, but I don't.
 
  • #67
leroyjenkens said:
If I see a woman who hits her male partner, I think that he's in no danger and if he became sick of the "abuse" he could just leave the relationship.

If I see a man who hits his female partner, I think her mental and physical health are in danger, and she could possibly be intimidated and scared to leave the relationship.

Men can take care of themselves.

Does the name Bobbitt ring any bells?

If there are kids, why would it be easier for the man to leave?
 
  • #68
PAllen said:
If there are kids, why would it be easier for the man to leave?
If he wants custody of his children. If his wife exhibited signs of violence, emotional, or mental instabilty, a judge would be more inclined to give the father custody.
 
  • #69
Evo said:
If he wants custody of his children. If his wife exhibited signs of violence, emotional, or mental instabilty, a judge would be more inclined to give the father custody.

Still, no one looks forward to being a single parent. It could lead to feeling trapped equally for the man or the woman. For either, the overarching concern should be the harm of a poisonous environment on the kids, but I do not see any reason the men are more likely than women to balance conflicting interests and emotions and make the objectively best decision.
 
  • #70
PAllen said:
Still, no one looks forward to being a single parent. It could lead to feeling trapped equally for the man or the woman. For either, the overarching concern should be the harm of a poisonous environment on the kids, but I do not see any reason the men are more likely than women to balance conflicting interests and emotions and make the objectively best decision.
If the woman is the danger or potential danger, the children should go to the father.
 

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