I’ve raised a few men from scratch… my sons. Being a single parent of two of these three boys….I had some challenges. Because I’m a woman, I didn’t always speak their language. I was concerned about guns and wouldn’t buy them any when they were little. My boys made them out of sticks. I discovered that boys like to play shooting games, even before they know what a gun is… it’s uncanny.
So, what’s a mom (or dad) to do about the fact that boys grow into men, and some men beat up women?
Is violence in their DNA? I don’t think so, I think boys are hardwired to hunt, protect and provide for their offspring and that takes some serious aggression. Trouble is, men don’t need those skills now to take care of things, and we must understand how to help our sons grown into men who respect and cherish women and know how to deal with anger or frustration appropriately.
Violence against women is staggering. Just a few years ago the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief reported that in the year 2001, more than half a million American women (588,490 women) were victims of nonfatal violence committed by an intimate partner.
…And, this sucks… the most rapid growth in domestic relations caseloads is occurring in domestic violence filings. Between 1993 and 1995, 18 of 32 states with three year filing figures reported an increase of 20 percent or more.
These statistics are just for the U.S. Really, this happens everywhere and it’s got to stop. Amnesty International has a powerful campaign going for women, and awareness gets better about this, but you can make a big difference by reaching the little ones.
Yes… the boys.
I raised my sons (and my daughters) to respect each other and refrain from physical fighting. That doesn’t mean they didn’t try it or do it, but my boys were cautioned about the importance of respecting women, and understanding that they may grow up and be stronger – physically – then women so they must never strike or push a woman for any reason. I told them that even if a woman got nasty with him, it was better to walk away as opposed to reacting.
Family Violence Defense Fund is one such organization committed to supporting a change in our social behavior, and makes an effort to educate and help people who suffer with domestic violence. Both the perpetrator and the victim. Check out what they suggest for raising our sons.
I like that this subject is being addressed. It’s important.