For Men to Think About

Publication Date: 
1995
Resource Origin: 
Springtide

You may be becoming or already are an abusive man if you...

  • Get jealous of anyone who gets close to your wife or girlfriend
  • Criticize what your wife or girlfriend wears or does
  • Sulk silently when you are upset
  • Scare her by driving fast or doing other reckless things
  • Become very angry about trivial things
  • Have an explosive temper
  • Are often depressed or withdrawn but won't talk about your feelings
  • Become angry or violent when you drink alcohol or use drugs
  • Have traditional ideas about what men and women should be and should do. For example, you believe that a man should:
    • take care of all family matters
    • control his wife or girlfriend
    • control his wife or girlfriend's activities
    • choose his wife or girlfriend's friends 
  • Control where she goes, who she sees, and claim it is for her protection
  • Threaten to hit her, her children, her friends, or her pets
  • Have thrown or deliberately broken things.
  • Have ever hit her, no matter how sorry you are afterwards.
  • (for some people) Were physically or emotionally abused by a parent and/or have a father or stepfather who abuses/abused your mother.

If you are abusive:

You should get help and change your behaviour as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may destroy your relationship and/or seriously injure someone you care about.

Remember that:

  • You need to take responsibility for your own actions. Your girlfriend or wife does not make you hit her.
  • Your violence will increase if you don't take action to stop it.
  • Blaming your violence on drugs, alcohol or sickness and apologizing after the abuse will not solve your problem.
  • Physical violence and threats of violence are crimes. You will face fines or imprisonment, if your are convicted of assault.
  • Many men have the same problem, and use violence or the threat of violence to control women's behaviour. You will be held responsible.
  • It's never too late to change your behaviour with the support of your friends, your community, and the police

Prevention tips for men

  • Do not put the pressure on the women to have sex. You can have a successful social encounter without "scoring".
  • Do not assume you know what a woman wants and that she knows what you want. Ask her what she wants, and tell her what you want.
  • Speak up if you feel you are getting a double message from a woman. If you are still confused, do not have sex with her.
  • Keep in mind that alcohol and drugs impair your judgement.
  • Know which behaviours constitute sexual assault.
  • Remember, sexual assault is a crime.

Adapted from information prepared by Interval House, Hamilton, Ontario; and the Southern California Coalition on Battered Women.