Posted by David Mendelssohn
Why should I care about domestic violence and dating abuse? Good question. I’m a young man, physically and emotionally strong, so I could never be the victim of abuse, right?
In 2008, the CDC reported that 11.5 percent of men experienced being a victim of domestic violence. That is about one in every nine men. Still, I might think that I am safe; I could avoid abusive relationships. If I take care of myself, I do not need to worry about domestic violence, right?
The other half of that CDC statistic is that 23.6 percent of women reported being a victim of domestic violence. That is about one in every four women. While this statistic holds great significance for women, it has large implications for men as well.
So what are those implications for men? Why should we, as men, care?
Think about how many women you know and love. Need help? Here are a few suggestions to get you started: your mother, your grandmother, your aunt, your daughter, your sister, your niece, your cousin, or your friend. That is a lot more than four women. Any of these women you love and hold dear could be in that 23.6 percent, that one in four who experiences domestic violence or dating abuse.
Because there are women in my life I love, I care about stopping domestic abuse and dating violence. I have female acquaintances, female friends, and female relatives I would abhor to see hurt or abused by their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife.
For me, stopping domestic violence is not about protecting myself. It is about protecting the people I love. It is about making sure that everyone can be in a healthy and happy relationship. As a man, I have women in my life who matter to me. As a human, I want to see them safe and happy.
I care about ending dating abuse and domestic violence. I care because 23.6 percent is 23.6 percent too many.
David Mendelssohn is a senior at Melrose High School and has lived in Melrose his whole life. As a sophomore, David joined the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (MAAV) Student Action Board (SAB), the student subsidiary group for MAAV. Since joining SAB, David has been a co-captain of the Boys’ Soccer Team for the MAAV Annual Walk, raising funds and support for domestic violence awareness and prevention. Additionally, he has helped educate middle school and high school students about stress, bullying, dating violence, and domestic abuse through assemblies and peer mentoring workshops.