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A Total Eclipse of the Son
September 9, 2003
by George Rolph

As the light of publicity shines on female victims of domestic violence there will be others standing in the dark shadow cast by that light. Those "others" will be men and boys.

A young man was standing outside of my home last summer and we were talking about his girlfriend. He told me he had just finished with her because she was "too controlling." He explained how she was dominating his whole life with her demands.

"She will not let me think for myself." he complained.

"Everything has to be done her way and in her time."

As he spoke a chill ran up and down my spine. I recognised what he was describing as a typical abusive trait. As we stood there chatting I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye and looked around. A slightly built female, obviously angry, was bearing down on us from about 50 yards away on the pavement (sidewalk). I motioned with my eyes and the friend looked up.

"Oh, Hi!" He said nervously.

She did not answer or check her speed. I knew what was coming.

"Look out, Paul." I said.

She reached his side and without a word drew back her arm. The punch hit him full in the cheek and knocked him backwards into a hedge. She drew her arm back again but I grabbed it and stopped the blow from landing. As I wrestled with her on the pavement she screamed abuse in my face and tried to kick Paul. He was in shock and stood there silently with tears running down his face. He was 15 years old. She was 16. As I held on to this wriggling, screaming, demonic figure I was aware of my own heart hammering in my chest. I automatically went into deep breathing mode in an effort to remain calm. Flashbacks from my own experiences of abuse seared my mind. I had to fight really hard to focus on the here and now.

Eventually she realised I was too strong for her and she began to calm down. I let her go, carefully keeping myself between her and Paul. In a calm sounding voice I advised her to leave and told her I was going to call the police. I pulled my mobile telephone out of my pocket to emphasise the point. She screamed more abuse at Paul and told him she would have him killed. Then she strode off down the street and around the corner. I handed the telephone to Paul. He took it and looked quizzically at me.

"Call the police Paul." I said.

"Why?" He replied.

"Because that was abuse and she has to be stopped from doing it. If you don't stop her now she will think it's OK to treat men in that way. She may kill someone one day."

Paul shook his head. "I cant. You don't do that do you?"

I took the phone and dialled 999. "I do, Paul." I said.

The police came. They listened as I related what happened. They talked Paul out of pressing charges which, by now he was willing to do. Then they left.

Paul went inside his Grans house to get his cheek wound -- split by her ring -- attended to. I went home and sat on my sofa, fighting another burst of flashbacks. When the flashbacks ended I realised an hour had passed and I was shaking and crying.

Paul went back to her. Three weeks later she beat him again and he left her for good. He never mentioned it to me. I found out from a mutual friend. One day I asked him why he didn't tell me.

"I thought you might call the police again." He said.

"And?" I enquired.

"They would just take the piss." He said.

Another young man denied justice by prejudice, shame and fear.

This is the shadow that male victims stand in.

Why do men do this to other men? Where has their sense of brotherhood gone?

In the spring I was standing in the queue at my local post office. In front of me was a woman of about 35 with three small kids. The eldest was a little boy about five years old. Two others were in a baby carriage. They went to the counter and the mother began paying bills. With her attention distracted the young boy toddled over the brightly coloured shelves placed at child height and covered in toys. He picked up a plastic fire engine and carried it to his mother. He caught my eye and I smiled at him. He smiled back then he yanked on her skirt. She tutted loudly and swatted him away. He tugged again.

"Mum, look." He said. She looked down and shouted at him.

"Put that back and come here!" He looked crest fallen.

"Can I have it mum?"

"No. Put it back."

"Please mum!" He yanked her skirt again.

Suddenly she span around. In a blur of speed she raised her hand and punched him -- yes, I said punched him -- in the side of the face. He hit the wall. As he slid down the wall she aimed a kick at his side. The boy screamed in pain. His mother reached down and snatched the toy from his hand and threw it back on the shelf. Then she returned to him and slapped him around the head before turning back to the counter and hurriedly stuffing a bunch of papers in her purse.

I was stunned. Not just by her violent assault on the kid but by the non reaction of the rest of the people in the queue. Not one single person looked troubled or concerned at her behaviour. I could not contain myself.

"What the bloody hell do you think you are doing?" I cried.

The mother looked up at me as she tried to drag her screaming child to his feet.


"You heard me." I said, furiously. "How dare you treat that child like that?"

"Fuck off and mind your own business."

"Don't talk to me like that. I am not a helpless five year old kid. You ought to be in jail."

To my astonishment someone in the queue said, "Mind your own business. They are her kids."

I spun around and glared at the queue. Everyone looked down. Unable to see who had spoken I addressed my remarks to the whole crowd.

"You people make me sick! If a man had done that you would all be calling the police. Why is it OK for her, huh?" No one answered me.

I looked back to where the mother had been standing but she was gone. She was almost out of the door.

The clerk looked at me from behind the counter and called, "Next."

When I got outside I called the police. The officer sounded bored. He took down the details and my address and told me someone would be coming to speak to me. No one ever came.

That young boy stands in the shadows.

As I watch TV here in England; as I read the papers or listen to the radio; all I ever hear is feminists talking about male child abuse or male violence against women. They are always silent on the failings of their own sex. It would not suit the anti-male model they promote to talk about it. The press and politicians are equally to blame. Too weak and too unthinking to want to ask questions that may rock the boat, they drink in the feminist rhetoric without question. Perhaps they are afraid of provoking the women in the office. Perhaps their own mothers terrified them and now all women frighten them. Who knows?

All I know for sure is that their cowardice creates the shadows that men and children bleed in, alone.

Let the light shine on ALL victims of violence regardless of who perpetrates it. The light will bring an end to their suffering.

The light is the truth. When will the feminists raise a hue and cry about those who stand in the shadows?

Don't eclipse our sons!

George Rolph is webmaster of Man2Man

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