He might well be a “good man” in many ways. He might be your good friend or brother. Your dedicated work colleague. A great guy in your soccer team or running club. He is the Violent Man, though he would never accept this label. And his wife or girlfriend might want to stay with him – she really loves him, despite what he sometimes does. Or she doesn’t want to break up the family. Maybe she feels too afraid to leave. Or maybe she actually can’t because of financial dependence.
But do you see, Violent Man? Do you see what you do? Do you see what hurt and damage you have caused? And do you see the very real danger there is of causing far greater destruction?
When the outer veneer and shows of strength are stripped away, the Violent Man is ultimately a man who is afraid. Fear of failure, fear of disrespect, fear of losing something, fear of shame, fear of loss, fear of not being in control, and so on. At a very basic level, his destructive words and behaviour are his attempt at dealing with or getting rid of the fear.
As much as we can find psychological and sociological reasons for its occurrence, violence against women and children is always an individual choice. It is never excusable. But all of us men need to stop enabling the Violent Man by being ignorant and indifferent. We all need to contribute true strength and loving leadership within a culture that too often tolerates and even celebrates violence. We need to man up. And inspire and help our brothers around us to do so too.
Will you be counted as one among us?