Spousal abuse: Not a joking matter whether the victim is male or female

I find it so incredible offensive that today’s news that Tiger Woods may have been the victim of domestic violence has drawn out a host of “jokes”, as though the idea of a man being beaten or attacked by his wife or girlfriend is some how “funnier” than if he had hauled off and beaten her.

I think, instead, that if she DID attack him the fact that he left the house without retaliating should be commended instead of made the butt of jokes.

I remember years ago a talk show — I think it was the Phil Donahue Show– the topic was domestic abuse. There was sympathy and indignation about all the women’s stories about being abused. People were angry. A man got up and told how his wife had beaten him and he tried to get help from a shelter and from the police and no one would help him. The audience erupted in laughter…

Phil asked “Why are you laughing?”

One woman said “Well, really, he must have done something to deserve it…”

How many times has an abused woman heard that over the years?

No one deserves being beaten by a spouse.

In my case, the police rolled up while he was smashing my head against the pavement on a public street. Had I been a total stranger to him, or even a nodding acquaintance, they would have arrested him. We were living together so I was the one who ended up in the back of the cruiser being escorted to the police station to be picked up by family.

I waited for an hour at the police station with a woman who was wrapped only in a towel and who had a slash across her face.

Her boyfriend had locked her naked in the basement after slashing her face. It was three days before a passerby finally stopped and helped her (naked) out of the basement…. after she convinced him that there was not a good reason why she was locked naked in the basement.

The police could do nothing to help us beyond driving us to the station and allowing us to call relatives. We would have to go down to see a Justice of the Peace and swear out our own charges before the police could do anything.

I don’t know abut her. I just was thankful to be alive and was afraid of the consequences of charging him myself so did nothing. The police couldn’t protect me if he had come after me again.

Phil Donahue had an excellent opportunity to talk about men being abused and how, no matter who you are, abuse is abuse. He could have talked about how even then women had at least a FEW more opportunities than men did for protection. Instead, he let the matter drop.

If iot turns out that Tiger was beaten by his wife, I commend him for leaving instead of fighting back. I am thankful that she didn;t have a gun and that in fleeing he wasn’t killed hitting the hydrant.

Like any case of domestic abuse, the consequences could have been deadly.


  1. John Markley said,

    December 8, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Thank you for speaking out about this. I wish more people would.

    • mudhooks said,

      December 8, 2009 at 6:12 am

      Frankly, I am completely disgusted at the people who laugh and laugh about her chasing him with a golf club and all they can talk about is how it is “his fault” because he (whether allegedly or not) had an affair.

      Funny is cutting up all his suits or throwing his clothes out on the lawn. Punching him in the face and threatening him with a golf club so that he hits a tree is not. If is had been him attacking her he’d have had no sympathy from the women of the world (like Ron Wood — now if that isn’t ironic… the very next weekend). Of course, like Vick, as soon as he’d won another tournament all would be forgotten.

  2. sledpress said,

    December 1, 2009 at 7:03 am

    I hadn’t heard this bit of news. Where did you come across it?

    As it happens, one of my peculiar ex’es (we’re talking high school) went on to marry a husband-beater and has still not disentangled himself, and I think it is in large part because there is so little support for guys in this fix.

    There is a thing called the Equal Justice Project in Colorado http://www.ejfi.org/
    and while the linchpin person, Charles Corry, often expresses curdled attitudes toward women, some of the stories he recounts could explain why — under current laws, women seem to get away with a lot of violence.

    Since I could, if I chose to, beat the crap out of half the men I know, and saw a lot of out-of-control behavior from women at an early age, I have no delusions that men are somehow uniquely responsible for abuse.

    • mudhooks said,

      December 1, 2009 at 7:32 am

      It is all over the news. Tiger is trying to downplay it and “blaming himself” which is, of course, the usual thing the victim does. Perhaps out of embarrassment. Both are refusing to talk to the police.

      Of course, all this is “alleged” at this point but if I may say so, Phil Hartman might have been alive today if he had admitted that things had gotten out of hand with his wife.

      Most states now have laws which police are expected to enforce whether the victim is the husband or the wife. In fact, if both of them get into the fight instead (as in fighting together, not defending oneself) both can be charged.

      Of course, in this case where there was a car accident with some injuries that might be difficult to differentiate from a possible assault, and without witnesses and without Tiger admitting that he was assaulted, the police may have difficulty in charging her.

      According to reports from early Sunday morning which seem to have been buried by calls for him to “come clean” about a possible affair, Woods’ wife accused him of seeing another woman and then attacked him, scratching his face (at least) then chasing him out of the house with a golf club. As he drove away, she smashed windows of his vehicle with the club. Some stories it was the side window and others the rear window. According to the stories, he stopped the car or thought he had stopped it and it rolled into the hydrant and tree.

      When police arrived, they claimed that his wife used the golf club to smash with window after he had his accident.

      As many have commented, why would you grab a golf club to smash the windows instead of grabbing the spare keys?
      Instead of suggesting that he needs to come clean about the accident and stop wasting the police’s time, the press is sidetracking the whole issue with this nonsense about an affair which is no one’s business.

      Years ago, after I had been beaten up my father said “You should have just waited until he was asleep and hit him on the head with the frying pan.”

      I tried to explain that violence to “fix” violence made no sense, firstly. Secondly, what would stop him from waiting until I was asleep and killing me?

      My ex-husband never understood how I could have gotten mixed up with this “monster”. I tried to tell him that if wife beaters looked and acted like monsters when you met them, you wouldn’t get mixed up with them. It wasn’t in their best interest to be control freaks and free with their fists until they get you where they want you.

      Wife-beaters let you and everyone else think they are the salt of the earth and they slowly start upping the ante on you, slowly cultivating fear and dependence on them.

      Unfortunately, there are certain mens groups that muddy the waters with “women get all the perks” when they should be working with women’s groups to make sure everyone has protection in such situations. Of course, there are also women who seem to take the attitude that if a man gets beaten up by his spouse, “it is about time a man learned what it is like for a woman”.

      This is just plain offensive. A victim is a victim whether you are male or female.

    • mudhooks said,

      December 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

      This is one of the articles. The source, or one of the sources, is TMZ: http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Accident+didn+cause+Tiger+injuries/2280980/story.html

  3. azahar said,

    November 30, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    One of the worst “effects” of abuse is that the abused person is usually the one who ends up feeling ashamed, whereas of course it should be the abuser.

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