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Ron LeGrand, CEO, The Legrand Group, LLC
It is usually gradual, beginning with kindness, flattery, gentleness—actions calculated to endear and establish trust. It will be subtle at first, disguised as “love” and “caring” and takes the form of demanding to know where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re with at all times. Every situation will be different, leading to different outcomes, but it’s called by the same name – “domestic violence”, also referred by some as “intimate partner violence”.
The term can be misleading because domestic violence is more than physical violence. The common element is an environment in which one person in a relationship intentionally and repeatedly abuses his/her partner in order to exert POWER and CONTROL over the other person. It can be unilateral or mutual, isolated or a patter. It impacts all genders, but most commonly women, girls and trans people. That relationship may involve former spouses, unmarried co-habitants, dating partners or people who do not live together but share a child. It’s the ultimate form of bullying. The abuse is not always physical but may be emotional, mental, sexual, racial, social, spiritual, psychological, verbal and, frequently, financial. It may even take the form of reproductive coercion. Domestic violence is an equal opportunity form of abuse, making no distinction of race, age, religion, socioeconomic
status, professional standing, or sexual orientation.
While it’s fairly common for most people, especially men, think of domestic violence as a “woman’s issue”, nothing could be further from the truth. I call on all men to join me in taking a stand and do our part in reducing and eliminating all forms of domestic abuse. Why? At some point in your life, certainly at the very beginning of your life, there was a woman involved. In all likelihood there’s still a woman—a sister, an aunt, a niece, a daughter, a mother, a friend— someone whom you would never want to see abused. We men MUST cease to be bystanders, and we
IPV is common. It affects millions of people in the United States each year. Data from CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) indicate:
• About 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported some form of IPV-related impact.
• Over 43 million women and 38 million men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
• On average, three women die every day in the U.S. as a result of domestic violence. Every nine seconds, a woman in the U.S. is assaulted or beaten. It is the most common cause of injury for women ages 18 to 44, and it leads to an increased incidence of chronic disease, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer, in women later in life.
As sobering as these numbers are, it’s important to understand that they don’t tell the whole story. More often than not, the incidence of intimate patterner abuse is under reported for many reasons including shame, embarrassment, and the feeling (or experience) of not being believed.
What can we do about this? One of the most important things we can do is to take it seriously, take responsibility for our actions and lead by example. I’m calling on all men to join me in working to create a culture that rejects violence as a way to deal with problems. We men must reject messages that say violence or mistreating women is OK. Men need to raise their children to respect others —after all, respect begins at home.
To the men I say it’s past time to take a stand and redefine what being a “Real Man” truly means. Real men must reject the set of attitudes and behaviors commonly referred to as “toxic masculinity” and being in the “Man Box”, i.e., the set of beliefs and behaviors often communicated by parents, families, the media, peers, and other members of society that place pressure on men to abide by certain code of conduct that includes but is not limited to:
• Suppressing emotions or masking distress (i.e., no crying)
• Maintaining an appearance of hardness (as in “suck it up!”)
• Violence as an indicator of power (think: “tough guy” behavior)
• Coercive and controlling behavior in relationships
• Perpetrating sexual violence and sexual harassment

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