We hurt men, too.

“This is very difficult for mainstream society to accept as we have been socialized to believe that only men batter women,” says Barb Topliss of the Canon City Daily Record.

But it’s something that needs to be brought to the surface.

According to Topliss, 39% of domestic violence victims in the U.S. are, in fact, men.

I’ve become open about my own sexual assault this past year. Saturday marks the two year anniversary. While I’ve moved on from the unexplainable need to keep this part of my history secretive, it’s still very much a part of my present as well.

It’s important to understand that people who have been in this situation are very, very angry. So much so that they may act out violently as a result. No, I’ve never caused physical harm to another person because of this, but I have acted out in ways I have recently recognized as being “violent.”

It took me a while to realize this.

Mostly because I felt I had some sort of right to treat this person as I did because I’m a woman and he’s a man, which means he isn’t allowed to reciprocate, right? Somehow this justified my actions. And somehow I was able to keep myself in line. The anger was there though and it scared me.

The thing that women like me have in common with men who have encountered such side effects is that we stay silent. And it’s that silence that causes the most harm.

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