Girlfriend stabbed me in my head - Man says he suffered through four years of domestic abuse
Society often considers men to be the perpetrators of domestic violence, but the reality is that women can be violent too.
However, most males, such as Rick Smith*, suffer in silence, refusing to report the situation to the authorities out of fear of being ridiculed.
"I was taught never to beat a woman or even get verbally abusive, so when she started pushing me around, I refused to lift my hand," he said.
Smith told THE WEEKEND STAR that his then girlfriend of about four years was the sweetest soul when he met her. However, he started to see the changes in her behaviour when he decided to move in with her and her family months later.
"She was very possessive and didn't even want me to speak with any of her relatives. She would constantly call to check up on me, but I honestly thought it was 'cute' jealousy," he said.
The jealousy soon turned to rage as his girlfriend began to get physical after simple arguments.
"I remember during sex she would get really violent and began slapping me across the face, but once again I was foolish to believe that she was just sexually excited. But in other instances after she verbally abused me, she began pushing, shoving, and even spitting on me. Her family thought it was funny which boosted her even more," he said.
Soon after, Smith said that he became the 'goofy' topic of his inner-city community and was often teased by both males and females. This, he said, caused him to sink deeper in shame.
And during times when he tried to escape the arguments, he said that she would use her car to block his vehicle, preventing him from leaving.
Smith said he finally reached his boiling point when his former spouse stabbed him in the back of his head as he slept.
"I worked in a pharmacy and my co-worker had called my phone, but the phone stopped ringing when she answered. She got in a fit and stabbed me. I was frightened, and the reality came that I was with a mad woman because she even helped me to clean the wound after," he said.
A few days later, Smith said he finally confided in a family member who encouraged him to leave the relationship. He eventually called it quits two months later.
"I couldn't get it out of my head how she poked the knife in my skull and tell me say me a go join me mother at Dovecot," he said.
But according to ACP Dahlia Garrick, there are many Jamaican males who face similar battle.
"This type of abuse has always been around, and we at the JCF do see males coming in to report it. However, the reports are not as much as the females because the males are usually afraid of the stigma that is attached," she said.
She stated that she is imploring all victims of spousal abuse to seek help. In addition to physical, Garrick said that there are males who are also facing financial and verbal abuse as well.
The cop said that she has also seen cases where men have been killed by their female spouses. She said in one incident the man succumbed to his injuries after he was badly burnt last year.
"Sometimes it is the breakdown of communication and other things that can be worked through with the assistance of a third party. A large percentage of men who are caught up in the situation often remain silent because of embarrassment," she said, adding that a domestic violence counselling room has been opened at the Constant Spring Police Station to help victims.
* Name changed