316 Violence Against Women
Why Does a
Man Hurt a
➤ These reasons may
explain why a man
abuses his wife, but
they do not give him
permission to do so.
➤ Violent or abusive
happen when one
person has more
power over the other.
sex and gender roles
A man may offer many excuses for hurting a woman—that
he was drunk, that he lost control, or that she ‘deserved it’. But
a man chooses to use violence because it is a way he can get
what he needs or what he feels is rightfully his as a man.
When a man does not feel that he has power over his own
life, he may use violence to try and control another person’s
life. It is natural for someone to want to control his or her own
life in normal ways, but it is wrong to try and control someone
else’s life, especially with violence. Here are some of the
reasons why some men hurt women:
1. Violence works.
• It offers the man a quick end to a disagreement without
having to talk about the real problem or find a real solution.
• A man may find the fight exciting, and have lots of energy
afterward. He may want to have these feelings again.
• If a man uses violence, he ‘wins’ and gets his way. The victim
is likely to give him his way again the next time to avoid
being hurt. This gives the man even more power.
2. The man has a wrong idea about what it means to be a man.
• If a man believes that to be a man, he must control what a
woman does, he may feel it is OK to hurt her.
• Some men think that they have a ‘right’ to certain things—
to a ‘good’ wife, to sons, to making all the decisions in the
family—just because they are men.
3. The man feels that the woman belongs to
him, or that he needs her.
• If the woman is ‘strong’, the man may feel
afraid that he will lose her, or that she does
not need him. He will take steps to make
her more dependent on him.
4. He does not know any other way
• If a man has seen his father or other
people in his life react with violence
when life is difficult and stressful,
then he may have never learned any
other way to behave.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012
If men think of women and girls as their
property—something they own—they are
more likely to feel as though it is their right
to treat them however they want.