7 Types of Serious Abuse We Don’t Take Seriously

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Everyday Feminism

Everyday Feminism supports people dealing with everyday violence, dominance, and silencing due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, class, and more. Through our online magazine and upcoming online school for applied feminism, we help people apply feminism to their real lives in order to work through issues, stand up for themselves, and live their truth. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter!


  1. Lets not forget Spiritual Abuse, unopened can of abuse right there. http://inaasa.co.uk/what-is-spiritual-abuse/

  2. If you look at most states, domestic abuse has a rather wide definition.

    Looking at the one in NY State, it shocked me to realize that my soon to be ex-wife had committed domestic abuse against me and me against her during our marriage.

    It’s not meant to minimize it. It’s meant to have people really take a look at how they treat their partner and how their partner treats them.

  3. Thank you for bringing attention to the fact that these terrible acts are often joked about or taken lightly. I overhear middle school and high school boys make inappropriate comments about pimping, rape and sexual assault. Unfortunately, our society does not take #1, #2, and #3 seriously. We tend to dismiss the victimization of men.

  4. To state the obvious: Legalize prostitution and pimping becomes a rare and easily prosecuted crime.

  5. Only if you have a reasonable legal definition of “pimping”. Some exemples of things that are legally pimping here (and were when prostitution was legal):

    Renting a space to a prostitute where he/she does business (since a landlord can’t control what goes on in a rented appartment renting to a prostitute was in effect pimping).
    Prostitutes banding together to save money by buying condoms in bulk (both the prostitutes and the supplier would be considered pimps here for “organizing prostitution”.

    There are more, but I don’t remember the details of the top of my head, but it should be clear that this kind of idiocy would obstruct any kind of attempt to fight the kind of pimping refered to here.

    • I believe another definition involves profiting from another’s prostitution. Under that definition, if a prostitute buys her kids some cereal, or pays half the rent with her boyfriend, both the boyfriend and the children are legally pimps.

      • I’ve heard about that happening, but I don’t think it ever did here. Thankfully. Although I don’t think it would ever apply to the kids as long as they are minors. I’ve definitely heard of it for adult children though.

    • And pimping is a male only word (AFAIK), for women who live off the avails of prostitution, they are called madams, which is a really nice word actually.

  6. wellokaythen says:

    “Pimping” isn’t just the butt of jokes, it’s actually become a positive word. Our society doesn’t minimize pimping so much as glorify it. I remember quite clearly when Britney Spears married Kevin Federlein, the groom and all the groomsmen wore track suits with the word “Pimp” on the back. I don’t think they meant to be ironic. I think they just thought it was classy. How did this happen? It used to be considered an evil practice. In Dante’s Inferno, there’s a whole level of Hell just for pimps.

  7. “Very Young Girls” is a documentary by Rachel Lloyd of GEMS that looks into the world of pimps and young teenage girls (as young as 12 or 13 years old) that was filmed right here in NYC….really heart-wrenching stuff to see girls who are as young as my middle schooler son and trapped in “The Life”…many of the girls depicted in the film are girls of color who come from disadvantaged homes….some of the girls seem to be downright developmentally delayed….

    This is a picture of girls much different from the Hollywood glossiness of Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” or Rachel Ward in “Sharky’s Machine”…..

  8. 2.
    I wasn’t surprised that Jezebel article on the upswing of statutory rape of boys reacted to a rape apology by adopting it:

    a teen boy is often likely to regard such an experience as a lark. (Says one friend of the boy’s, “We couldn’t believe it…we were still virgins, and he was hitting it with teachers! It was pretty fucking sweet.”

    Or that they would claim it’s worse for women

    The truth is, it’s not as stark a power dynamic or so clear a case of exploitation [when women do it versus when men do it]

    This is the first comment to that story and it was made by Erin Gloria Ryan – a journalist at Jezebel:

    This problem would go away if teachers would just stop being so hot.

    I guess it was too much to expect that a woman who wrote many articles supporting slut walk protests against a police officer saying that women shouldn’t wear skimpy outfits in order to avoid being raped wouldn’t engage in victim blaming herself.

    No, Erin, it would go away if teachers would stop having sex with underaged students, but I guess that is too much to expect from female teachers according to you.

    On prison rape the author of the article writes:

    it’s clear that some prison staff are turning a blind eye to this type of abuse as well.

    They don’t just turn a blind eye. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics the majority of sexual abuse against men in prison is perpetrated by prison staff. In addition the majority of the prison staff who perpetrate sexual abuse is female.

    • Link to sources for the claims I made in the last paragraph in my previous comment:

      • Question on the prison abuse. Did they include “consenting” sex, like a prisoner wants to have sex with a guard or is that a separate issue? Consent in “” since the guard has power over the prisoner still.

        • Yes, they included this in a category called “Staff Sexual Misconduct”.

          Prisoners can’t legally consent to sex so per legal definition it’s rape even if the prisoner said “yes,, let’s have sex” to the guard.

          Human Rights Watch have an article on why they think “staff sexual misconduct” is a misnomer and a whitewash. I am on the run and don’t have time to dig up the link, but let me know if you can’t find it yourself I’ll try to dig it up over the weekend.

        • Yes, it’s included. “Staff sexual misconduct” include ” willing sexual contact” and “unwilling sexual contact”.

          Here is what the report itself says on the matter:

          Regardless of whether an inmate reported being willing or unwilling, any sexual contact between inmates and staff is illegal

          followed by an “however”

          Here is what Human Rights Watch has to say on the matter:

          The BJS survey asked inmates to indicate whether their sexual activity with staff was “willing” or “unwilling.” In the prison context, however, this distinction is meaningless.

          As Human Rights Watch documented in its 1996 report, “All Too Familiar: Sexual Abuse of Women in State Prisons,” all sexual interaction between staff and inmates is inherently coercive because of the inherent disparity in power between staff and inmates, and thus can never be considered “voluntary” on the part of the inmates.


          A little over half report willing sexual contact with staff (1.8 willing vs 1.7 unwilling in prison and 1.1% willing vs 1.5% unwilling in jail). This is what I think is a somewhat misleading statement in the executive summary.

          Let’s look closer.
          Among the 39,121 male prison inmates who had been victims of staff sexual misconduct, 69% reported sexual activity with female staff; an additional 16% reported sexual activity with both female and male staff. 54.8% of male prisoners who were victims of staff sexual misconduct reported pressure, 35.4% reported force/threat of force and 64.1% reported no force and no pressure. Adds to more than 100 since some prisoners have been victimized more than once.
          Yes, 54.8% of victims reported staff sexual misconduct with no pressure/force, but it’s misleading to say that is more than half since some have been victimized several times leading to 64.1% reporting pressure and 35.2% reporting force/threat of force.

          Women are in fact individually higher at risk in prison than men, but contrary to populary belief they are more at risk from other female inmates. The number of male prisoners are magnitudes higer than of female prisoners so despite the higher risk for women many more men are sexually violated than women in prison and jail.

  9. The trivialization of prison rape is probably the worst, for many reasons:
    1. Starting with the obvious, the idea that rape can be justified as punishment is utterly obscene.
    2. The idea that the worst of the worst will be targeted is unrealistic. Despite the belief in “Honor among thieves” the worst murderers and rapists are not likely to be targeted out of fear, and high profile molesters and others are put in protective custody.
    3. The inmates that are likely to be targeted are usually weak, mild mannered, young, or gay.
    4. Condoms are not distributed in a lot of prisons (on the idiotic idea that having condoms “would only encourage sex”) and STIs are prevalent in prison.
    5. The most shocking thing that is never considered is who is actually doing the “punitive” raping. Chances are they’re.,, convicted rapists.

  10. Google ‘The Man Prayer’ and see what you think of how men should be according to the video (Eve Ensler alert!).

  11. Janie Jones says:

    It’s a good article. I also note that it says that it doesn’t cover everything too. Latest stats in the UK state that 2 women a week are killed by intimate partner or ex partner violence. 1 in 3 women will suffer domestic abuse in their lifetime and 1 in 4 men! I would like to suggest that none of it is taken seriously. Regardless of gender. I worry about the gender divide all the time, I worry that victim blaming goes on in all cultures and it’s never taken seriously. A women who was failed dramatically by the system here in ignoring her pleas for help with her 2 yr old child was bludgeoned to death by her husband, in front of her toddler. He bludgeoned her over 50 times with a hammer no less. He was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years. Whilst 2 cocaine smugglers were given 20 years and 24 years each. All of it needs to be discussed openly. It’s not gender specific but it truly wrecks the lives of adults and children. I wish we could talk about all kinds of abuse without the gender divide as it only divides us even further.

    • @Janie
      ” I would like to suggest that none of it is taken seriously.”

      That’s interesting. I thought domestic violence perpetrated against women was taken somewhat seriously. Given that society does appear to recognize it, talk about it, pass special legislation about it, provide training organized and scripted by feminists about it, setup special prosecution and special courts for it, fund shelters and advocacy groups focused on it ….

      Perhaps you could describe what additional steps you wold like to see society take on violence against women that would lead you to believe that violence against women IS taken seriously ?
      For instance, would those steps include the immediate adjudication of such cases at the allegation stage followed by incarceration of the male? Or even earlier, the same steps at the reporting of concerns that an domestic violence attack against a women might happen?

  12. I think one factor that may contribute to the problem of minimalizing sibling abuse is the fact that we feel such a need to characterize abuse in black-and-white terms. In other words, we want to see abusers as (and reduce them to) “bad guys” rather than recognize abusive behaviors as a complex human behavior and a reaction to pain. And since we don’t want to characterize a child as a “bad guy,” we are thus reluctant to characterize what goes on between siblings as abusive.

  13. Mr Supertypo says:


  14. You left out psychological and legal abuse by men and women against their partners. Victims can be subject to false allegations, extortion, denial of access to their children. Lies, manipulation, and other forms of intentional malicious provocation to keep them under the control of the abuser.


  1. [...] This comment was by D on the post 7 Types of Serious Abuse We Don’t Take Seriously. [...]

Speak Your Mind