Men - Domestic Violence
A male subjected to intimate partner violence?
Yes, it does
happen to men! According to the largest published survey of U.S. couples, two million men a year are severely assaulted by their female mates. That's a man kicked, bitten, hit with a fist or object, beaten up, or had a knife, gun or other deadly weapon used or threatened to be used against them every 15.7 seconds!
Letter to Dear Abby: I was a victim of domestic abuse by my wife, and I don't feel I have been treated fairly. There are many programs for abused women, but I haven't found any for men. This problem is more common than people realize, but men are embarrassed to say anything. I'd like my voice to be heard to encourage men to speak up. I did not hit my wife back after she beat on me. I still love her, but I refuse to be abused any longer. Abby, please help me help myself and others.
What are the signs of domestic violence?
How Men Cope
Why They Stay
- Take on an "I can handle it" attitude. Even if you have been hurt much worse physically playing sports or other activities, that is not the same thing as being physically attacked by your intimate partner. It hurts emotionally as well as physically. Continuing this pattern can result in depression, substance abuse, loss of confidence, and suicide. It can also result in death at the hands of your partner or by someone your partner has induced to kill you.
- "Men Don't Tell" is the actual title of a CBS TV movie about male victims of domestic violence. Keeping silent and not confiding to a friend, relative, or healthcare professional is a common reaction of both male and females subjected to domestic violence, because it's embarrassing. Men, however, face a greater degree of disbelief and ridicule than do most women in this situation, which helps reinforce the silence. They make excuses for apparent injuries and explain them as due to accidents or being hurt while playing sports when friends or medical personnel ask.
- Hiding from it. Men often escape from a bad home life that they are afraid of by spending extra time at work, staying in "their space" (garage/den) at home, or even sleeping in the car or at a friend's place.
- Fear of Failure — Men have been told that "to be a man" they must be responsible and be a provider. If they leave the family, they are abandoning responsibility and they see themselves as failures as to what a man is supposed to be.
- Fear for the Children — Many men stay in abusive relationships because they feel they can act as protector for the children from abuse. They fear leaving because they assume the legal system will not grant them custody because they are a man, and fear that visitation in the hands of a controlling spouse will never be easy, or that they may never see their children again.
- Few Resources — There are 24-hour crisis hotlines and shelters available for women experiencing domestic violence, but hardly any such servicves for men. Sometimes abused men call the advertised services but find there is no help availalbe and are even treated rudely. Sometimes men call police, but even if they are the only party with observed injuries, they are told to leave the house, not their spouse. Often, however, the crisis lines, shelters, and police are very helpful.
What Men Should Do
Stop Abuse For Everyone