While not many people take the time to actually talk about it, women are not the only people at risk of domestic abuse as a whole. Sometimes men are the ones being abused and their pain is valid, period.
For those who do not know, 1 in 9 men experiences severe intimate partner physical violence. This could include stalking, injury, and other things of the sort. Sure, the average man isn’t going to want to admit that he has been or is being abused but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening or doesn’t happen at all. While women are abused more frequently based on statistics, men also face abuse and that should be something everyone is aware of.
Facing violence from your significant other is something that can really catch you off guard or make you feel quite strange. Many people believe the things they’re facing are their own fault, and so they allow them to continue. When it comes to men specifically sometimes when they reach out they are ridiculed by those around them who just don’t understand that men can be abused too.
Domestic violence — also known as intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence against men can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. It can happen in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.
Abusive relationships always involve an imbalance of power and control. An abuser uses intimidating, hurtful words and behaviors to control his or her partner.
It might not be easy to recognize domestic violence against men. Early in the relationship, your partner might seem attentive, generous and protective in ways that later turn out to be controlling and frightening. Initially, the abuse might appear as isolated incidents. Your partner might apologize and promise not to abuse you again.
You might be experiencing domestic violence if your partner:
Calls you names, insults you or puts you down.
Prevents you from going to work or school.
Stops you from seeing family members or friends.
Tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear.
Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful.
Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs.
Threatens you with violence or a weapon.
Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets.
Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will.
Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it.
If you’re a man in an abusive relationship you need to know that this is something that happens and your feelings are not invalid just because others don’t understand them. Abuse in men when it comes to relationships is much more common than most people realize. You should not feel embarrassed about reaching out and if you’re being abused, you need to get help so that you can get out of the relationship and move onto something that’s not toxic.
Domestic violence and abuse can have a serious physical and psychological impact. The first step to protecting yourself and stopping the abuse is to reach out. Talk to a friend, family member, or someone else you trust, or call a domestic violence helpline.
Admitting the problem and seeking help doesn’t mean you have failed as a man or as a husband. You are not to blame, and you are not weak. As well as offering a sense of relief and providing some much-needed support, sharing details of your abuse can also be the first step in building a case against your abuser.
When dealing with your abusive partner:
Leave if possible. Be aware of any signs that may trigger a violent response from your partner and be ready to leave quickly. If you need to stay to protect your children, call emergency services. The police have an obligation to protect you, just as they do for a female victim.
Never retaliate. An abusive partner may try to provoke you into retaliating or using force to escape the situation. If you do retaliate, you’re putting yourself at risk of being arrested or removed from your home.
Get evidence of the abuse. Report all incidents to the police and get a copy of each police report. Keep a journal of all abuse with a clear record of dates, times, and any witnesses. Include a photographic record of your injuries and make sure your doctor or hospital also documents your injuries. Remember, medical personnel aren’t likely to ask if a man is a victim of domestic violence, so it’s up to you to ensure that the cause of your injuries are documented.
Keep a mobile phone, evidence of the abuse, and other important documents close at hand. If you have to leave instantly in order to escape the abuse, you’ll need to take with you evidence of the abuse and important documents, such as a passport and driver’s license. It may be safer to keep these items outside of the home.
Obtain advice from a domestic violence program or legal aid resource about getting a restraining order or order of protection against your partner and, if necessary, seeking temporary custody of your children.
Just because you don’t hear about it often doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. You are capable of healing and moving on properly if you take the steps needed. For more on this topic please check out the video below. Your wellbeing matters and you deserve to live a life with someone who isn’t beating you down.