We all know that domestic violence and abuse is a huge problem in our society, but do many of us understand how this issue affects men?
Domestic abuse is often discussed as a women’s issue, because the majority of widely reported domestic abuse is experienced by women (and perpetrated by men). However, domestic abuse also happens to lots of men.
In spite of being abused, a man would most likely not report his ordeal, because he fears stigmatisation from friends and family. Men usually wont want any third-party interference.
More married men are becoming victims of various kinds of spousal abuse, but they suffer in silence, because the society does not believe men can be victims of spousal abuse, hence, the non-disclosure of such experiences for fear of stigmatisation.
Many theories exist of why men in particular may hesitate to report domestic violence. In addition to their own feelings of shame, one reason may be fear that they will not be believed and worry that they will be prohibited from contact with their children.
Domestic abuse against men can take the form of physical violence, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse.
In most cosmopolitan societies, it seems that the ongoing move towards equality of the sexes is associated with an increase in domestic violence against men.
An abusive partner may hit, kick, bite, punch, spit, throw things, or destroy your possessions. To make up for any difference in strength, they may attack you while you’re asleep or otherwise catch you by surprise. They may go diabolical, or use a weapon, such as a gun or knife, or strike you with an object, abuse or threaten your children.
Of course, domestic abuse is not limited to violence. Emotional and verbal abuse can be just as damaging.
As a male, your spouse or partner may:
Verbally abuse you, belittle you, humiliate you in front of friends, colleagues, or family, or blackmail you on social media,
be possessive, act jealous, or harass you with accusations of being unfaithful.
She may take away your car keys or medications, try to control where you go and who you see, try to control how you spend money or deliberately default on joint financial obligations.
She may make false allegations about you to your friends, employer, or the police, or find other ways to manipulate, implicate and isolate you.
She may even threaten to leave you and prevent you from seeing your kids.
As an abused man, you may face a lack of understanding from friends and family, and legal obstacles, especially if trying to gain custody of your children from an abusive spouse.
Ending a relationship, even an abusive one, is rarely easy. It becomes even harder if you’ve been isolated from friends and family, threatened, blackmailed, manipulated, and controlled, or physically and emotionally beaten down.
You may feel that you have to stay in the relationship because you feel ashamed. Many men feel great shame that they’ve been abused, been unable to stand up for themselves, or somehow failed in their role as a male, husband, or father.
Some men are even in denial that there is a problem in their relationship which only prolongs the abuse. Some stay back to protect their children, they worry that if they leave, their spouse will take out their frustrations on the kids, begin to brainwash them, or prevent them from having access to them. Obtaining custody of children is always challenging for fathers, but even if you are confident that you can do so, you may still feel overwhelmed at the prospect of raising them alone.
The first step to protecting yourself as a man and stopping such abuse is to reach out. Talk to a friend, family member, or someone you trust. Admitting the problem and seeking for 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 abusive spouse.
An abusive partner may try to provoke you into retaliating or using violence and verbal abuse to escalate the situation. If you do retaliate, you’re putting yourself at risk of being arrested or removed from your home.
After breaking free of such a traumatic ordeal, you may struggle with upsetting emotions or feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. After an abusive relationship, it can take a while to get over the pain and bad memories but you can heal and move on.
Even if you’re eager to jump into a new relationship immidietely and finally get the intimacy and support you’ve been missing and have craved, it’s wise to take things slowly. Make sure you’re aware of any red flag behaviors in a potential new partner and what it takes to build healthy, new relationships.
Beyond the media networks, independent sources like OblongMedia have evolved to report on events which escape attention or underlie the major stories. Published online since 2013, to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.