Male Victims of Domestic Violence
Help for Male Victims of Domestic Violence
Did you know that more than 1/3 of the victims of domestic violence in the United Stares are men? It is not a subject discussed often, but the fact is men are suffering from abuse by their wives or girlfriends everyday. Why do they keep the secret? Why do they tolerate the situation? What can they do to protect themselves and their children from these attacks? Is there anywhere they can turn for help?
Why Men do not Report Abuse
There are many reasons men remain silent when they are the victim of domestic abuse. Shame or embarrassment is one of the most common. After all, what kind of man are they if they cannot keep from being hurt by one little woman? Society expects men to be king of their castle, not the palace whipping boy. Will anyone even believe that a woman has physically assaulted him? If men are victims of continued psychological assault, they, as do female victims, begin to suffer from a lack of self-confidence and start to question whether they deserve the cruel treatment; they begin to believe they are useless and nobody else would want them anyway.
Fear is another big factor. On many occasions men who called the police for help because their wife was attacking them found themselves being the one arrested. After all, it is much easier to believe that a 120-pound woman was simply defending herself against her 220-pound husband than the other way around. Men also fear they will be forced to give up their children if they give up on the relationship. Even when a woman has been convicted of domestic violence, the court will often grant her custody of the children in the event of a divorce. They also fear retaliation from the abuser. Will she come after him again and hurt him even worse? Will she falsely accuse him of molesting their children so she can gain the ultimate revenge? What will happen if he is financially dependent on the woman's income?
What to do if you are a Male Victim of Domestic Violence
First, know that no one has the right to abuse you, physically or mentally, not your wife, girlfriend, or even a gay partner. You must protect yourself before you get seriously injured or even killed. Here are some steps you should take:
- Do keep a record of every assault. Write down the time, date and details. You may need this information later.
- Do seek medical treatment for any injuries you suffer. Do not lie about how you received the injuries. It needs documented.
- Do tell friends and family what is happening to you. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed. You are not the one who has done something wrong. It is important that others are aware of the situation, and you need the emotional support.
- Do not retaliate. If possible, leave the situation immediately, even if it is the middle of the night. Go to a friend's house or seek protection at a shelter for victims of domestic violence.
- Do seek legal advice or advice from a counseling center.
- Do call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE
Although this is a horrific situation, you can make it better. As a last resort, you may need to file for divorce. If that is the case, find a qualified lawyer in your area to help you with the legal proceedings. Remember, no one deserves to be abused.
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