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Domestic Abuse: My Girlfriend Beats Me
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, the definition of Domestic Abuse/Violence is this:
Domestic violence constitutes the willful intimidation, assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior perpetrated by one family member, household member, or intimate partner against another.
When we think of Domestic abuse the first image in our minds is a woman being abused by the man. However, abuse is just as a concern with the man being abused by the woman.
No One Believes
Men are taught from an early age to be strong, "manly" and not to show emotion or cry. Men also hold a lot of pride. To be viewed as weak would be a direct stab at the mans worth. Therefore, abused men are very reluctant to report abuse.
Another reason why men are reluctant is that they feel no one will believe them. When a man has an injury it is assumed it was from playing a sport or even a job related injury. People don't question the injury.
For example: I was in a horrible car accident that left me to temporarily use a cane and I had two black eyes. When I would go to the grocery with my boyfriend at the time, we would hear people whispering "Did you see what he did to her?" or he would get dirty looks as if he was the cause. Now I have many friends who play full contact football. So injuries are very common. But when we go to the same store, there are no second looks and no whispers.
People are not willing or not wanting to believe that women can cause such injuries.
Recently, the reality show on MTV, Teen Mom addressed the abuse of a male by his girlfriend.
Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley have been documented on the series originally for the birth of their daughter Leah when Amber was just 16 years of age. The theme of their story has quickly changed to the abuse submitted onto Gary from Amber.
Although many verbal fights between these two were quite normal, Amber lashes out at Gary when he calls her a bad mom. She then hits him numerous times, closed fisted, into his face and kicks him in the back as he is trying to leave. As if this wasn't bad enough,it is done in front of their daughter.
Although there is no good of being abused. The acts of Amber onto Gary have opened the eyes of many around the World. By airing the abuse, people realize that attacks of anger are not only directed towards women.
Why Men Stay
So the question is asked whether you are a man or woman being abused, Why do you stay?
The answer is a bit different from women's. Women bring love into it or fear. Women believe they can change the man.
Men don't quite see it that way. Men feel guilt. They feel they deserve the behavior for not owning up to their responsibilities, or for not being able to 'make it better.' They feel responsible for the behavior.
Men are also reluctant to leave if children are involved. Unlike women who leave for the children, men stay for the children. Men fear that the abusive woman will keep his children away from him. He would be denied visitation or contact. He also fears that if he leaves she will demean and insult him in front of the children, somewhat brainwashing them to think he is an evil person.
Another reason that men stay is they are addicted to the relationship. Somehow they become dependant on each other. Whether it be financial or emotional, they feel that their life is better with her than without.
Characteristics of the Abuser
The characteristics of a female abuser is:
Alcohol use and abuse lessens rational thinking. People are more likely to go with their feelings instead of their logic and reasoning. Arguments while drinking can quickly escalate to abuse.
Many female abusers have some disorder psychologically. Depression, High-anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorders are a risk for abuse. Statistics from the Domestic Abuse Center show that at least 50% of all domestic abuse and violence against men is associated with woman who have a Borderline Personality disorder.
Witnessed abuse, abused by another partner or abused as a child. Anger and control may be eminent as this person has not dealt with the feelings associated.
- Blame Game
Women who abuse have unrealistic expectations of the man. So when the man does not fulfill those expectations it ultimately becomes his fault and that he must be doing it on purpose. The woman blames him for her own emotional problems and insecurities. She must feel in control of the relationship. She doess not want him to make decisions, she needs him to be passive. She feels he is purposely sabotaging her and the relationship.
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
Signs and Symptoms of a man being abused is hard to recognize. However, if you notice any of the signs, ask him and more importantly...Listen.
- Seem anxious to please their partner. Often goes with her decisions only
- Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
- Receive frequent texts or calls while out from their partner
- Admits to and talks about the controlling, jealous and temper of partner
- Not able to go to family or friend outings without the partner
- Change in personality. Such as used to be outgoing and now is at home, used to be confident and now has low self-esteem or insecurities
- Become depressed or anxious
Of course the injuries on the body are a sign. If you see scratches, pinch marks, missing areas of hair or bruising, question them. Don't assume it was an easily excused injury such as sports.
There is Help
National Domestic Abuse Hotline
1 (800) 799 - SAFE
Unfortunately there aren't shelters that protect the battered male. There are not 'safe havens' available. But, there is help for the abused man. Family, abuse hot-lines or Doctors and Therapists can be away out or point the abused in the right direction.
Regardless of how the abused man finds help or gets the strength to leave, no one deserves to be abused and the most important thing to do is get out!
Anger escalates. Without help for the abuser it will get worse.
Find the help needed today.