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Domestic Violence…Against Men

Updated on October 20, 2012

Women and children are not the only one subjected to domestic violence. Men are victims of domestic violence as well.

When talking about domestic violence, women and children are the most affected by domestic abuse. But there’s another victim not usually considered – the men. More often times than not, we see help desks, statistics, studies, advices to counter-act domestic violence against women and children, but for men, these are not as common. Why is this so?

Just to give a heads up on the statistics about domestic violence against men and against women:

  • It has been estimated that in 100 domestic violence cases, 40% of these were against men, 60% against women.
  • In a 1995 to 1996 study conducted by the U. S. Department of Justice (as published in 2000), out of 8,000 women interviewed or surveyed, almost 25% were subjected to domestic violence. In the same study, out of the 8,000 men interviewed, almost 7.5% were also victims of domestic violence.
  • The same 1995 – 1996 study estimated that, annually, in the U. S., about 1.5 million women and around 830,000 men are victims of domestic violence. That’s almost a 2:1 ratio of women versus men who were subjected to domestic violence.

Why Domestic Violence Against Men are Not Easily Recognized

With the above statistics, one might lead to wonder why domestic violence against men go largely unrecognized. Here are just some of the reasons why domestic violence against men are not easily recognized:

  • Incidence of domestic abuse against men is not as high as women and may be so low that they are not easily detected.
  • Although it has taken a long time to raise the advocacy and support for domestic violence against women, these advocacies and supports are now largely available. The same, unfortunately, is not true for the male victims.
  • Related to the second one, the amount of investment and effort to stop domestic violence against women and to respond to abused women are so much higher than the amount of investment and effort to address domestic violence against men.
  • When we think about domestic violence, the image that is often in our minds is that of a battered woman or wife. Seldom do we think about a battered man or husband. To some people, the concept of domestic violence against men is so unthinkable that men often end up choosing to stay quiet if they become victims of domestic violence.
  • Let’s face it. A woman who was subjected to domestic violence (domestic abuse) will show more physical effects than a man who was also domestically abused. Physical abuse on women is more readily observable than physical abuse against men.
  • Lastly, even if men report that they were victims of domestic violence, people often find it hard to believe that the man’s black eye or bruise on the face was caused by domestic violence (more likely, they will think that the bruises were the results of fights against other men). As a result, the man will think that nobody will actually believe him and, thus, will just prefer to keep his silence.

How to Know if You’re a Victim of Domestic Violence

The signs that the men are also victims of domestic violence are much, much similar to the signs of domestic violence against women. Here are just some of these signs (for purposes of clarity, I have placed the woman as the abuser but like I said, the signs are very much applicable to women-victims):

  • The woman calls the man bad names, insults him (publicly or privately) and tries to put him down every chance she has.
  • The woman tries to stop the man from going to work or to public places. She also tries to prevent him from seeing his family members and friends.
  • The woman is possessive and / or jealous and she tries to control her man in terms of the clothes he will wear, the money he will spend and the places he can go to.
  • The woman threatens the man with violence and harm, particularly when she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The woman actually hits or hurts the man by kicking, punching, slapping, shoving or choking him. Or the woman may do the same thing to their children or pets.
  • The woman takes advantage of the man sleeping or resting and assaults him when he is in no position to defend himself.
  • The woman threatens to leave the man and to take their children with her if he will attempt to go against her or to fight back.
  • Despite all of the above, the woman blames the man for her behavior!

What Makes the Women Turn Violent Against the Men

Here are just some reasons why a woman turns violent against a man. Same with the above signs, these reasons are also found on men who are violent against women:

The woman is an alcoholic. As a result, she is not able to control her impulses and gets easily frustrated. If her partner tries to stop her or tries to reason with her, she might get violent and turn against her partner.

The woman has psychological problems. Personality disorders may cause a woman to commit domestic violence against the man.

The woman has unrealistic expectations or unrealistic demands. Women who have unrealistic expectations or who give unrealistic demands from their partners or the men get easily frustrated, depressed, anxious or irritable. Such reactions may very well turn them violent. To top it all, these women would refuse to get treatment or to let their men help them. As a result, the cycle continues.

And that’s it. Please note, however, that I’m barely scratching the surface here when it comes to domestic violence against men. On a further note, the above are applicable to both men who are in a same-sex relationship and to heterosexual men. So if you are a man experiencing such things, please assess well if you are becoming (or have become) a victim of domestic violence. Put aside your manly pride and assess what is happening to you in rational manner. If you’re a woman or somebody who has a male friend or family member who confided in you that he may be a victim of domestic violence, please refer your male friend or family member to somebody who can help him. Domestic violence against men may not be that obvious nor are they more readily addressed than domestic violence against women, but they exist as well. I hope this hub will be of help to those men who are also victims of domestic violence. Thank you and good day to you!

P. S.

Below is a link to Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women. This organization is currently applying for a $250,000 grant from Pepsi. You can show your support for this worthy endeavor by clicking the link provided below and voting on Pepsi's site. Voting can be done every day.

Thank you!


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