Do you know how many men face domestic abuse in America? While the numbers aren’t as high as those reported by women, they were much higher than Charles and Dr. Poulter anticipated.
Countless men have lived with abusive female and male intimate partners. Some of these victims were aware of the abuse and could not muster up the will to leave for various reasons. Others were unaware that their partner’s behavior constituted a form or forms of abuse.
Men are victimized far more often than you might think. They’re just less likely to come forward and admit what has been taking place.
Domestic violence against men is no laughing matter. It can be extremely dangerous and can end deadly in some cases. Not only should more people be aware of what’s going on, but more drastic action needs to take place to meet the growing concern.
Men are far more likely to keep their situation a secret, where only 20% of victims ever come forward and tell the police or a health professional about being victimized. This is because of embarrassment or fear that they will be ridiculed, made fun of, or that no one will believe them. There are stories of victims that do come forward and have stated that the agencies that were supposed to be helping them, actually treated them with suspicion.
Recognizing Domestic Violence
It’s not always easy to point out a person that is a domestic abuser because the warning signs may be subtle earlier on. At the beginning of the relationship, one may mistake controlling as being protective for instance.
At first, there may be only one or two instances, few and far in between, and your partner may apologize saying that it will never happen again. But in most cases, the abuse will only gradually get worse. Here are a few things to look out for, and indicators that usually begin to worsen over time as the abuse becomes more evident.
- Puts you down or calls you names
- Stops you from seeing your family or friends
- Gets angry when drinking alcohol or doing drugs
- Shows signs of jealousy, accusing you of being unfaithful
- Tells you what you should wear, where you can go, or how you can spend your money
- The abuser says that you cannot visit a health care provider
- Begins to threaten you with violence or with the use of a weapon
- Punches, slaps, kicks, or chokes you, your children, or your pets
- Forces you to have sex, or to participate in other sexual acts without your consent
- Tries to put the blame on you and that it’s deserved
- The abuser threatens to tell those closest to you about your sexual orientation or gender identity
If you are gay, bisexual or transgender, these are some other things that you may experience or be told from your abuser:
- The abuser may try to dissuade you that authorities will not help people like you
- The abuser may tell you that leaving the relationship only proves that you believe that your sexual orientation or gender identity is morally wrong
- The abuser may justify the abuse by saying that you are not “really” gay, bisexual or transgender
- The abuser may tell you that men are naturally more violent
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, or humiliate you in front of friends, colleagues, or family, or on social media.
- Be possessive, act jealous, or harass you with accusations of being unfaithful.
- 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.
- Make false allegations about you to your friends, employer, or the police, or find other ways to manipulate and isolate you.
- Threaten to leave you and prevent you from seeing your kids if you report the abuse.