Surviving Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse against men can take the form of physical violence, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse. Whatever your circumstances, though, you can find help and break free from an abusive relationship.

Protecting Yourself As An Abused Male

Domestic violence and abuse can have a serious physical and psychological impact. The first step to protecting yourself and stopping the abuse is to reach out. Talk to a friend, family member, or someone else you trust, or call a domestic violence helpline.

Admitting the problem and seeking 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 abuser.

When Dealing With Your Abusive Partner:

Leave if possible. Be aware of any signs that may trigger a violent response from your partner and be ready to leave quickly. If you need to stay to protect your children, call emergency services. The police have an obligation to protect you, just as they do for a female victim.

Never retaliate. An abusive partner may try to provoke you into retaliating or using force to escape the situation. If you do retaliate, you’re putting yourself at risk of being arrested or removed from your home.

Get evidence of the abuse. Report all incidents to the police and get a copy of each police report. Keep a journal of all abuse with a clear record of dates, times, and any witnesses. Include a photographic record of your injuries and make sure your doctor or hospital also documents your injuries. Remember, medical personnel aren’t likely to ask if a man is a victim of domestic violence, so it’s up to you to ensure that the cause of your injuries are documented.

Keep a mobile phone, evidence of the abuse, and other important documents close at hand. If you have to leave instantly in order to escape the abuse, you’ll need to take with you evidence of the abuse and important documents, such as a passport and driver’s license. It may be safer to keep these items outside of the home.

Obtain advice from a domestic violence program or legal aid resource about getting a restraining order or order of protection against your partner and, if necessary, seeking temporary custody of your children.

Moving On From An Abusive Relationship:

Support from family and friends as well as counseling, therapy, and support groups for domestic abuse survivors can help you move on from an abusive relationship. You may struggle with upsetting emotions or feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. After the trauma of 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 and finally get the intimacy and support you’ve been missing, 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.

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