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What to Know About Domestic Violence Committed Against Men

July 24, 2020

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a problem that affects millions of adults in the United States. While it is becoming a more commonly recognized issue, there is still a long way to go in terms of resources and legal pathways for domestic violence victims. One particularly overlooked group of victims of domestic violence is men. One in seven men has been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. While this is less impactful than the one in four women in the same situation, this statistic still represents millions of American men, many of whom suffer abuse in silence. Continue reading for a closer look at the facts about domestic violence committed against male victims. 

Men are often victims of domestic violence. 

In both heterosexual and same-sex relationships, men are often victims of domestic violence. This type of violence may take several forms, including verbal and psychological abuse, physical abuse, and possessive, jealous, or manipulative behavior from a partner. While physical violence is easiest to recognize in an abusive relationship, other types of abuse may be just as impactful and damaging. For example, about one third of men who have experienced any type of domestic abuse from an intimate partner have had long-term mental health impacts, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are also common effects of the different types of domestic violence. 

Men may have a more difficult time identifying domestic violence in their relationships when physical abuse is not a factor. Here is a closer look at some telltale signs of domestic violence beyond physical and sexual abuse: 

  • Frequent accusations of being unfaithful, demanding to know where you are at all times. 
  • Control over physical space and movements, e.g. your partner hides the car keys to prevent you from leaving the house. 
  • Threats to leave you and prevent you from seeing children, friends, family members, or other loved ones. 
  • False accusations about your behavior. 
  • Control over finances, limiting your independence, or preventing you from having personal bank accounts. 
  • Verbal abuse, such as belittling you in front of friends or talking down about you on social media. 
  • Verbal threats of physical harm. 
  • Blames you for anger or violent tendencies, makes you feel at fault for their actions. 
  • Threats to disclose your private information to coworkers, friends, or others. 

The above list is not exhaustive. If you feel that you are the victim of domestic violence, you should not ignore your partner’s behavior or make excuses for it. However, men can find it more difficult to find the help they need.   

Men are less likely to seek help for domestic violence. 

It’s likely that the problem of domestic violence against men is even more serious than the statistics indicate. That’s because many men are not quick to seek help when they are victims in abusive relationships. There are a few reasons for this trend. First, there are limited resources available for male victims of domestic violence. In addition, many men worry that their complaints will not be taken seriously by police or other authorities. However, all victims of domestic violence have the same legal rights and should try to get help—it’s often best to seek the aid of a trusted loved one to get out of an abusive relationship. 

One thing you should never do if you are a man experiencing domestic violence is attempt to retaliate physically or otherwise. Instead, do what you can to document the abuse you are experiencing and bring this evidence to the authorities. 

Men face many misconceptions and stereotypes in combating domestic violence. 

Another complicating factor when it comes to men and domestic violence is the stereotypes and misconceptions that exist on the subject. Unfortunately, many men view being the victim of domestic violence as a sign of weakness in themselves. Thus, they may feel ashamed reaching out for help. There is also bias that exists among the general public. Many people are unaware that domestic violence is such a prevalent issue among such a wide range of the population. However, anyone may be the victim of domestic violence regardless of gender, race, financial standing, sexual preference, or occupation. 

Having worked on hundreds of domestic violence cases throughout her 20+ year career in criminal law, Janet Altschuler understands the unique complexities and nuances of domestic violence accusations. If you have been arrested due to domestic violence related charges or you are the victim of violence yourself, call Ms. Altschuler’s office at (520) 247-1789 to understand your options.

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