A couple days ago I wrote my latest post called “Marissa Alexander & Domestic Violence” which was about the Marissa Alexander case and domestic violence issues in our community. Later that night one of my male friends brought it to my attention that women are not the only victims of domestic violence. He told me his story and he definitely inspired me to do some research on the topic. I have always been aware that men are also domestic violence victims but the topic has not been broadcasted as much as women of domestic violence.
Recently I watched a talk show that showed a wife hitting her husband and choking him out of rage and wondered why he would put up with that. Little did I realize that even though men may be physically stronger than their abusers the mental effects of the abuse convinces them to stay with their abuser just like female victims do. In our society we tend to glorify men as being dominant and emotionless which leave many men unable to speak about their abuse in fear of being looked upon as weak and submissive. The abuse can also lead to a man feeling unworthy of being in a better situation and struggling with a low self esteem because of the abuse. Men even suffer from denial and feeling as though the abusive situation isn’t as bad as it could be. Some men also avoid the abuse by working longer hours or isolating themselves in one area of their house to avoid the abuser. Men also have to worry about being taken seriously when calling law enforcement and also being able to maintain contact with their children should the situation become a custody battle.
I advise male domestic violence victims to take the same actions as female domestic violence victims. Call 911 and be sure to participate in physical examinations and take as many photographs as possible of any injuries. Be sure not to clean the area where the abuse has taken place and use as many legal actions as possible against the abuser. With this topic not being highlighted as much as female domestic violence victims I decided to look up some resources for male domestic violence. In my research I found a website specifically for battered men (www.batteredmen.com) and this website has tons of information for abused men. Along with the domestic violence hotline I would like to also acknowledge one of the resources I found which is called S.A.F.E (www.safe4all.org). S.A.F.E is an organization that will help abused men find people and local resources that will help to get them out of their abusive situation. S.A.F.E also has forums and discussions that a victim can read and take part in to help them realize they are not alone in their situation.
Doing this research certainly opened my eyes to a problem that is not usually discussed and my hope is that it does the same for you. I also hope that we no longer take violence against men as a joke or something that isn’t serious. We need to let go of the idea that men can not be a victim. Men have emotions , go through struggles and need to be nurtured just as much as women. When we all realize that we will create a safe haven for men to be honest about their emotions and realize that they too are not alone.