Intimate Partner Violence Against Men
When many people think about domestic violence (D.V.), they envision battered women abused by burly husbands. But the fact of the matter is that 25 percent of men suffer physical violence at the hands of their partners too. We don’t tend to hear about these cases much, partly because men are less likely to report such abuse. Nonetheless, this type of violence is a serious issue in our society. Whether it’s verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, or physical abuse, we know it leaves scars that can last for years—even a lifetime.
What are we Talking About?
Studies of violence against men in the United States found that men were victims of the same types of abuse that is commonly associated with domestic violence against women, including:
- Name calling;
- Jealous rages;
- Sexual violence;
- Financial manipulation;
Despite these aggressions, less than one in five men is likely to report this abuse to a health care provider or the police.
Why Reporting is so Low
There are three key reasons that men tend to keep these violent incidents to themselves:
- Gender norms force them into feelings of shame;
- Men often feel emasculated after such episodes and fear being ridiculed;
- Men think that no one will believe them if they report violent attacks.
The commonality of laughter as a response to male victimization is chilling, in fact. One social experiment placed two actors posing as a couple in a public square. Initially, the man was verbally and physically aggressive toward the woman. Within just moments, public intervention occurred to protect the woman. When the actors reversed roles and the woman was aggressive toward the man, a significant number of people in the area chuckled at the shoving, hitting, and swearing that was taking place. No wonder men are reluctant to report abuse.
It’s No Laughing Matter
Men are victims here, and it’s a serious issue. Over half of men who suffer sexual violence, stalking, or physical violence have such experiences for the first time before reaching the age of 25. They are left dealing with the repercussions of such violence for a lifetime. Whether the abuse occurs in a heterosexual or a homosexual relationship, the suffering is real, and men deserve to feel safe and protected. How can that be achieved?
- Confide in a trusted friend or family member, or call a D.V. hotline;
- Understand and believe that it is not your fault, and it does not diminish your value as a person or as a man;
- If possible, leave before the violence escalates;
- Call the police, who are obligated to provide assistance;
- Avoid retaliation, as that could put you in the crosshairs of law enforcement;
- Gather evidence of the abuse, including pictures, medical reports, and contemporaneous notes;
- Contact a domestic violence attorney to help you with a protective order.
There’s no Shame in Being Hurt
At the Law Office of Julia Kefalinos, our experienced Miami domestic violence attorneys understand that victims of D.V. have suffered enough physical and emotional trauma and deserve a better life. Let us help you find it. We will work to get a protective order in place and connect you with the resources you need to turn the page. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.