Male victims of domestic abuse: Beyond belief

Men also suffer from domestic abuse. How can abused men protect themselves and get help from the legal system? Photo: wikicommons

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2013 - According to the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, over 830,000 men  are victims of domestic violence annually, about half the rate of women. This translates to one man subjected to domestic abuse every 37.8 seconds.

There are over 4,000 domestic violence programs in America but very few oriented to male victims. Such victims are abused in the same manner as women: physically, emotionally, verbal or financially. The abuse is similar between the sexes.

The Mayo Clinic claims predictable behaviors of abusers are the same as with a dominant male in a homosexual relationship as with the male partner in a heterosexual relationship. This is not to say women do not batter men, because they do.

The abuser at first seems charming, accommodating, complimenting, attentive and generous .Over time, he or she will turn threatening, use abusive language, increase aggressive attempts of control, deliberately frighten the abused, use financial withholding methods for subjugation, hurt or kill a home pet then eventually, physically abuse their partner.

Physical abuse takes on a somewhat different tack with homosexual partners because the male to male physical play and banter such as pushing, shoving and lightly punching that is more part of the male domain than female can turn incrementally ugly. Between men and women, the difference is revealed at a more precise and defining moment.

With male homosexual relationships, other differences include assaults while sleeping or forced sex when most vulnerable. With heterosexual relationships, the male being abused will fall fast victim to a female using a weapon such as a knife or club to compensate for less power against their male partner.

Often a woman will claim the violence was mutual with her male partner, because women believe their male partner will be too embarrassed to admit to being abused. The same goes for homosexual relationships.

Abusers whether in a homosexual or a heterosexual relationship will often cast blame on the abused as their fault, then assert the victim acted in a way to draw the abuse.

Several unique qualities of abuse in homosexual relationships are the threat by the abuser to out the abused; claims law enforcement will not assist the abused due to being gay; accuations the partner is ‘overly gay;’ and/or claims men are naturally violent. Throw drugs and alcohol into the mix, and abuse increases in severity and occurrence exponentially.

An abused homosexual male is likely to suffer more than females regardless of a female’s sexual orientation. There are few shelters for abused males and possibly less acceptance for acquiring safety at relations and others homes from lingering animus toward homosexuals.

Regardless of circumstances, if abuse is part of your life, talk to a friend, relative or professional counselor and try to include the abuser in an effort to disarm and calm anger issues. If this fails, it may be best to move away from such a relationship.

If you are not making changes or at least trying to, you are endorsing abusive behavior. If change seems to be slow coming or unlikely, here are a few tips:

Keep a packed travel bag ready and well hidden. Have a destination pre-arranged, then leave when the abuser is absent. Do not complain of abuse on your computer or via text messages as the abuser may be monitoring these devices. Clear your GPS, frequently change your email address and clear your browsing history.

In any emergnecy, call the police and be prepared to pursue prosecution by cooperating with the district attorney to let the abuser know you mean business. Get a restraining order through the courts to give law enforcement a tool to protect you. Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline at 1-800-799-SAFE  for assistance.

A word of caution: if an abuser hurts or kills a home pet, leave or call law enforcement and seek a restraining order. An abuser who is willing to maim or kill animals most likely has an underlying personality disorder that may not respond well to treatment or counseling.


Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based writer and a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.





This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Steps to Authentic Happiness via Positive Psychology
blog comments powered by Disqus


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus