Sanctuary for the Abused
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Men As Victims of Domestic Violence
Men are victims of domestic violence at the hands of both female and male partners.
I feel like the only one
You may feel as if you're the only man who has ever experienced domestic violence but you're not alone. Although research shows that it is mainly women, this doesn't mean that men don't suffer too.
Figures on the extent of male victims vary considerably so it's difficult to state with any accuracy the true extent. However, the 2001/02 British Crime Survey (BCS) found 19% of domestic violence incidents were reported to be male victims with just under half of these being committed by a female abuser.
It may be hard to admit to yourself and to others that this is happening to you but it's not your fault and you can get help.
Are there differences in how men and women experience domestic violence?
There are both similarities and differences. Some of the responses to violence from a partner are the same. Whoever you are, being hurt by someone you love and trust can be devastating. You may feel bewildered and confused. You may wonder if it's your fault. You may feel too ashamed or embarrassed to tell anyone. If you do tell, you may find that you are not believed or that your abuse is trivialised. For all victims of abuse, the message is the same...
It is not your fault.
Help is available.
If you don't find the right help immediately, it's important that you keep looking until you find someone who can support you at this difficult time. It doesn't make you weak to ask for help.
There are also important differences that can often be lost when we assume that what we know about women experiencing domestic violence automatically applies to male victims too. For example, many abused men may feel that they aren't 'real men' if they admit to having experienced abuse.
What help is available?
Men have exactly the same rights as women to be safe in their own homes. All statutory services (such as the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Housing Department and Social Services) have a duty to provide services to all - male or female.
Men are protected by exactly the same laws as women - anyone who has assaulted another person, regardless of the gender of either, can be prosecuted. If you are a man experiencing domestic violence and you need emergency help you can call the Police.
Seek legal advice to clarify your position.
What about my children?
The family courts deal with all child contact disputes on a case by case basis. Evidence of domestic violence will be taken into account and decisions about residence and contact made accordingly.