Male Domestic Abuse Victims
Did you know that there are hotlines for men and boys who are victims of domestic abuse?
Western society often ignores the emotional and mental needs of men. For decades, we have been fed this idea that men have to be strong and stoic. As such, we have often ignored signs of poor mental health or men at risk of harm. But not anymore.
In the past few years, Western society has started to take a new look at men and see them for the complicated human beings that they are. Men can be emotional and we need to help them recognize and express those emotions. But that’s not all, men also need easier access to places where they can open up.
We have also taken a new look at men in the field of sexual and domestic abuse. The #MeToo movement has seen to it that powerful and abusive men are scrutinized like never before. This has trickled down to many talks about sexual and domestic abuse. Specifically, holding offenders accountable.
But here’s the thing, men aren’t only the perpetrators and culprits. Men can be victims too. In fact, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered “domestic violence.” Plus, 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backs up this data with some of its own (from 2010). As Yahoo writes:
“According to the CDC’s statistics — estimates based on more than 18,000 telephone-survey responses in the United States — roughly 5,365,000 men had been victims of intimate partner physical violence in the previous 12 months.”
How To Help Or Seek Help
So what can we do to help the ignored male victims of domestic abuse?
For allies who wish to help, the best thing we can do is to start recognizing that men can be victims too. We have to do away with the idea that men are strong and stoic. That has created a toxic mentality around men/vulnerability that makes them unable to seek help. By talking about feelings and emotions with men, we are helping them to learn necessary skills for speaking up when problems arise.
As for men who are victims of domestic abuse, know that there are avenues to help. There are plenty of helplines available for abuse victims to find assistance. First, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. Or, you can head to their online chat space. The chat is open 24/7. 365 days a year.
Then, here are a few other resources available to you. Or, you can head here for a long list of resources.
National Dating Abuse Helpline
National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp
National Sexual Assault Hotline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline