If you’re a man in an abusive relationship, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Abuse of men happens far more often than you might expect—in both heterosexual and same sex relationships. It happens to men from all cultures and all walks of life regardless of age or occupation. However, men are often reluctant to report abuse because they feel embarrassed, fear they won’t be believed, or are scared that their partner will take revenge.
An abusive partner may hit, kick, bite, punch, spit, throw things, or destroy your possessions. To make up for any difference in strength, they may attack you while you’re asleep or otherwise catch you by surprise. Of course, domestic abuse is not limited to violence. Emotional and verbal abuse can be just as damaging. As an abused man, you may face a shortage of resources, a lack of understanding from friends and family, and legal obstacles, especially if trying to gain custody of your children from an abusive mother.
The first step to protecting yourself and stopping the abuse is to reach out. Talk to a friend, family member, or someone else you trust, or call a domestic violence helpline. Admitting the problem and seeking help doesn’t mean you have failed as a man or as a husband. You are not to blame, and you are not weak. As well as offering a sense of relief and providing some much-needed support, sharing details of your abuse can also be the first step in building a case against your abuser.
A CALL TO MEN is a violence prevention organization and respected leader on issue of manhood, male socialization and its intersection with violence, and preventing violence against all women and girls.