Domestic violence against men: Know the signs
Domestic violence against men: Know the signs Domestic violence against men isn’t always easy to identify, but it can be a serious threat. Know how to recognize if you’re being abused — and how to get help.
Women aren’t the only victims of domestic violence. Understand the signs of domestic violence against men, and know how to get help.
Recognize domestic violence against men
Domestic violence — also known as domestic abuse, battering or intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence against men can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. It can happen in heterosexual or same sex relationships.
It might not be easy to recognize domestic violence against men. Early in the relationship, your partner might seem attentive, generous and protective in ways that later turn out to be controlling and frightening. Initially, the abuse might appear as isolated incidents. Your partner might apologize and promise not to abuse you again.
In other relationships, domestic violence against men might include both partners slapping or shoving each other when they get angry — and neither partner seeing himself or herself as being abused or controlled. This type of violence, however, can still devastate a relationship, causing both physical and emotional damage.
You might be experiencing domestic violence if your partner:
- Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
- Prevents you from going to work or school
- Stops you from seeing family members or friends
- Tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear
- Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
- Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
- Threatens you with violence or a weapon
- Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets
- Assaults you while you’re sleeping, you’ve been drinking or you’re not paying attention to make up for a difference in strength
- Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
- Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it
- Portrays the violence as mutual and consensual
If you’re gay, bisexual or transgender, you might also be experiencing domestic violence if you’re in a relationship with someone who:
- Threatens to tell friends, family, colleagues or community members your sexual orientation or gender identity
- Tells you that authorities won’t help a gay, bisexual or transgender person
- Tells you that leaving the relationship means you’re admitting that gay, bisexual or transgender relationships are deviant
- Justifies abuse by telling you that you’re not “really” gay, bisexual or transgender
- Says that men are naturally violent
In discussions about domestic violence against any gender it’s very important to highlight that the term doesn’t just mean physical violence. It’s verbal or nonverbal abuse. It’s rape. It’s humiliation, degradation and isolation. It’s hurting your pets or destroying your possessions. It’s a person taking over your entire life and putting you on an emotional roller coaster. They reel you in with “love” and then over time manipulate you and control you with it. Many people do not even realize that they are domestic violence victims because our typical movie image of it is an angry, drunk businessman beating up his wife. It can happen to anyone.
Luckily there are many shelters across the country for victims of domestic violence. They can help you prepare for leaving, how and when you’ll do it, and provide you with a safe, secret place. They can help you get an education, get a job, become financially stable, teach you how to cook, care for your kids, provide legal assistance, counseling, whatever you need in order to operate independently.