Abuse knows no gender

Abuse knows no gender. I might have been violated and abused but I am not biased. Having had the opportunity to speak to different men of different age-groups, cultures and nationalities I have come to realise that men are suffering too. There are women in society who are taking advantage of the fact that it’s common for men to be perpetrators in family violence and abuse. As a result they use this to their advantage, thereby causing men to not disclose the abuse they receive from women.

According to One in three campaign, ‘male victims of family violence and abuse like women often face many barriers to disclosing their abuse:

  • They are likely to be told that there must be something they did to provoke the perpetrator’s abuse
  • They can suffer shame, embarrassment and the social stigma of not being able to protect themselves
  • They can fear that if they disclose the abuse there will be nowhere for them and their children to escape to
  • In cases of intimate partner violence, they can fear that if they disclose the abuse or end the relationship, their partner might become more abusive and/or take the children
  • They can feel uncertain about where to seek help, or how to seek help
  • Services are less likely to ask whether a man is a victim of family violence, and when they do ask, they are less likely to believe him (indeed many health departments have mandatory domestic violence screening for young women, but no such screening for young men)
  • Male victims can be falsely arrested and removed from their homes because of the assumption that because they are male, they must be a perpetrator and not a victim. When this happens, children can be left unprotected from the perpetrator of the violence, leading many men to suffer the abuse in silence in an attempt to protect their children.’

Because of these barriers, men are much less likely to report being a victim of family violence than are women. This is also causing a higher suicide rate among the males as they do not seek the help they need. In addition we are seeing so many broken children who need father figures in their lives and yet they are not being given that opportunity. Like everything else there needs to be balance in families.
Can we talk about violence and abuse against men? Men are most likely to be told they must have done something to provoke the women but is it actually true?
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