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When Men Suffer Domestic Violence In Their Marriage


If you are a man who experiences violence at home at the hands of your wife, what are your options going forward?  Domestic violence (DV),  is a serious issue, regardless of who is the victim, and while getting someone to listen to you and believe you is an issue for both genders, for men, it is often a bit more complicated. Who can a man tell without being viewed as a storyteller or a wimp?  How can men get help? It’s a real problem, because men definitely find themselves on the receiving end of family violence more often than some might imagine.

Men are Treated Differently 

When we think about domestic violence, we generally think about women as victims to angry, drunken bouts of violence at the hands of out-of-control husbands or boyfriends.  That is often exactly the way DV occurs, and publicizing as much allows female victims to learn that help is available if they report the abuse. But it is not the only way DV occurs.

When men are the recipients of violence, they, like many women, fear they will not be believed if they report the abuse or try to get help. Unlike women, however, men think there’s a  strong possibility they will be viewed as pathetic and weak, instead of viewed with compassion.  In cases where the man is bigger and stronger than his intimate partner, it may be difficult to believe he is being abused. Nonetheless, men are, indeed, abused by domestic partners time after time.

Four in ten reports of serious violence involving former or current partners, in fact, were filed by men, most of whom reported being attacked by women. There are hundreds of studies that confirm that when a relationship is violent, women are just as likely to be the aggressor as men.

But when police are called to the scene of a domestic dispute, they are more likely to arrest both individuals only when dealing with same-sex couples. When dealing with heterosexual couples, men are generally the target of arrests. And when pursuing a protective order,  women are much more likely than men to be granted one.

It’s just easier to believe that men are perpetrators of violence.  Experiments with mock juries demonstrate that when presented with DV scenarios, jurors are more likely to assign blame to men than to women, even when the scenarios show the exact same violence exhibited by women toward men.

A Serious Problem 

14 percent of male survey respondents say they’ve experienced serious violence at the hands of an intimate partner when questioned by The Center for Disease Control. The violence they experience includes:

  1. Punching and/or kicking;
  2. Striking with a heavy object;
  3. Slamming against a wall or door;
  4. Suffocation or choking;
  5. Hair pulling;
  6. Beatings;
  7. Burnings;
  8. Threats with deadly knives and/or guns.

There is Help for Men 

When men suffer domestic violence, they may not think there are resources in their communities to address their situations, but, in fact, that the majority of federal funding dispersed to address DV services requires that any victim of abuse be eligible for help. When local shelters are unable to take in male victims of DV, they can assist men in finding alternate sources of help.

The Legal Help You Need 

Are you a man whose partner is abusive, but who you are reluctant to get help due to your gender?  The experienced domestic violence attorneys at The Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes can help.  We listen.  Our Baltimore family lawyers guide you through your legal options, including protective orders, divorce, and more.  Call for a confidential consultation in our office today.

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