In the #MeToo era, record numbers of female victims have sought justice for sexual abuse by male aggressors. This is positive progress, but there are still others facing this type of abuse at the hands of others. Some people may be quite surprised to learn how many men suffer domestic violence by women.
Like women, male victims fear reporting the abuse; in addition to concerns about revenge or others not believing them, they may feel embarrassed. However, it has been reported that close to one out of three domestic violence victims are male. In Britain, the ManKind Initiative charity stated that each year from 2012 to 2017, police reported twice as many male domestic abuse victims.
Many still believe in traditional gender roles, feeling that men are stronger and reporting abuse by a female shows weakness. This leads abused men to hesitate their choice to contact the authorities, if they even contact them at all. Some men also worry that they will be taken into custody, just for being male.
There are also situations where a male and female are both abusive, so if the police are called, it may be difficult to determine who the victim is. When children are present, an abused male has the additional concern of leaving them with the abusive woman if he is taken into custody. Other reasons for underreporting include same-sex relationships where the victim has not come out, religious beliefs, and a lack of resources.
Female abusers are capable of the same abuse as male counterparts, and it can be physical, verbal, or mental. Even if the woman is smaller than her victim, she is likely able to strike, push, or otherwise hurt him physically. Verbal abuse falls into many categories, such as humiliating someone in public in front of family, friends, or at work. Threats and intimidations, such as controlling how the victim spends their time or money, threatening to leave with the children, insults, online stalking, and overbearing possessiveness are all part of this.
Other female abusers make false allegations about their victims to others to manipulate them. Hiding or taking away car keys, medications, or valuable items are also forms of harassment. Some abusers interfere with the victim’s relationships with family and friends, forcing them into isolation.
Dealing with Abusive Partners
It is best to exit an abusive situation as soon as possible. In some cases, the authorities must be contacted right away to ensure the victim’s safety and any children present; the police are obligated to protect abuse victims. Although it may be hard to resist retaliating against the abuser, this can lead to the victim being arrested as well. Gathering evidence is important, such as keeping a journal, saving medical reports, and taking pictures. It is also good to have a plan in place that includes a safe place to stay, at least temporarily.