for men

Victims of intimate partner violence come from all walks of life – all cultures, all incomes, all ages, and religions. They also come in both sexes. Men are often overlooked victims of intimate partner abuse, and when abused by women, frequently suffer in silence. In addition to the shame shared by many women victims of intimate partner violence, men have the added pressure of having to overcome gender stereotypes.

Men often suffer physical abuse in silence because they are afraid that no one will believe them or take them serioulsy. In fact, some men who do try to get help find that they are mocked and ridiculed. No one would even think of telling a battered woman that getting beaten by her husband wasn’t a big deal, but people often don’t think twice about saying that to a battered man.
Traditional gender roles confuse the matter. A “real man” is expected to be able to “control” his partner.

Aside from the embarrassment over admitting abuse, abused men may feel they are somehow less of a man for “allowing” themselves to be abused. Abuse is never the victim’s fault, and this is no less true just because the victim happens to be male. Men can be mocked, ridiculed, hit, kicked, punched, pushed, or bitten by women abusers. Women can also use weapons, such as knives, guns, or any blunt object that can be used to strike. Abused men are not necessarily smaller or physically weaker than the women who abuse them, but they choose not to use their size or strength to hurt their abusive partners, even when they are being hurt.

Men are also less likely to call the police, even when there is injury, because, like women, they feel shame about disclosing family violence. Additionally, many men feel that domestic violence services are aimed mostly at helping a female population. Wild Iris Family Services is dedicated to helping all victims of intimate partner abuse, regardless of their gender.

What to do if you are a male victim of intimate partner abuse

· Take the violence seriously. Many men are inclined to find it amusing when the “little woman” lashes out at them. Violence that seems harmless at first can escalate. If you are in immediate danger, dial 911.

· Make a safety plan. Pack a bag with important things you will need if you have to leave quickly. Put it in a safe place, or give it to a trusted friend or relative. Include cash, car keys and important documents such as: court papers, passport/birth certificates, medical records, medicines, and immigration papers.

· Protect your children. Women who abuse men often abuse children.

· Contact a local Advocacy Group. Wild Iris’s advocates are specifically trained in assisting victims of intimate partner violence, regardless of gender, and can provide counseling and support services including:

o 24/7 crisis line

o Assistance with temporary restraining orders

o Safe haven program

o Emergency crisis intervention

o Advocacy and court accompaniment

o Counseling and support groups

o Information and referrals