When most people hear about domestic violence and abuse, they picture a man beating a woman. However, that image falls short of reality. If you are a man in an abusive relationship, you know how difficult it can be to get help.
You may feel that you cannot turn to family or friends for assistance. Law enforcement agencies and courts often seem unable to understand the situation. As a man trying to end an abusive or violent marriage, you need someone on your side.
One common misconception is that domestic violence only affects women. Another is that, if a man is an abuse victim, he must be a man of small physical stature or in a same-sex relationship. Perhaps the most damaging myth is that physical violence is the only type of abuse that truly injures the victims.
In reality, one in seven men experience Intimate Partner Violence in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, women abuse men of all sizes and physical types. Some women use weapons or attack while the men are sleeping. Others threaten violence against pets, children or family members.
Discouragingly, one international survey found that only about 20% of male IPV victims report it. In addition to violence, men may suffer other forms of abuse such as emotional cruelty or financial exploitation.
If a man tells you he is in an abusive marriage, believe him. Do not laugh, tease or minimize the damage. Reassure him that you do not see him as weak or less masculine.
If your spouse is abusing you, seek help. You may be sympathetic to your partner’s mental issues, but you need to look out for yourself. You are not alone, and you can escape the abuse.