We must change the stereotype of what domestic violence looks like. All too often, men suffer through abuse in silence. Hollywood and headlines show us all too frequently that men can be aggressors in abusive relationships, but they fail to show the opposite all that often. Many believe that a men couldn't possibly be abused because they are oftentimes stronger or "too manly" to one abused by their partner. These stereotypes and beliefs can be damaging to men experiencing domestic violence. All too often, men deny being abused to friends, family, and even themselves so they aren't perceived as "weak".
Abuse against men happens more than you may think. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical abuse by an intimate partner, and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime."
An abusive partner may hit, kick, bite, punch, spit, throw things, or destroy your possessions. To make up for any difference in strength, they may attack while their partner is asleep or otherwise catch them by surprise. They may also use a weapon, such as a gun or a knife, or strike with an object, abuse or threaten their children, or harm their pets. Domestic violence isn't limited to physical abuse. Men also experience emotional, financial, and sexual abuse also. Breaking the stereotypes that surround domestic violence allows survivors to take their first steps toward protecting themselves without shame.
Regardless of your gender, if you are experiencing domestic violence talk with a friend/family member, reach out to someone you trust, or call a domestic violence helpline. Admitting the problem and seeking help doesn't mean you have failed as a man or as a partner. You are not to blame, and you are not weak.
Violence Prevention Center's 24-hour Hotline - 618-236-2531
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233