Yes, it is true that men can experience abuse. This can happen in many different types of relationships. The good news is help is available. Before you can understand abuse, you need to know what it is and how to recognize it when it occurs.
What Is Abuse?
Abuse is defined as one person treating another person cruelly or in a violent manner. An abuser is someone who willingly causes pain or suffering to another person. Abuse takes on many different forms including: verbal, mental, physical, emotional abuse, and financial.
Domestic violence occurs more often than people would like to think. In the United States, every 20 minutes, someone is being abused by their partner. In Canada, in 2014, over 760,000 people reported being abused by their spouse or significant other. When you hear the words “domestic violence”, you often think of a woman being the victim, but men are also victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence includes, but is not limited to, punching, kicking, slapping, yelling, calling names, insults, or other forms of maltreatment. Other forms of domestic violence also include:
- Verbally abusing you (belittle and humiliate you in front of people)
- Be possessive and jealous
- Hide medications
- Try to control how you spend your money
- Publicly make false allegations about you
- Threaten to harm something of value to you (pets, children, etc.)
- Harassing you
Why Don’t Men Leave the Abuse Behind?
Leaving an abusive relationship is often easier said than done. You may not leave an abusive relationship due to religious reasons, feeling ashamed, wanting to protect your children, or lack of resources. If your spouse is the breadwinner, you may not have enough funds to support yourself. Sometimes you may be in denial. Admitting you’re in an abusive relationship can be difficult. Once you admit the truth of the situation, it becomes your reality, and that’s when the facts hit home.
Know How to Protect Yourself
The first step in protecting yourself is to leave the situation. Removing yourself from the situation can alleviate some of the stress you feel. Stay somewhere safe such as the home of someone you trust. It is important that you do not fight fire with fire, meaning, don’t retaliate. Your spouse may try everything in their power to provoke you to hit them or harm them. Retaliating puts you in the hot seat of being arrested and removed from your home due to your violent acts. The law is not interested in who started the violence. Get as much evidence as possible of the abuse; record phone conversations, save text messages, and take pictures of physical abuse.
Moving on From An Abusive Relationship
Your relatives and friends can be your support group and help you through this rough patch in your life. Counselling can also help you move past the relationship and begin a new chapter in your life. You may have a lot of emotions built up and things you need to talk about. Counselling with the right therapist can help you face your fears, move past them, and look forward to your future.