When you think of domestic violence, chances are that you picture a man being abusive to a woman. However, the reality is that men can be victims of domestic violence, too. In fact, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, about 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. One of the reasons why men don't talk about experiencing domestic violence is because they're afraid of not being believed. After all, when we think of domestic violence, we tend to picture a man being the perpetrator and a woman being the victim. But the truth is that men can be victimized by women, too. In addition, men may also be reluctant to seek help because they're afraid of being seen as weak or emasculated. Types of Abuse Men Experience Just like women, men can experience a variety of forms of abuse from their partners. This can include physical abuse, such as hitting, kicking, or punching; emotional abuse, such as name-calling or putting them down; and sexual abuse, such as forced sex or sexual assault. In addition, men may also experience economic abuse, which is when their partner controls their finances or limits their access to money. This can make it difficult for them to leave an abusive relationship because they may not have the financial resources to do so. Warning Signs That Your Partner May Be Abusive If you're in a relationship with someone who exhibits any of the following behaviors, it's important to be on alert for other signs of abuse. These behaviors include:
Jealousy: Does your partner get angry when you talk to other people or want to spend time with them? Do they try and stop you from going out or limit your contact with friends and family?
Possessiveness: Does your partner demand to know where you are at all times or get angry when you don't answer their calls right away? Do they try to control what you wear or tell you who you can and can't see?
Control: Does your partner dictate what you do on a daily basis? Do they make all the decisions in your relationship without consulting you first?
Anger: Does your partner have sudden outbursts of anger? Do they smash things when they're upset or isolate themselves afterward?
Threats/Intimidation: Does your partner threaten you physically or emotionally? Do they tell you that they will hurt you if you leave them or try to hurt themselves if you leave?
Forced Sex: Does your partner pressure you into having sex when you don't want to? Do they ignore your protests and continue even if you say no?
These are just some examples—it's important to trust your gut if something doesn't feel right in your relationship. Remember, no one deserves to be treated this way regardless of their gender. If you are experiencing any type of abuse from your partner, please reach out for help. While we typically think of women when we think about victims of domestic violence, it's important to remember that men suffer from this issue as well. If you suspect that your male friend or loved one is in an abusive relationship, don't hesitate to reach out for help—whether that means talking to them directly about what's going on or referring them to organizations in your area where they can get support anonymously and free of charge.
No one deserves to be a victim of domestic violence regardless of gender identity.