Domestic violence or abuse -Against men
Domestic violence against men refers to a pattern of abusive behaviours, physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse within an intimate or familial relationship, where the victim is a man. These behaviours are used by one person to exert control and power over the other person, leading to a cycle of fear, intimidation and harm. The perpetrator is typically a spouse, family member or someone with whom the man has a close relationship.
The types of abuse that can be perpetrated against men in domestic violence situations are similar to those experienced by women & can include but not limited to:
Physical Abuse: This involves any form of physical harm inflicted upon a man by his intimate partner, spouse or family member. This can include hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, biting, strangling or using objects as weapons. The goal is to exert control, instil fear and maintain power over the victim.
Emotional/Psychological Abuse: Emotional abuse targets a person’s self-esteem and mental well-being. Perpetrators might engage in constant criticism, humiliation, belittling and name-calling. They may manipulate their partner’s emotions, isolate them from friends and family and use threats to maintain control.
Sexual Abuse: This involves any non-consensual sexual activity or manipulation. Perpetrators might force their partner into sexual acts, engage in sexual activities without consent or coerce the victim into participating in sexual acts they are uncomfortable with.
Financial Abuse: Financial abuse is about controlling a person’s access to financial resources and economic independence. Perpetrators might withhold money, prevent their partner from working, control all financial decisions or rack up debt in the victim’s name without their consent.
Verbal Abuse: Verbal abuse includes the use of hurtful language, insults and threats to demean and intimidate the victim. This can have long-lasting psychological effects and undermine the victim’s self-esteem.
Isolation: Perpetrators may isolate their partners from friends, family and support networks. This isolation makes it more difficult for the victim to seek help or escape the abusive relationship.
Harassment & Stalking: Stalking involves unwanted and obsessive attention, often manifested through constant surveillance, monitoring and following—both in person and online. This behaviour is intended to exert control and induce fear.
This behaviour is controlling someone and making them solely dependent on the perpetrator. It also involves isolating the victim and the perpetrator is someone close to the person being abused.
This can include but is not limited to monitoring daily movements, denying freedom, calling names, limiting access to money, gaslighting, parental alienation, controlling eating and sleeping habits, threatening behaviour as well as intimidation.
Tech Abuse: In Aug 2023, MPs warned against the growing risk of smart tech in domestic abuse. Tech Abuse is when the perpetrators deliberately misuse technology such as tracking apps, spyware and remote access to harass, threaten and intimidate their victims.
This can include surveillance through home security systems such as baby monitors, CCTV, video capturing doorbells, Alexa, Airtags and Google Home to control the movements of vulnerable individuals.
Parental alienation occurs when a parent attempts to turn a child against the child’s other parent through the use of manipulation, criticism and other harmful behaviours without reasonable or rational justification.
Through psychological manipulation, a child is taught to show fear and hostility to the alienated parent, resulting in the abusive parent forcing the child to (reluctantly) cut ties with the targeted parent.
The child displays a pattern of negative behaviours and beliefs that severely impact the emotional bond between them and the targeted parent and can have lifelong devastating effects on the child.
Challenges and Barriers for Male Victims:
Societal Stigma: There can be a stigma surrounding male victims of domestic violence, as societal norms often associate strength and masculinity with the ability to protect oneself. This stigma can discourage men from coming forward to report abuse.
Lack of Awareness: Many people assume that domestic violence primarily affects women, which can lead to a lack of awareness and understanding about the experiences of male victims.
Masculinity Stereotypes: Traditional notions of masculinity might discourage men from seeking help or reporting abuse, as they may fear being perceived as weak or incapable of handling the situation.
Underreporting: Due to the above challenges, domestic violence against men is often underreported. Men might feel embarrassed or afraid to disclose their experiences.
Support and Resources:
Counselling and Therapy: Mental health professionals can provide therapy to help male victims cope with the trauma of domestic violence.
Seek Help: Abusers may benefit from therapy and counselling to address underlying issues that contribute to their abusive behaviour.
It’s important to note that anyone, regardless of gender, can be a victim of domestic violence, and anyone, regardless of gender, can be a perpetrator. However, societal norms and stereotypes can sometimes contribute to underreporting of domestic violence against men. Men who experience domestic violence may face unique challenges in seeking help due to perceptions of masculinity, societal stigma and a lack of awareness about available resources.
Support services, such as hotlines, shelters, counselling, and legal assistance, are available for male victims of domestic violence, just as they are for female victims. It’s crucial to recognise and address domestic violence against men to ensure that all individuals have access to help and support when needed. Alternatively, contact our confidential help line for immediate personalised assistance and support for guidance tailored to your specific situation.
We may be able to support you making that decision to get help which we understand is a difficult one for anyone – we will listen to you without judgement. So please reach out to us and know that we pride ourselves on confidentiality and getting you the help, you deserve.