Intimate Partner Violence Month: Domestic violence against men (Week 2)

October 10, 2019

Domestic violence — also known as domestic abuse, battering or intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence against men can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. It can happen in heterosexual or same sex relationships.

It might not be easy to recognize intimate partner violence against men. Early in the relationship, your partner might seem attentive, generous and protective in ways that later turn out to be controlling and frightening. Initially, the abuse might appear as isolated incidents. Your partner might apologize and promise not to abuse you again.

In other relationships, domestic violence against men might include both partners slapping or shoving each other when they get angry — and neither partner seeing himself or herself as being abused or controlled. This type of violence, however, can still devastate a relationship, causing both physical and emotional damage. The Mayo Clinic* indicates the following signs of domestic violence if your partner:

• Calls you names, insults you or puts you down.
• Prevents you from going to work or school.
• Stops you from seeing family members or friends.
• Tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear.
• Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful.
• Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs.
• Threatens you with violence or a weapon.
• Hits, kicks, shove, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets.
• Assaults you while you’re sleeping, you’ve been drinking or you’re not paying attention to make up for a difference in strength.
• Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will.
• Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it.

Abusive partners in LGBTQ+ relationships use all the same tactics to gain power and control as abusive partners in heterosexual relationships – physical, sexual or emotional abuse, financial control, isolation and more, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. LGBTQ+ abusive partners also reinforce their tactics that maintain power and control with societal factors that compound the complexity a survivor faces in leaving or getting safe in an LGBTQ+ relationship. Some tactics of power of control include:

• Threats of “outing” a partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Abusive partners in LGBTQ+ relationships may be threatened to “out” victims to family members, friends, colleagues or community members.
• Says no one will help a gay, bisexual or transgender person.
• Justifies abuse by telling one that they are not “really” gay, bisexual or transgender. (i.e. the victim may once have had/may still have relationships, or express a gender identity, inconsistent with the abuser’s definitions of these terms.)

Beloved, domestic violence against men can have devastating effects. Although you may not be able to stop your partner’s abusive behavior, you can seek help. Remember, no one deserves to be abused. NO ONE! If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence/ abuse, seek help IMMEDIATELY. In an emergency, call 911. For additional resources contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE or 800-799- 7233. The national hotline provides crisis intervention and referrals to local resources.

Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline/ 1-800-799-7233

*Mayo Clinic at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/domestic-violence-against-men/art-20045149

Next Week: Teens and dating violence

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