National Domestic Violence Abuse Month (Week 2)

October 14, 2013

12National Domestic Violence Abuse Month (Week 2)

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

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 domestic 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.
Portrays the violence as mutual and consensual.
If you’re gay, bisexual or transgender, you might also be experiencing domestic violence if you’re in a relationship with someone who:
Threatens to tell friends, family, colleagues or community members your sexual orientation or gender identity.
Tells you that authorities won’t help a gay, bisexual or transgender person.
Tells you that leaving the relationship means you’re admitting that gay, bisexual or transgender relationships are deviant.
Justifies abuse by telling you that you’re not “really” gay, bisexual or transgender.
Says that men are naturally violent.
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.

Next Week: Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.