Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here.
In the last few years I have spoken to male victims of abuse, and frankly, it sickens me.
As a survivor of abuse, (much of it denied as reality by those I hoped would believe it) The stories they told affected me deeply, especially considering the ultimate final decision some of them made.
While I will allude to marriage partner type relationships, this is applicable to all abusive relationships men may encounter.
Male abuse is not a widely talked about subject and it is the intention of the Campfire to provide resources for men in abusive relationships. Get Help.
USA: The National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/ Call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) Text “START” to 88788
UK: 01823 334244 – https://www.mankind.org.uk/
Ireland: 046 902 3710 –https://www.mensaid.ie/
Male Domestic Abuse, The Numbers Are Elusive
The idea that a man can be a victim of abuse in a relationship is widely ignored and statistics are difficult to come by.
One of the significant reasons is society tends to think of domestic abuse as physical violence and does not always catagorize emotional and verbal abuse, manipulation, and financial abuse as domestic violence. Source
What Does Abuse Look Like For Male Vicims?
https://www.mankind.org.uk/ has an excellent breakdown of what males who are experiencing abuse looks like. They can include but are not limited to psychological control, isolation, and physical abuse.
There are a lot of signs to ascertain if you or someone you know is a victim of psychological control. They include but are not limited to:
Anxiousness to please a partner at any cost to include agreeing with everything the partner says and does
Checking in often with their partner or recieving excessive phone calls
Belittling and humiliating behavior, privately and publicly. (it is happening in private if you observe or experience it in public)
Talk about a partner’s possessive behavior to include angry outbursts and jealousy
Visible changes in appearance, posture, and diminished grooming. They may appear sick or perpetually tired. These signs may be an outward expression of lowered self-esteem.
There may be significant changes to personality to include withdrawn behavior, depression, heightened anxiety and signs of suicidal behavior.
Someone under psychological control may have been threatened or feel that if he tries to get help he may have social repercussions.
Underlying reasons may include fear of not seeing children, threat of false accusations of being unfaithful, sexually violent, a domestic abuser or a child abuser.
These fears are legitimate and a frequent tool utilized in establishing psychological control. A victim of abuse can be accused of abuse by an abuser.
Some signs to recognize if you or someone you know is being isolated:
Limited access to interacting with friends and family
Limited or nonexistent online activity when it was frequent
Limited access to a car or finances
Signs that physical violence occurred may include:
Numerous excuses for frequent injuries and accidents
Missing social events and work without giving a reason why
Dressing in clothing inconsistent with the weather to cover up injuries
Are there examples? Absolutely.
Depending on your search perameters, it is not always easy to find.
Here are a few I found online after searching a while.
Why Do Men Stay In Abusive Relationships?
According to Helpguide, shame,denial, concern for the safety of children, religious beliefs, and lack of resources are primary reasons men stay in abusive relationships.
Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of outward appearance, persona, job description or any perimeter of society. The social stigma of “looking weak” or vulnerable can be a cause of denial.
Many men stay in abusive relationships for the safety of their children. They love their children and feel their presence can be a deterrent to additional wrongdoing.
Upbringing and religious beliefs can cause men to stay in abusive relationships. Some cultures teach that women are weaker and are less likely to engage in violent or coercive behavior and this belief can lead to self blame.
Unconditional commitment to relationships is taught by some religions and a male victim of abuse may feel there is no option to leave.
The inability to find adequate financial support for food and housing while paying child support and alimony is also a factor in why men stay in an abusive relationship.
How To Protect Yourself From Abuse As A Male
Get Help From Experienced Professionals
Use the contact information at the top of this page to get in contact with sound advice and strategies for getting through this process. You will need outside voices that do not judge and can help you navigate what is going on.
Flee the situation if possible
If you are being abused and you have the ability, leave. Find someplace with people and get help by calling the hotlines above or emergency services.
Never, Ever Retaliate
Striking back, raising your voice or acting out in anger will leave you potentially in a legal nightmare. Just don’t.
Get Evidence Of The Abuse
Document all instances of coercion, take pictures of injuries and if you are seeking medical attention, tell the authorities you have experienced domestic violence. Get report numbers and copies for your records.
Leaving An Abusive Relationship
Leaving an abusive relationship can be frightening. Know for certain, the abuse will likely continue.
If possible, plan. Find a safe place you can go if you need to get away and think of routes to get there.
Try to have your identification cards in a safe place outside of where the abuse occurs. While replacable, the process can be time consuming and make it difficult to cash checks, sign in for doctor’s appointments or get a job.
Prepare a go-bag with prescription medications, papers,changes of clothing and hygiene items. You will need these.
If you are in an abusive relationship, be aware that your cell phone has GPS capabilities and a tech-savvy abuser can find you by manipulating your phone with applications. On a side note, your car may have a tracking device as well.
Billing records can show call history revealing who you are talking to and where you might be going. Use care with your technology taking care to clear your browsing history of pages where you are seeking help.
Where To Go
You may not have friends or family that are sympathetic to your plight or they may not believe you are a victim of abuse.
You may be able to locally reach out to a mental health center, a health care provider, a local court, or a church. Don’t give up.
In conclusion, being a male in an abusive relationship is a devastating situation with lasting impact. Know you are not alone and there are resources to gain independence from abuse.
No one deserves to be abused.
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