Men typically face disbelief and ridicule when reporting abuse. As a result, male victims of domestic abuse tend to make excuses for injuries–“It was an accident”–when questioned by friends or medical personnel, which only allows perpetrators to continue the abuse.
Abusers are experts at making their victims feel like no one is on their side. Feeling like no one cares can create a spiral of isolation—the more you withdraw from friends and family, the less those who care about you will be able to help.
Though you may have been injured far worse on an athletic field, it is not the same thing as being physically attacked by your intimate partner, which hurts emotionally as well as physically. Allowing this pattern to continue can result in depression, substance abuse, loss of confidence, and even suicide.
For over 30 years, domestic violence has been defined as “the chronic abuse of power that men use to control women.” Public awareness campaigns have focused solely on men as the perpetrators, never as victims. And yet, a Department of Justice study indicates that over 834,000 men report being domestically assaulted annually.
The general public has been desensitized by sit-coms and commercials depicting men being hit over the head with frying pans, kicked in the groin, and slapped in the face by their intimate female partners. What message does this give society? A woman hitting a man is humorous and acceptable behavior. But it’s not. No one deserves to be abused whether man, woman or child.