BY VICTORIA K. GONZALES
Domestic abuse takes many forms: physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual. It is crucial to understand both women and males are prone to being victims of an abusive relationship in heterosexual and same sex relationships. More than 830,000 men are victims of domestic violence every year with more than 4,000 domestic violence programs offered in the U.S. but it’s more common women turn to these programs, while men don’t receive the necessary support.
“Why don’t you seek help?”
This question can be daunting for abused men because they feel embarrassed, fear others won’t believe them, or they fear their partner; some men also feel they have to stay in a relationship because they’re ashamed, they’re in a same-sex relationship but haven’t come out, they feel denial, or want to protect their children. Whatever the reason, these factors make it impossible for some to seek out help, or admit to being in a toxic relationship, while they continue to be abused.
Forms of Abuse Against Men:
- Criticize, name call, or shout
- Take away your car keys or money
- Regularly threaten to leave or to make you leave
- Threaten to hurt you or a family member
- Punish or deprive your children when angry at you
- Threaten to kidnap the children if you leave
- Abuse or hurt your pets
- Harass you about affairs your spouse imagines you are having
- Manipulate you with lies and contradictions
- Destroy furniture, punch holes in walls, break appliances
- Wield a gun/knife in a threatening way
- Hit, kick, shove, punch, bite, spit, or throw things when upset
Dealing With your Abusive Partner:
- Leave if you can
- Don’t retaliate
- Record and report evidence of abuse to police
- Keep evidence, phone, and important documents (license, passport) close
- Obtain advice from a domestic violence program
You are not alone. Although leaving a violent relationship isn’t easy or simple, it is possible and there is support from family, friends, counselors, therapy, and support groups. It can take time to get over the trauma and painful memories, but you can heal, move on, and make sure you’re aware of behaviors in the future that will help you in future healthy relationships.
If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, you are not alone. It is not your fault and there is not something wrong with you that makes you deserve to be treated that way. There is a way out and help is available, if you need assistance the Los Alamos Victim Assistant can help you weigh your options, you can reach the victim assistant at 505-663-3511, or text (505)709-8135. All calls are confidential and you don’t need to file a police report to receive services.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline