While most attention is given to women who are abused by men, men are often overlooked victims of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life — all cultures, all income groups, all ages, all religions. Men are silent sufferers. We easily believe a woman who claims abuse, but a man is expected to always hold be the one giving the abuse. This is not the case.
Read these facts:
- Every 38 seconds, somewhere in America a man is battered.
- Center For Disease Control estimates 835,000 men are the victims of domestic violence each year.
- A survey 0f 1,000 women, perhaps the largest survey of its kind, found that 20% had initiated violence. The most common reasons for women initiating domestic violence were: “My partner wasn’t sensitive to my needs,” (46%), “I wished to gain my partner’s attention,” (44%) and “My partner was not listening to me” (43%). “My partner was being verbally abusive to me” (38%) was a distant fourth. (Source: Fiebert. M. and Gonzalez, D. (1997). College Women Who Initiate Assaults on their Male Partners and the Reasons Offered for Such Behavior. Psychological Reports, 80, 583-590 (1997)
Some things that are worth thinking about gentlemen if you’re wondering “Was I abused?” include:
- Did she embarrass or humiliate you in front of other people, including your friends or family?
- Did she insist that anything you wanted for yourself was selfish and/or wrong?
- Did she threaten you, or threaten to harm herself or anyone else, if/when you left?
- Did she force you to ask her for money, or take your money away from you? Did she have control of the family finances, so you didn’t even know what or when money was being spent?
- Did she prevent you from taking a job you wanted, or going to school? Did she force you, either directly or through manipulation, to quit a job you had?
- Did she make jokes about her treatment of you, insist that she never did anything to hurt you, or blame you for her behavior?
- Did she treat you as if you were her servant?
- Did she ever belittle your beliefs, or tell you that your faith is wrong?
- Did she make you leave social gatherings, or restrict your contact with your friends or family?
- Did she make you feel afraid, or like you needed to be “careful” around her?
- Did she make you feel guilty or ashamed about yourself, your feelings, your beliefs, or anything else that makes you a unique individual?
******If you find yourself saying yes, it’s time to get help.*****
1. If anybody is being touched or controlled or dominated, (financially or physically) if any abuse is being forced against the will of another, there is abuse going on …it is likely to be violent… She has an anger problem.
2. If you feel attacked or criticized or shamed, if you find you have to plead with this person all the time or if you find yourself on the defensive a lot…your partner has an anger problem.
3. If you feel that you are pushed to the point that you have little control over anything, verbally or physically… your partner has an anger problem.
If you recognize any of the patterns it’s time that you realize that your relationship is over and you must get out. We tell women to leave all the time. Here is a signal for you not to be ashamed but to leave! Leave… it will not get better.
If these signs seem familiar to you, it’s a good bet you’re being verbally abused. And that can be difficult to convince anyone else of, because some identifying traits of verbal abuse include:
- It usually starts off with little stuff, then gets worse over time, so you get accustomed to it…and other people get accustomed to seeing you suffer it.
- It comes in many disguises.
- It consistently discounts your perceptions. No matter how cruel your partner is, she will deny that anything is wrong.
- Finally, physical abuse is always preceded by verbal abuse.
Verbal abuse is hurtful. Especially when it’s denied. Verbal abuse attacks your nature and abilities, usually so thoroughly that you begin to believe that there’s something inherently wrong with you, or that your abilities are actually failings. Verbal abuse may be overt (angry outbursts and name calling) or covert (subtle stuff, like brainwashing). Verbal abuse may be voiced in an extremely sincere and concerned way (like when she expresses her concern that you just aren’t capable of understanding finances well enough to balance your checkbook). Verbal abuse is manipulative and controlling. Verbal abuse is insidious — it destroys your self-esteem, it steals your self-confidence, it brainwashes you to try to change yourself to please your abuser, so she won’t hurt you anymore. Verbal abuse is unpredictable. No matter how intelligent, careful, or perceptive you are, she’ll always find a way to hit a blind spot you didn’t even know you had. Verbal abuse is the issue in the relationship. In normal relationships, arguments are over concrete things that can be resolved. In a verbally abusive one, there is no specific conflict – the whole point of any argument is to make you suffer.
If you need to talk visit: thehotline.org and get help!