Be a man’, ‘men don’t cry’, or ‘suck it up, you are a man’, are often the repeated stereotypes that society has ingrained into the minds of men since their formative years. As one lie ensues a plethora, these stereotypes have also produced another groundless stereotype. In this pseudo-feministic society, many believe that women are the only ones who are the victims of domestic violence in a heterosexual relationship. This is not so. Statistics indicate that one in three victims of domestic violence is male.
Men are more prone than women to easily succumb to the gender roles that society sets for them. Inherently, this makes them hesitant to speak out whenever they find themselves in an abusive heterosexual relationship. For a man in a homosexual relationship, things are no better and he finds himself in a deeper quandary.
The more obvious forms of physical male domestic abuse are manifested when their female partners throw things at them, bite them or show any other signs of physical violence that ultimately makes men vulnerable and helpless.
Other forms of male domestic Abuse:
Sometimes men who are being abused are imperceptible to the signs of their abusive partner. They don’t even realize that they are being abused. Male domestic abuse can create a deep impact on the mind of the victims, culminating to complete emotional weakness and vulnerability. Various signs of emotional and mental abuse are:
1. Domination: An abusive female partner would always try to dominate you and control all your life’s important decisions. Be it from your financial decisions to the clothes you wear, you will be obliged to ask her about almost everything under the sun.
2.Emotional control: Abusive partners often ingratiate their way into a relationship through emotionally blackmailing their male counterparts. For example, they often accuse their partners of being unfaithful or be extremely possessive when their partners are around their female friends.
3. Social isolation: Abusive partners often threaten their meek counterparts to leave them or do not permit them to meet their children. They also condemn their family members or colleagues and cajole them to leave their family or friends.
Is domestic violence prevalent in homosexual relationships?
Yes. Perhaps, more than in any other relationship. Society in itself has not been able to accept different sexual orientation than the conventional types. Therefore, it gives the abusive partner a leading-edge to exert violence and control over their partners. Here are some of the ways in which a gay, bisexual or a transgender abusive partner wields domestic violence against men:
- Browbeating about their sexual orientation and threatening to reveal it to his group of friends, family members and other acquaintances, if they are yet to come out of the closet.
- Secondly, they continue to yammer their age-old gender roles considering, violence as a part of male attributes which is not something inconspicuous.
- Persuading them to indulge in various sexual activities that the male partner is not willing to do. Otherwise, they surmise their sexual identity to be the contrary of gay, bisexual or transgender.
Is It Easy For Men To Leave Abusive Relationships?
Like women who struggle day in and out in an abusive relationship, wondering whether to stay or trot off, men are also reluctant to leave a relationship, even if it’s an abusive one. Sometimes their personal beliefs or morals dissuade them to take a step whereas other times their own unacceptance of the situation forces them to shut up. Although domestic violence is against the law, men who are being abused find it difficult to speak against their partners as a lot of substantial factors are playing the role. Such as:
1. Stringent Gender Roles: The erroneous illusion of men being stronger than women and the stereotypes of pseudo masculinity attached to it, often zip up the lips of men who are the victims of an abusive relationship. The feelings associated with it are often shame and mental decadence which grasps them in throes of domestic abuse more than ever. Due to the fear of being judged, they don’t even reach out to their family, friends or get any professional help. Moreover, they often judge themselves on their failure of being a good father, brother, husband or a boyfriend.
2. Treating Male Domestic Abuse As Less Important: Due to the increased coverage of male criminals and female victims, people have forgotten to look under the hood. They have failed to realize that amidst the mirage, there have been uncountable male victims who are suffering under their callous disguise. Looking at only one side of the coin is not going to render a solution. It is good to hope that female victims should reduce, but not at the cost of more male victims. Due to such ignorance, males are often cornered and their grievances are not given the time of the day.
3. Protecting children: Being a parent complicates the situation more for a victim in an abusive relationship. It’s difficult to leave your children when the abusive partner threatens you to get any access to your children. Furthermore, it is insurmountable to gain custody of a child for fathers, if the child is just an infant.
4. Lack of resources: Due to lack of support and help provided to deal with male domestic violence, men voluntarily choose to keep their mouths shut for being ridiculed or judged. Often men are caught under the assumption that most of the shelters and services are female-oriented which leads them to suffer in silence.
How To Deal With Domestic Violence?
Domestic abuse hems in the growth and development of an individual which leads their self-worth to go downhill. Be it a man or a woman, any abuse is not to be tolerated no matter how bagatelle or serious the situation is. Perhaps the first step to deal with male domestic abuse is to eliminate the preconceived stereotypes which make a man look weak in his own eyes. An extended hand asking for support and help is, in fact, a sign of courage and not helplessness.
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, here are some ways to deal with it:
1. Break-off from the relationship: No matter how many years have been invested to retain the relationship, if you find yourself being abused by your loved ones to the point that your mental, as well as physical health, have been deteriorated, it is best to break it off then and there. Compromises are required in any relationship, but they should not be maintained at the cost of your inner peace.
2. Stop arguing: More often than not, abusive partners tend to provoke their male counterparts which consequently leads them to play the victim card. Therefore, whenever you find yourself slipping into a heated conversation with your abusive partner, avoid retaliating or arguing as it could make things difficult for you.
3. Collect evidence: If you have been living with your abusive partner for years, it is certainly difficult to prove them a culprit in the eyes of law. Therefore, it is extremely prudent to gather as much evidence as you can collect to make your case stronger. Although it is difficult to fight against the people you once loved, but remember that, it is also necessary to stand for yourself when your life is at stake.
No matter what happens, always remember that you do not deserve domestic violence. It is not your fault if you talk to your female friends nor when you like your pink shirt. You’re not the one who is to blame.