Men who endure abuse
Talking about abuse and domestic violence can be a difficult task for anyone. It can be painful, confusing and make you feel ashamed, inadequate and isolated.
And it can be incredibly challenging when you are a man because of all the stigma, fear, misinformation and societal pressures that men can experience.
We know that while domestic violence does not discriminate when it comes to gender, men seem to not report abuse in the same way women do. In fact, many men remain silent because they think there’s no point in reporting the abuse because no one will ever believe them.
16% of men are affected by domestic violence during their adult lifetimes
5% of men in England and Wales experienced DV in the last year alone
One of the most important and compassionate things that we can do to support male victims of abuse and domestic violence is to simply believe. It’s worth repeating: do not judge, do not criticize and listen without questioning the victim’s experience.
It’s already hard enough to reach out for help when you are a man, so if you find that a male victim wants to share their experience with you, don’t be so quick to judge or assume that they are not telling the truth.
The ManKind Initiative was the first charity in Great Britain to support male victims of domestic abuse (registered in 2001). Since then, they have been at the forefront of providing services and support for male victims and campaigning to ensure that male victims receive the support they need from other organisations.
The warning signs that a man could be a victim fall into four main categories:
- Changes in behaviour or demeanour
- Changes in physical appearance and clothing
- Changes in contact pattern
- Changes in work behaviour
If you are an employer and think one of your male staff is a victim you can find a number of resources on the Safe Lives website. You can also refer to the Business in the Community / Public Health England Employers’ Toolkit.
If you are in an abusive relationship call Mankind on 01823 334244 – a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence, available weekdays 10am to 4pm.
Remember, if you’re in immediate danger please call 999.