If you think a woman could never abuse a man, think again. According to a 2010 CDC report, 40% of DV victims are male – that’s over 2 million men in America who have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
Other surprising facts from the CDC report include:
– Men are more likely to be victims of attacks with a deadly weapon. 63% of men vs. 15% of women had a deadly weapon used against them in a fight with an intimate partner.
– Men are more often the victims of verbal abuse, such as name-calling and insults.
– Men are more often likely to be the victims of “coercive control,” such as the female partner controlling reproductive and sexual health.
If almost half of domestic violence and domestic abuse victims are men, then why don’t we hear their stories? One reason is stigma: men are embarrassed to reveal that a woman has beaten them, so they stay silent. Since most men are bigger and stronger than their female partners, it’s assumed that they would be able to fend off attacks – and if they can’t, what kind of men are they?
Other common reasons men avoid seeking domestic violence assistance include concern over leaving children or how to extract children from the situation, lack of resources, and for gay men, fear of being “outed” if the domestic violence is taking place in a same-sex relationship and friends and family have been unaware of the man’s sexual orientation.
Help When You Are a Male Victim of Domestic Violence and Abuse
Help is available in New Jersey for male victims of domestic abuse. To find a local safe house or shelter that works with men, call the New Jersey Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 (800) 572-SAFE (7233), a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week confidential hotline for domestic violence victims and others seeking crisis intervention, information and/or referral services.
As a legal measure, you may be able to obtain a TRO (temporary restraining order). TROs are granted when the abuse falls in one or more of the following categories:
– Terroristic Threats
– Criminal restraint
– False imprisonment
– Sexual assault
– Criminal sexual contact
– Criminal mischief
– Criminal trespass
If you have children, and you believe they’re in danger, you can request a temporary child custody order be put in place restricting contact with the abusive parent. You will need to include the children in your TRO, as well as a risk assessment. You will also need to explain why it’s dangerous for your children to have visitation with the abuser.
If your abuser is employed, the court can order emergency child support that can be paid through wage garnishment (learn more about child support calculations). All temporary orders can be granted without the defendant being present and will become final at a full hearing on a Final Restraining Order scheduled within ten days.
Men who are victims of domestic violence need to realize they’re not alone, and that help is available. Protecting yourself and your children far outweighs any perceived stigma you may feel in coming forward. Do you need help filing for a restraining order or temporary orders for child custody or child support? Please contact us to schedule your free, confidential attorney consultation.