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If you're a man experiencing domestic or family violence, it's important to know that you're not alone. There are no official statistics on how many men experience violence and abuse in their relationships, but it could be as many as 1 in 3.
This includes husbands, sons, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, nephews, friends, neighbours and colleagues from all walks of life and all ages.
Men often don't report abuse by women because they feel embarrassed or think they won't be believed if they report it. Perpetrators can be a wife, girlfriend or partner but can also be children, parents, siblings and carers of all genders.
The most common forms of violence and abuse against men are:
(From MensLine Australia)
An abusive person may also bite, spit, throw things, destroy your belongings or hurt your pet. They may also control how you spend your money, act possessive and jealous and accuse you of having an affair, humiliate you in front of friends and family.
You may feel helpless, depressed, worthless, powerless and isolated. You may have feelings of guilt, shame and despair. You might find it hard to sleep or concentrate on tasks at work.
Remember that no one deserves violence. Domestic and family violence is against the law and is a crime. It's not your fault and you're not to blame for what is happening.
Many people wonder why a woman who is being abused in a violent relationship doesn't just leave. When it's a man who is being abused, people are even more puzzled. But those who've experienced domestic and family violence know it's never that simple. And that ending an abusive relationship is hard.
Maybe you've stayed in the relationship because:
The first thing you can do is to acknowledge that you are in a abusive relationship. The second step is to realise that you can do something about it. Here are some next steps:
Report the abuse to the police, your doctor or lawyer. They will know what your rights are and how to put you in touch with someone who can give you expert advice. Getting help doesn't mean you've failed as a man or as a husband and partner. You are not to blame. It is not your fault. The abuser is responsible for choosing to use violence in the relationship.
Find someone you trust and can talk to about your situation. Telling someone about what's happening can help with your feelings of helplessness and isolation. You might be able to talk to a friend, a coworker or a professional counsellor. You can also call MensLine Australia, 1800RESPECT or Men's Referral Service. They have trained counsellors avaliable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A safety plan is a course of action you can take if faced with violence or harm not only to yourself, but also to children and pets. A safety plan answer questions such as:
Write down everything that has happened. This may be useful if you are seeking legal protection or police help.
Read more about domestic and family violence against men:
16 May 2023