You are a man in your 40s. Your wife regularly beats and berates you. She once deliberately drove over your foot. You give her everything you can manage to earn (and anything else friends and relatives will let you borrow). But she spends all the money on herself or gambles it away. She has falsely accused you of abuse. You now have a police record as a result. Yet you cannot break free.
Some 830,000 men were victims of domestic violence last year [1A]. Many men do not recognize that they are victims. Many more are ashamed to acknowledge the fact.
We are all familiar with the image of the “macho” male. Society defines men as strong and dominant. But men of all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds and all occupations may be subject to abuse. Nor is abuse confined to heterosexual relationships.
Mary Todd Lincoln was known to have fits of rage. She once chased Abraham Lincoln around the yard with a knife.
Humphrey Bogart’s alcoholic third wife, Mayo Methot, pulled a gun on him at a dinner party. She stabbed him during another fight – an altercation Warner Bros. attempted to keep from the public. But the Bogarts’ tumultuous relationship was no secret. The press referred to the couple as the “Battling Bogarts” and their home as “Sluggy Hollow”.
Forms of Abuse
“Women were significantly more likely to throw an object, slap, kick/bite/hit with fist and hit with an object.”
-Philip Cook, “Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence”
Domestic violence against men can take a variety forms [2A]:
Verbal Abuse – This can range from private criticism to insults and humiliation in the presence of friends and colleagues.
Threats – These may express the intent to prevent children from seeing their father, if the abuse is reported; to harm children (or pets); or to “out” a gay or transgender individual.
False Accusations – Unsubstantiated accusations of infidelity or abuse may be made to an employer or police.
Physical Assault – This may involve hitting, punching, thrown objects, attacks while asleep, or use of a vehicle to cause injury.
Damage to Credit Rating and Finances – This can take the form of heedless spending, or deliberate default on major financial responsibilities such as a mortgage. Continue reading