Among the reported domestic violence cases, 50 to 60% of abuses are against women, the other 40% are against men. Many will see this 40% as a “laughing matter”, yet this is not the case because most people will be surprised to know that there are around 300,000 men abused in the United States every year. In fact, our law firm has won many VAWA cases where the men were the abused not the perpetrators and the ratio of men to women seems to back these figures. According to many, violence against men is one of the most under-reported phenomenon in our society.
Violence against men especially in the immigrant community is probably more under-reported because of the cultural issues attached to the role of men in the immigrant community. Unfortunately domestic violence is not a “men exclusive club”. More and more experts are seeing that this phenomenon is a human problem altogether.
According to a non profit organization in Oregon (http://www.oregoncounseling.org/Handouts/DomesticViolenceMen.htm)
Domestic violence against men goes unrecognized for the following reasons:
- The incidence of domestic violence against men appears to be so low that it is hard to get reliable estimates.
- It has taken years of advocacy and support to encourage women to report domestic violence. Virtually nothing has been done to encourage men to report abuse.
- The idea that men could be victims of domestic abuse and violence is so unthinkable to most people that many men will not even attempt to report the situation.
- The counseling and psychological community have responded to domestic abuse and violence against women. Not enough has been done to stop abuse against women. There has been very little investment in resources to address the issues of domestic abuse and violence against men.
- In most cases, the actual physical damage inflicted by men is so much greater than the actual physical harm inflected by women. The impact of domestic violence is less apparent and less likely to come to the attention of others.
- Even when men do report domestic abuse and violence, most people are so astonished, men usually end up feeling like nobody would believe them. It is widely assumed than a man with a bruise or black eye was in a fight with another man or was injured on the job or while playing contact sports. Women generally don’t do those things.
According to this organization there are few reasons why men continue in an abusive relationship namely to protect the children, because they assume the guilt or blame and dependency.
Another website regarding domestic violence against men (http://www.menweb.org/battered/bathelpareyou.htm ) ask those questions:
ARE YOU ABUSED? DOES THE PERSON YOU LOVE…
- “Track” all of your time?
- Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
- Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Criticize you for little things?
- Anger easily when drinking or on drugs?
- Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
- Humiliate you in front of others?
- Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
- Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
- Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
- Threaten to hurt you or the children?
- Force you to have sex against your will?
If you find yourself saying yes, it’s time to get help.
This article might create an uproar in many circles, however it is important to point out that violence against any human being whether it is a woman, a child or a man is a despicable. As lawyers, but more importantly as advocate against domestic violence, we need to keep the public informed of the social issues associated to both genders in our society.
If you are an immigrant and you feel you have been abused and whether you are a man or a woman, please get help and please give us a call on 510.742 5887.