Monday, October 13, 2014

The Silent Ones...

Just imagine if you were being abused by your partner and police officers as well as the judicial system would not take you or your claims seriously.  At times even laughing at you or accusing you of being the abuser.  Without shelters to turn to, and very limited access to resources for help.  Well, when most people think of domestic violence
they automatically envision a man as the abuser.  That is a thought process that desperately needs to change. 

I am writing this blog post to help inform, educate, as well as create awareness for the silent ones, male victims of domestic violence.  They are referred to as the silent ones because they do not report the abuse for the reasons I mentioned above and many others.  Did you know that over 40% of domestic violence victims are men?  Or that over 830,000 men fall victim to domestic violence every year, which adds up to every 37.8 seconds a man is being abused in America.  And that sadly there are over 4,000 domestic violence programs in the U.S. but very few offer the same services to men as they do women.

I found it rather disturbing, especially after my Google searches, that I could not find a single shelter that accepts men in the Phoenix-Metro area in Arizona.  The only exception, after searching for a while, is a national hotline number (which we will get to in a minute).  I found even more disturbing news the more I searched…to sum it up it appears and has been mentioned in several places that no one wants or even cares to bother with funding research nor resources for male victims!

So what are these poor men supposed to do or even go to seek help?  The first step in getting that help is to reach out.  Now you are probably asking how, after all you have just read.  The Domestic Abuse Hotline for Men is the only place in the United States that offers support and help in finding resources, specifically for men.  There, men will find options, support, and help understanding that the abuse is not their fault nor is it acceptable.  The Domestic Abuse Hotline for Men can be reached from anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Just call 1-888-7HELPLINE (1-888-743-5754).

Other steps for abused men to take are:

  • Never allow yourself to be provoked into any kind of retaliation.  If men have to be in an argument, do it in a room with two doors so they can leave; a lot of times a woman will block the door, the man will try to move her, and that will be enough for him to get arrested.
  • Document everything!  Go to your doctor and tell him what happened, even if he doesn't ask how you were injured. Take photographs of your injuries, and make sure if the police are called that they take a report, and get a copy of the report for yourself.
  • Work with an advocate from a domestic violence program to get a restraining order.  Not only will this help protect you from an abusive partner, but it will also allow you to ask for temporary custody of your children in order to protect them from the domestic violence.
  • Get counseling so you can start healing, and get legal advice.
  • Talk with your family and friends who can help support you.  They WILL understand!
Abusers are good at making you feel isolated and alone, but you're not.  Male domestic violence happens to all types of people: doctors, lawyers, laborers, military members, and the list goes on. The biggest hurdle they face is finding someone who believes them. If they are believed, they can get help, and that's why I have written this blog post today.

Don’t forget the Domestic Abuse Hotline for Men is always open and ready to help you just call 1-888-743-5754!



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