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Domestic Abuse Against Men, A Scorned Woman

Domestic Abuse against men, a scorned woman

Domestic abuse is a topic that appears more in the public eye today. The phrase domestic violence is a broad phrase that refers to the violent acts committed by one person of a family or household against another. The phrase that is most commonly associated with the mistreatment of a child or spouse and can include not only physical harm, but also threats and verbal, psychological, and sexual abuse. The primary way of which professionals distinguish between domestic violence and general abuse crimes is the relationship of the abuser to the victim.

When asked about domestic abuse most people assume that in the case of marriage the man is the person committing the abuse. However, in some cases the man is actually the spouse being abused. Situations like this usually occur in the event the woman has experienced abuse of some sort in the past. That abuse could have occurred from a family member, former boyfriend or spouse, friend, or stranger. Usually years after the event the woman starts to reflect back on the horrific events that happened to her and then seek to gain revenge on either one particular man or the whole entire male community. This then begins the first phase of becoming a battered woman and abuse of the male spouse. As the years have progressed several studies and or surveys have been conducted to gain a better understanding of how many men, rather than women, actually suffer from abuse in relationships. Even after domestic abuse acts happened to male figures it still was taken lightly and not handled in the same manner if the event involved a women being abused. Domestic violence against men are still perceived to be isolated events, not occurring on a regular basis. It is also normal for the general to make the assumption that in the event a male is a victim of domestic abuse, he did something to deserve it. It was very uncommon for a man to be abused by a woman and not having provoked her in any way. It is also very common for situations involving male victims of abuse to be covered up or painted as if they are not as severe in nature as they really are. In several cases domestic abuse, as well as other crimes, is not taken seriously until it happens to someone of fame such as a celebrity. A good example of this was the incident of when Tiger Woods, a professional golf player, was attacked by his wife with a golf club.

According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Disease Control and Department of Justice in 2010, over the course of the past twelve months more men suffered from spousal abuse from their partner or wife than that of women. In addition to men being more likely to suffer from spousal abuse, over forty percent of the men surveyed in the study reported having suffered extreme physical abuse from their partner over the course of the last twelve months. In addition to the extreme physical abuse, several of those men were evaluated and were deemed to have experience psychological aggression and or control over sexual reproductive health from their spouse. Without the above taken consideration and the increased amount of men suffering from spousal abuse, there are still very few services available in regard to treatment form the male victim. It is more than common to find centers for battered women and children, however, very few exists or cater to the needs of men.

There are many reports stating facts about the numbers of men that are victims of abuse from their female spouse, most people believe getting exact numbers would be almost impossible. Researchers believe on several occasion Getting exact numbers on domestic violence would be difficult primarily due to how often this crime is overlooked. Another reason this information is hard to collect is because of societal gender roles. In society today there is the presumed notion that men are less of a man if they report having been abused by a woman. Despite the normal idea that men are aggressors and women the ones being abused, society is changing. Men are taking the role of now being victims rather than the aggressor.

Other reasons men are speculated to not report abuse by women is due to a fear of what will happen to them. Over the past few decades, in cases involving domestic abuse, the man was always perceived to be the bad one. Regardless of what actually occurred at the scene, in most cases the man was always the person asked to leave or taken into custody. Studies also show that men are also more cautious when domestic abuse situations involve children since leaving them with the woman of which committed the abuse would also put the children at risk. Researchers believe that as long as the notion that men are always the abuser continues, men will be less likely to report situations of domestic abuse from their female spouse. Although roles have changed, regardless of the sex of victim, if the person is abused he or she should be granted equal protection of the law. Males should begin to take these situations seriously and report women in cases of abuse. It is very important for both parties involved to understand that minor disagreements can quickly escalate to large situations which lead to domestic abuse. Men and women both have to learn to better control their emotions and learn to physically walk away.

Another factor preventing exact numbers regarding the actual amount of male abuse victims is that idea that society frowns upon men that report abusive women, it still should be reported. Reporting events such as these can be the start of a cure to an underlying problem. While the resources for men are not as prominent as those of women, it is important to understand there are still measures that men can take to protect themselves in the event they are victims of abuse. Some of the resources available to men include a restraining order, an order of protection which further legally protects the male in the event he fears being punished by law enforcement for being a victim of abuse. A start to the solution could also consist of having a discussion with a domestic abuse attorney regarding options to further protect the male from future occurrences of abuse. It is important to not undermine the idea that men can be victims of abuse. Just as it poses a threat to women it can also be a severe threat to the well being of men. Fortunately, with the increased rate of domestic abuse in men, they are equally protected under the laws regarding domestic abuse.

The Center for Disease Control alongside the Department of Justice completed the same survey in the year 2011 and found that almost every twelve months over five million men and over four million women report having been a victim of spousal abuse. It is important for researchers to note the significant decline in reports of abuse against women. This is a significant effort that is started to significantly pay off. However, the problem is not solved primarily because surveys are starting to demonstrate that the roles essentially have switched. With that being said, in society today women are more likely to be the person committing the abuse. Whereas, in former years, as previously mentioned, women were more likely to be the person getting abused. This significant change in abuse drew attention of the Federal government and posed several questions in regard to why the incidents have merely switched roles rather than decreased all together.

. When reporting abuse it is important to understand the types of abuse reported in the surveys conducted by the National Center for Disease Control alongside the Department of Justice. The two groups looked at many forms of abuse but put special attention on Psychological aggression, and control of reproductive or sexual health. When evaluating psychological aggression, some forms of this act include forceful talking while name calling. This is more so categorized under expressive aggression but nonetheless still considered abuse. Through several research methods expressive aggression was found in most cases to have been the start of abuse. Essentially, most couples begin the abuse with the start of a disagreement, then come the bashful screaming and or name calling, last comes the physical abuse.

Another form of abuse is psychological aggression which is also referred to as coercive control. This behavior includes the process of restricting access to family friends or any other resources that could be of assistance in bringing awareness to the idea that a person is in fact being abused. In other words, in this particular circumstance the person committing the abuse is going to always know the whereabouts of the person they are abusing. This ultimately is a form of severe control. In addition to the previously mentioned forms of abuse the studies concluded that roughly ten percent of men undergo sexual forms of abuse. Although this is not one of the more common forms of abuse, it is still important to understand that it is considered abuse and does in fact occur more than necessary.

With the fact that cases involving males being abused is growing significantly, there are several cases in the media today that demonstrate that men in fact do experience abuse. On July 7th the police were called to the hotel of Actress Emma Roberts due to a physical altercation involving her and her long time boyfriend Evan Peters. Upon arrival to the hotel, police officers enter the hotel room and discover Evan suffered from a bloody nose in addition to several bite marks. After speaking with both individuals the police officers decided to arrest Emma. She is known most for being the niece of actor Julia Roberts and her role in the Nickelodeon series titled “Unfabulous.”

Other situations involving men as domestic abuse victims include the case of Kelly Bensimon. Kelly is known for most her role in Real Housewives of New York City. She was arrested for giving her boyfriend a black eye and bloody gash in the side of his head. After evaluation of the scene law enforcement officials decide to take Kelly to jail for the acts committed against her partner. The long time girlfriend of Geno Hayes, a Tampa Bay linebacker, was arrested for stabbing Hayes in the neck. Another situation involves the wife of Lionel Richie who was arrested for spousal abuse, trespassing, and vandalism of his property after being asked to leave on several occasions. Lastly, actor and well-known comedian Phil Hartman was killed by his former wife. Friends of Hartman testified mentioning on several occasions Phil was noticed with several markings to the body and face. These marks were believed to have come from physical abuse from his wife prior to his death.

Murray Strauss, a University of New Hampshire professor, is known most for his theory of “selective inattention.” This theory states that men are typically overlooked as victims of abuse primarily because they typically are stronger and larger in figure than that of women. In 1977, Strauss conducted a small research project on the comparison of domestic abuse in men versus women. After several months of research, Strauss concluded that most incidents of spousal abuse were equal in both men in women. This study overall proved that men and women were both equally victims of abuse. However, in case of abuse that involve severe violence, he concluded the men were more likely the victim than the aggressor. In fact, he discovered that an average of two million men suffer extremely violent forms of abuse from the female partner per year. After the study, Strauss was also able to conclude that men were more likely to be abused by use of a weapon than that of women. Although Strauss’ research proved that men are more likely to suffer from spousal abuse than women, he concluded that in his personal belief that most people live by the notion that in most cases men are abuse on the notion of mutual combat and that is it very rare for a women to naturally be violent.

When looking at the male victim of abuse it is very important to understand the aggressor which in this case is the female. There are several speculations as to why the female partner resorts to being the aggressor in the relationship and or marriage. Most professionals speculate that women are more likely to enter a relationship or marriage with a preconceived perception of domestic abuse and the likelihood of it occurring in their relationship. As mentioned several times throughout the research the word abuse often paints a picture of a man beating a woman. However, the picture of domestic abuse also includes a woman that beats her boyfriend or husband. With this in mind, very few people realize and or believe that men can be the partner suffering from the abuse.

In most cases, research proves that women begin to abuse their male partner in a non-physical way. This is primarily because the woman believes she is physically weaker than her boyfriend or husband. The abuse typically starts with control and manipulation tactics which eventually escalates to physical abuse. Women are also more likely to abuse men through the use of emotional and manipulative techniques while also being physical at times. It is very important for men to be able to distinguish the two behaviors while in a relationship or marriage. It is important to pay close to women that have a controlling personality and demeanor. Some women are taught to be controlling and manipulative; this behavior does not automatically turn into full-fledged abuse. However, in the event the female takes on an aggressive tone, this is a clear indication that the woman is more likely to at some point become physically abusive.

Women who abuse their partners are typically put into two groups. These two groups are referred to as abusive consumers or abusive controllers. Abusive consumers are said to be women that seek to fully control their partner with plans to eventually have access to all of their partner’s possessions. An abusive consumer is referred to as a woman that uses her partner as a tool to elevate her own lifestyle and life. Obsessive women usually want to control all aspects of their partner’s life, similar to that of a caregiver. Women referred to as abusive controller sees her partner merely as an extension of her own self, one to be manipulated and managed like a child in all ways she sees fit. Other characteristics to look for are women that suffer from alcohol abuse. Alcohol is usually the number one leading cause to abuse in both men and women. When a person in intoxicated he or she is incapable of controlling his or her impulses. While under the influence, people are more likely to become easily frustrated and are more likely to have a misunderstanding. Those misunderstandings generally resort to violence as a solution to what started as a small miscommunication. Women abusers, in most cases, are alcoholics. Women aggressors are also said to have Psychological Disorders. These aggressive women are said to suffer primarily from personality disorders. These women typically are only abusive and violent toward men. In fact personality disorders are more common in women than men. Approximately two percent of all women have a Borderline Personality disorder and at least half of those women are abusive to men. Women that suffer from this disorder tend to also suffer from severe mood swings, suicidal behavior, lying, sexual problems and alcohol abuse.

Research also proves that women that are aggressors usually enter relationships and or marriages with unrealistic expectations, assumptions and conclusions. These women usually have unrealistic expectations of their partner and makes unrealistic demands of the male society as a whole. Women aggressors typically experience frequent episodes of depression, anxiety, frustration and irritability. When questioned about these behaviors, the women said the behaviors were attributed to the behaviors of their men. Their negative feelings towards the behaviors of their male partners are said to be the very reason as to why these women become abusive. However, when evaluated, these aggressive behaviors were proven to be a result of the woman’s perception of herself, otherwise known as insecurities. In recognizing their own securities they find fault in their male partner and later become abusive. Essentially, the women blame their male partner rather than admit their problems. In some cases the women insist the man is the problem instead of accepting their own insecurities and not result to abuse. Overall, abusing their male counterpart helps them to relieve the anger they suffer inside.

With the previous disorders in mind, there are a number of situations in which women under the circumstances of a disorder begin to erupt and become violent. An example would be a situation of which a woman enters her home distressed or upset Upon entry of the home, the husband notices immediately that the woman is upset. In this instance he refrains from speaking to her because he assumes she needs some time to herself to calm down. Ultimately he fears that if he questions what has the wife upset she will explode and immediately become more angry. In all essence, the male is avoiding confrontation. After some time, the wife then proceeds to discuss her worries with her husband. After communicating her worries with him, she is not getting the response she expected or wanted so she assumes the man is being insensitive to her feelings. Her ultimate goal is to get the man to feel the same emotion she is regarding her situation. After not getting the response she wants the women then begins to release some of her stress on the man by calling him names and accusing him of being insensitive to her worries. The man will then become defensive, shut down emotionally, and attempt to deal with the problems in a rational manner. Usually, at this point, the husband is aware that a fight is soon to begin. Since the man did not share the response the wife wanted she then starts to feel he is the one with the problem rather than accepting her issue and not placing the blame on her husband. Then man then tries to keep his composure and stay fully in control of his emotions. At this point the husband refuses to accept the blame for the woman’s feeling which ultimately fuels her anger even further. While continuing to remain calm the husband asks his wife to remain calm. This is when the wife typically starts to provoke the husband and asks him if he thinks he is perfect while continuing to call him insensitive.

Frustrated. The husband refuses to speak his feelings and act as if he is in control. After several hours of arguing the man eventually relinquishes control to his wife allowing her to make him feel as if he really is the problem. At this point, effective communication is no longer part of the situation. At this point, the woman is enraged to a point of no return and begins to throw objects at the man. Most men in this case will merely block the objects while trying to remain calm and not over react. In abusive relationships there are months where abuse escalates followed by several months of normalcy. After a period of going back and forth between normalcy and abuse the men become accustomed to the lifestyle. After getting acclimated with the lifestyle the male usually will become ignorant to the actions of his wife and essentially this affirms her wanting control and encourages her to continue to act out. Some men in situation such as this spiral into depression and begin blaming themselves for the actions committed by his wife. Men then begin to question their ability to be an effective husband and to provide effectively for his wife.

Abuse is even more deadly when there are children involved. Research shows that women are even more likely to become abusive to their husband in the presence of children. Men are usually not going to act out in the presence of children which makes them more likely to accept the abuse from the wife. Some women will even go as far as questioning the man’s ability to effectively father children. This is also an act that takes place in front of the children to really play into the emotions of her husband. Usually by this point, the husband will get extremely upset with the behavior of his wife especially while in front of their children. At some point the man may throw something, punch a wall, or slam his fist down loudly to vent his anger and to communicate that he has reached his limits. Up till now she has never listened to what he had to say. He decides that maybe she will stop if she can see just how angry he has become. Rather than recognizing her husband’s anger and calming down the wife then escalates by throwing more objects essentially escalating the situation. The woman then goes on to question the husband’s masculinity by provoking him and try to get him to hit her. While provoking her husband to hit her she also threatens to call the police. She then tells him that if he hits her he will never see his children again which usually serves as a scare tactic for the husband as he would not want to lose his children. Finally, the husband walks away to allow the situation to calm down. However, this provokes the wife even further and she begins throwing objects at him. In some cases, situations such as this become critical and someone can end up dead or severely injured.

Despite being married to abusive women, research proves that most men choose to still stay in the abusive relationship. In fact women are more likely to leave abusive relationships than men. In fact, in the event the woman is the aggressor, she is still more likely to leave the relationship than the man being abused. There are several reasons men choose to stay and try to work through the differences and in some cases help their partner get help. The most common reason men choose to stay in abusive relationships is for the protection of their children. In circumstances of which the wife is severely abusive the husband fears that if he leaves the wife will retaliate by harming his children. Some women, as mentioned previously, will use the children as bait and trap the man into staying with them. Under these circumstances the men usually stay to protect their children but also overlook the violent behavior of their wife. Another reason men choose to remain in abusive relationships is because they assume blame. Especially is circumstances where the couple has been married for several years, men blame themselves for the actions of their wives. Most of these troubled men believe there was something they did to make their wives act in such a manner. Lastly, another reason men choose to stay in abusive relationships includes a lack of independence. Most men fear being alone. Research shows this fear actually grows as men progress in age. Under these circumstances men teach themselves how to deal with the inappropriate behaviors of their wives. In this case the husband is fully aware that he has a few options. He is aware that one option is to leave the wife, however, he questions if leaving her is worth being alone. Most men, under these circumstances, learn to adapt. Researchers also believe that men who choose to separate from abusive women are more likely to suffer from depression. Although these men spiral into depression, it does not last long. Almost fifty percent of all men that leave abusive relationships return only after a few weeks.

Freelance Writer

I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.