Lack of support for male victims of domestic violence
All violence matters, and where men are the victims of domestic abuse, they should be heard and supported. This section explores how church communities can help. Domestic abuse against men by either male or female partners is quite hidden, and this kind of abuse can be particularly hard for male victims for a number of reasons:. Statistically, domestic abuse of male victims is less common than of female victims, particularly where the abuser is a woman.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Domestic abuse: not a gender issue - Andrew Pain - TEDxLeamingtonSpa
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Group wants shelter for men facing domestic violenceContent:
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All violence matters, and where men are the victims of domestic abuse, they should be heard and supported. This section explores how church communities can help. Domestic abuse against men by either male or female partners is quite hidden, and this kind of abuse can be particularly hard for male victims for a number of reasons:. Statistically, domestic abuse of male victims is less common than of female victims, particularly where the abuser is a woman.
This lack of recognition that relationship abuse can be committed against a man might make male victims less able to understand their experience as abuse. Mainstream masculinity tells us that a man who needs help to deal with issues or problems is weak, vulnerable and incompetent. A male victim may feel that he has failed as a lover and partner, particularly if he has tried everything to improve the relationship.
As a result, men who are abused by their partners are often reluctant to admit it, or will cover up what is happening. Men often have fewer friendships and smaller social networks than women, and need other support structures and services to help them escape an abusive relationship. However, it can seem like the majority of refuges and services for domestic violence victims are women-focused. This can make it hard for male victims to speak out about their experiences and seek help.
The truth is, abuse in any situation between any two people can cause significant trauma. All male victims deserve support and resources to help them feel safe. In the Bible we find several stories of sexual abuse and sexual harassment of men. In Sodom and Gomorrah the Angels who were perceived to be men were sexually harassed by the men of the city who wished to violently gang-rape them Genesis And in the early Roman Empire, boys and male slaves could be sexually abused by their owner, master or benefactor without legal repercussion 1 Corinthians Jesus himself was an abuse victim.
He was tortured, degraded and publicly executed; his chief abusers the religious leaders of his day. Given the Mediterranean worldview of the time, his forced stripping and public nakedness may also have been regarded as sexual abuse. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
By having these stories recorded, scripture shows male abuse victims that they are not alone, that Jesus himself suffered abuse too, and that this kind of violence is very harmful and ought to be taken seriously. It can be hard to understand why anyone who is being abused by their partner doesn't leave.
Much of the abuse that men are subjected to within abusive relationships are the same as they are for women. While there are some forms of violence that male victims are unlikely to experience, there are some types of abuse that can be predominantly targeted at them. These include:. Instilling fear by smashing objects or destroying things. Damaging or selling things the victim values. Any use of pressure to have sex in a way the victim does not want. When it comes to male victims, this can include ridiculing or criticising sexual performance, and withholding affection and sex as a form of punishment.
This can involve threats to commit suicide, or to harm or kill the victim or the children, or using child custody to punish, threaten or control. The abusive partner might threaten to lie to government authorities and slander the victim to his friends and his community. An abusive partner following a victim after they have separated, showing up at his workplace, or parking outside his home. If you suspect the presence of abuse, note that he that he may not realise it is abuse, or he may not want to talk about it.
The best thing you can do is be alert to opportunities to create space for him to open up to you, particularly before the abuse escalates to a severe crisis. The first and most important step for a male victim is to reach out and talk to someone safe about their abuse this could be a friend, a family member, a domestic violence hotline , MensLine.
If you are that friend, he may need help recognising the abuse. Ask questions like:. Reassure him that admitting the problem and seeking help doesn't mean he has failed as a man or as a husband. Reassure him that he is not to blame. You might say:. Encourage him to be aware of any signs that may trigger a violent response from their partner and be ready to leave quickly.
Perhaps if some safe people in your life knew what was going on they would be happy to help you out as well? Encourage him to report all incidents to the police and keep a journal of all abuse with a clear record of dates, times, and any witnesses. If he feels he needs to remain in the family home to protect his children, encourage him to call the police during a violent episode as the police have an obligation to protect a male victim and their children, just as they do a female victim.
If your male friend has recently experienced domestic violence, ring a domestic violence hotline see our Resources section and go with them to the nearest hospital or police station, or help them find a local crisis service. A male victim may feel compelled to retaliate to escape the situation. However, if a male victim does retaliate, it is important they are made aware that it is likely that they will be the one who is arrested and removed from the family home.
Suggest better ways to escape the abuse. The issue of domestic violence against men can be a thorny one. Men's rights groups have used it to derail much-needed advocacy and create confusion around the prevalence and severity of partner violence, while male victims complain that their experience isn't taken seriously enough.
At a population level, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of acts of domestic violence and sexual assault are perpetrated by men against women , and this violence is likely to be more severe against female victims.
Debunking claims around inflated rates of male victimisation is important to ensure that resources are not taken from the critically underfunded service system that saves women's lives. Recognising the gendered patterns of violence overall should not diminish the experiences of male victims or encourage people to be bystanders to male suffering. SAFER has taken the approach that looks honestly at what the research is telling us about the vast majority of victims and perpetrators as being critical to addressing the gendered dynamics of violence.
Phone: 78 99 78 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Web: www. Christian faith provides considerable guidance on how to love and care for others, and Christian faith communities can play a key role in ending violence and abuse in families.
Domestic and family violence really happens in Christian families and in faith communities. Knowing what this looks like is crucial to help end it. If someone in your church confides in you about abuse, your response can make the difference.
Learn the difference between helping and harming. Keeping victims safe in churches means holding perpetrators accountable. It also means not ignoring their abuse, covering it up or enabling it to continue. While SAFER offers initial guidance in dealing with domestic and family violence, there is a wealth of information out there to help you support survivors in your church community.
Churches and pastors are uniquely positioned to respond helpfully in situations of abuse, but they often lack the resources and training to do so appropriately. Domestic and family violence: a gendered problem Why preventing domestic violence is a key faith issue Prevalence in the Church What are denominations doing?
The Bible on… Women, inequality and the Church Abuser-friendly church cultures Churches as agents of change. What is abuse? More than physical violence The evidence Who is a victim? Children who witness domestic violence Respectful relationships Community attitudes towards domestic violence Gender drivers of violence against women. Safety first Intervening in a violent incident Dealing with disclosures of abuse Reporting to the police Leaving an abusive relationship Safety planning What about male victims?
Make your church a SAFER space Apologising to victims of domestic violence How to preach Self care for pastors and support people Practical help churches can offer What governments are doing Want to learn more? Identifying men who use violence How abusers can hide out in churches What do we mean by male entitlement and male privilege? How churches can 'support' perpetrators How abusers can change Services for men who use violence. Help and support services Perpetrator interventions General information and campaign websites Training Church guides and handbooks Church ministry resources Books.
What is this resource? Why this resource? Who is involved? Content warning This page involves descriptions and discussion of the experiences and impacts of domestic and family violence. Some survivors might find its content troubling. Faith Christian faith provides considerable guidance on how to love and care for others, and Christian faith communities can play a key role in ending violence and abuse in families.
Explore this section. Recognising Domestic and family violence really happens in Christian families and in faith communities. Responding If someone in your church confides in you about abuse, your response can make the difference. Perpetrators Keeping victims safe in churches means holding perpetrators accountable. Resources While SAFER offers initial guidance in dealing with domestic and family violence, there is a wealth of information out there to help you support survivors in your church community.
About Churches and pastors are uniquely positioned to respond helpfully in situations of abuse, but they often lack the resources and training to do so appropriately.
A report created from data supplied by 24 difference police forces around the UK in shows that from our late 40s to around age 75, the volume of female victims drops, and male victim numbers rise. This is attributed in part to the decline of violent physical abuse, and the figures include other types of abuse such as psychological, emotional etc — put bluntly, in our younger years men are handier with their fists and as we age and become less fit, more women become abusers, but in a non-physical way. The support networks and safe houses that exist for female victims obviously exist for good reason, but considering the volume of male victims, their needs are woefully under met. But support for men is scant.
The charity said that although there were over 3, beds in safe houses for women, only 20 in the whole of England were set aside for men. There are no refuge beds solely for men in London. Although one in six men experience domestic abuse, only one in twenty report it, the charity said. Some are forced to travel huge distances, sometimes over miles, to get help due to the scarcity of available resources.
What about male victims?
Male domestic abuse: Not enough support for victims, says charity