As a man myself, and having spent much time working with the survivor community, it is abundantly clear that men face some considerable challenges – from friends and family, from their partner, from emergency and support services, from the judiciary and society in general. Moreover, men have a very different way of dealing with the issue of abuse than there female counterparts.
In the UK a recent study has shown that 4.2% of men report suffering some form of domestic abuse, compared with 7.9% of women every year. These are the guys who even realise that they are being abused – it’s already a staggering figure. Add to this the greater numbers who suffer in silence, because that is what society has conditioned us to do, and you can understand why the suicide rate amongst men is three times that of women.
Men face very specific challenges with domestic abuse:
- It is deemed a social taboo for men to be victims of domestic abuse, and as a result many men will simply not report it.
- Even if men do report domestic abuse, they encounter little support from the police, the judiciary, or indeed from friends and family.
- Unlike male abuse on women, which tends to be more physical and therefore leave evidence, female abuse on men can often be physical-free – psychological, emotional, financial as well as coercive control. These are much harder to describe convincingly, and will often fail to leave the physical evidence required by the police to investigate, let alone prosecute – if they take the case seriously in the first place.
- Female abusers tend to be more manipulative and Machiavellian in their tactics, and will often self-harm in order to counter-claim abuse or otherwise flip the finger of blame around.
- Children, who may often be the only witnesses to domestic abuse, tend to have a bias is siding with the mother (regardless of how abusive she is) – indeed, many are coerced into doing so by the mother, and, for the moment at least, society and its institutions tend to go along with the same bias.
- Because men generally talk less about domestic issues than women, many are oblivious to female domestic abuse, or indeed Narcissistic or Antisocial Personality Disorder, as being “a thing”. They don’t therefore learn about the patterns, and therefore miss out on the possibility of such a disorder, or abuse, being spotted or diagnosed.
I know, because I’ve been there.
I have found that there are very few male counsellors, therapists or life coaches out there dealing with these issue – less that are experienced in and deeply understanding of the heterosexual, women-abuse-of-men, situations.
I plug that gap.
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