As a 2014 article written for the Mint Press News so aptly explained, it’s difficult to talk about the subject of domestic violence without warranting some level of trepidation. While it’s important to remain sensitive to its victims – which, in a majority of cases, are women – it’s important not to ignore other truths about the subject, such as the fact that men can also be victims of domestic violence.
This point can be difficult for some to rationally consider because in our existing societal structure, men are often seen as the abuser and not as the victim. But according to the Mint Press News article, “more than 830,000 men fall victim to domestic violence every year,” which begs the question: what is life like for men in this small percentage of the population?
Difficulty making a case
Male victims of domestic violence face a challenging situation. On one hand, they are considered to be victims and are told to seek help. But when they do, they are met with skepticism due to existing gender stereotypes. As the Mint Press News explains, this creates mixed messages that may cause a man to remain in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship. If help is sought, men often have to suffer through negative stigmas because of society’s “muddled perceptions about gender.”
In some cases, a female abuser might even use the existing views on domestic violence to discredit a man’s claims, instead insisting that the abuse was perpetuated by the man. This could lead to allegations of domestic violence against the man, requiring him to seek legal counsel to fight back against the false accusations.
No easy answers
There are no easy answers to this issue, only acceptance of its reality. And unless society addresses misunderstandings about gender and domestic violence, men in our country and elsewhere will continue to face a difficult situation when it comes to this issue – both in society and in the courtroom.