When Men Are in an Abusive Relationship

People view dating abuse victims as being overwhelmingly female. However, female abusers are more common that you would think. One in three teens experience some form of dating abuse, including male victims. In fact, 35 percent of girls reported being the perpetrator at some point in their lives, while 37 percent of boys reported victimization.

Unfortunately, many men are often reluctant to report abuse due to feelings of shame, embarrassment, or fear they won’t be believed. Many people do not understand why a woman in an abusive relationship will not just leave – when the roles are reversed, there’s an attitude of amusement. There are often fewer resources available, and they face major legal obstacles and skepticism from law enforcement. Plus, there is an overall cultural view that men who say they’re in an abusive relationship are either lying or aren’t really “men.”

Many men stay in abusive relationships because they feel ashamed as though they’ve been beaten down by a woman or failed as a provider. They may be in denial about the state of the relationship, believing the abuser can change their behavior, or they may feel the need to protect their children and fear they won’t be able to obtain custody of them. Whatever the reasons, abuse has no boundaries and affects everyone, regardless of gender, age, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, cultural background or sexual orientation.

Anyone can experience abuse regardless of sexual orientation. Their partner may threaten to tell their family, friends or colleagues about their sexual orientation or gender identity, or say the authorities won’t help because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Whether physical, verbal, emotional or digital, it’s still abuse. Here are some of the warning signs of a man with an abusive partner:

  • Physical violence, such as hitting, kicking, biting or slapping
  • Threatening harm, whether physically or by brandishing a weapon
  • Verbally abusing you by belittling or humiliating in front of family and friends
  • Acting possessive and jealous
  • Harassment
  • Consistent accusations of being unfaithful
  • Tracking their partner’s movements
  • Controlling their partner’s spending
  • Constant checking in, whether by text, email or phone call
  • Manipulation
  • Naming false allegations to family, friends, employers or the police
  • Isolation
  • Punishing their partner
  • Preventing their partner from seeing their children if the abuse is reported
  • Says leaving the relationship means their partner is admitting to being gay, bisexual, or transgender, or says that those relationships are deviant
  • Justifies abuse by saying their partner is not really gay, bisexual, or transgender

Call 1-866-331-9474 or text 22522 to “loveis” to talk with a trained peer advocate and get help. Everyone deserves the right to a healthy relationship, and that includes men.