What Happens When Men Are Victims of Domestic Violence?
The often tragic results of domestic violence committed against women have been the focus of countless social and governmental awareness campaigns for decades. This concern has left a blind spot in the study in regard to reporting male domestic violence victims. In 2010, a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey found that men comprised 40% of domestic violence victims in the United States, with an estimated yearly 835,000 who suffer assault by their intimate partner.
Much like women, men who are victims of this violence experience many similar types of domestic abuse, including:
Whether the situation one faces is a one-time incident or ongoing willful intimidation used by an intimate partner or spouse, often the results for men can result in a lifetime of injury and pain, as well as economic and familial alienation.
Men Are Unfairly Stereotyped as Abusers
In society, it is men who are typically characterized as domestic violence perpetrators in relationships. This stereotype subjects male victims of this crime to unfair assumptions when involving law enforcement and often leaves men to suffer this abuse in silence to avoid potential jail time or retribution by the abuser.
Other factors keep abused men at a disadvantage in a domestic violence situation, such as the following:
Minimization or Outright Dismissal of Men’s Abuse Claims
Societal perceptions of men and masculinity have often subjected male victims of domestic violence to ridicule and disbelief when coming forward. Trying to pursue criminal charges against an abusive wife or partner for physical or emotional abuse is often treated with skepticism by government agencies as a result of this skewed attitude toward the toughness of men.
Domestic Violence Resources Are Limited and Exclusionary Toward Male Victims
Because the majority of domestic violence victims are women and children, male abuse victims seeking shelter or crisis services like counseling are often unable to access providers. Many domestic abuse shelters only allow women and children, and many government agencies also show this type of prejudice in their policies. Without resources to help them leave violent relationships, men may feel trapped and isolated.
Accusations of Domestic Violence Against the Male Victim
When relationships break down and marriages dissolve, some spouses may try to gain an upper hand in custody negotiations by accusing their partner of domestic violence. These types of false allegations require vigorous defense so that men can remain active participants in their children’s lives and clear their name of wrongdoing. Abusive partners may also use this tactic to prevent the abuse victim from escaping.
Florida Statute 784.046(6)(c) allows almost anyone with a grudge to file a petition which will temporarily remove an intimate partner or family member from the home for at least two weeks until a hearing takes place. This leaves men who are vindictively targeted by an ex-partner without a place to live and with little more than the clothes on their backs.
How Does Florida Define Domestic Violence?
According to Florida Statute 741.28, domestic violence is a criminal offense that results in bodily harm or death to anyone residing in the household. These injuries could be a result of an assault, battery, or criminal action, but the law doesn’t require violence or injury to qualify as domestic violence. So long as the offense is against another in the home or against a member’s will, one may be found guilty of domestic abuse.
Typical actions that a court would consider as domestic violence include:
- Physical assault or abuse by a simple touch or aggressive beating that does or does not have a physical injury
- Sexual abuse or unwanted sexual advances
- Threats of bodily harm
Why Abused Men Rarely Leave Their Abusive Relationships
One of the hardest questions domestic abuse victims face, regardless of gender, is why they won’t leave their abusers. Several reasons compel men to remain in these dangerous relationships:
- They fear the repercussions of leaving.
- Children are at risk of abuse if he leaves.
- Their abuser makes short-term promises to stop abuse.
- A male victim may lose his self-esteem and fear never finding someone to love them.
- Economic dependence on their abuser can keep them trapped if they have no other support.
- The stigma of asking for help to escape domestic abuse is embarrassing for many men.
- Local agencies and domestic abuse crisis centers mostly offer services to women only.
- Fear of going to jail because of reverse sexism and toxic stereotyping of men in domestic abuse situations.
Speak With an Orlando Domestic Abuse Lawyer Right Away
When under threat of harm or alienation from his children, a man may not have any recourse except to file for a restraining order or continue living under deplorable conditions. For the men who rely on the state of Florida injunction process, it is possible to take back control of your life and enjoy it again. For the best possible outcome against a biased court system, working with an Orlando attorney who is familiar with domestic abuse laws can be invaluable to your cause.
If you are facing false allegations of domestic violence, the Orlando domestic violence defense team at The Umansky Law Firm can help you. With over 100 years of experience defending against false allegations, we have the legal understanding and practice to aggressively pursue this situation and put a stop to the abuse once and for all. Our law professionals will work quickly to put a stop to the false allegations that are hurting your reputation, career, and family.
To arrange your free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us or contact us online 24/7.