Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, culture, religion, sexual identity, or socioeconomic background. Historically women have been the most recognized victims or survivors of domestic violence, but approximately 1 in 7 men will experience intimate partner violence in their life compared to 1 in 4 women (www.thehotline.org).
Domestic violence is not just physical abuse. It also includes other forms of abuse such as:
Financial Abuse/ Controlling finances or restricting access to finances.
Emotional/Psychological (name calling, gas lighting, etc.) This can look like emasculation for a male victim or withholding affection.
Sexual coercion. Similar to a female victim this can be used as a way to control the other person.
The abuser, regardless of gender, uses this imbalance of power and control to intimidate, coerce, and manipulate their partner. Male and female victims of domestic violence have more in common than not.
So why do men not report or seek services?
There is societal expectation that men are to be strong, stoic and show little emotion. Most men grow up thinking it is not ok to cry much less express their emotions for it makes them look weak.
Societal gender views make it difficult for male victims to admit they are victims of domestic violence and furthermore harder for them to seek out supportive services. Men often face challenges that are gender-specific when it comes to reaching out and accessing services. With time and community education we hope to break free of this stigma and help people realize that domestic violence is an act of violence in intimate partner relationships regardless of gender.
Patricia started off as the legal advocate/peer counselor for the shelter at HCWC in 2013 and 3 years later transferred to the counseling and resource center as a full-time legal advocate and now is a bilingual nonresidential counselor LMSW. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Master of Social Work degree. On her free time she enjoys hosting to family and friends. She loves to bake and is a full time fur momma to a 12 year old Yorkie and 9 month old Havanese.