Domestic abuse is a serious problem which is marked by controlling behaviors that include threats, intimidations tactics and even violence. American sociologist Michael P. Johnson has called these behaviors “intimate terrorism”. But who are the terrorist behind these acts? Surprisingly, new evidence shows that women may be the force behind much more domestic violence than previously believed.
The X Factor
Many people believe that domestic abuse is only perpetrated by men. This attitude is probably a holdover from the old patriarchal system in which men were relatively certain of controlling the family both physically and financially. This pattern is certainly seen in some families today, but as studies continue to be conducted on domestic abuse and those who initiate such acts, it is becoming clear that men are not the only ones who cause abuse. Women have been found to make up a far larger percentage of abusers than was once thought.
Evidence presented at a symposium of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology showed that women were more likely than men to be physically aggressive to their partners, breaking the stereotype that men are the sole reason for abusive relationships.
Men are far less likely to report abuse because there is still a stigma that comes with being abused as a male. Men may be reluctant to report violence, thereby suppressing the truth contained in the real numbers about abuse. Most people think of men as being able to care for themselves, but men are in danger of being victims of domestic violence, too.
In a recent study of 1,000 students, it was found that women show more physical aggression and controlling behaviors toward partners and friends than their male counterparts. This study showed that just as many women fit the profile of an “intimate terrorist” as men.
According to the NCADV or the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one out of fourteen men have experience physical abuse by a spouse or cohabitating partner and 835,000 men are assaulted by an intimate partner each year. The CDC in its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey shows that nearly half of all men in the US had experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner, and an estimated 2,266,000 experienced severe physical violence over a 12-month period.
What Should I Do If I Am Being Abused?
If you are a male being abused by a spouse or partner do not be ashamed. It is very important that you seek help for abuse in order to break this vicious cycle. The Men’s Legal Center can help you take steps to stop domestic abuse. They have an experienced team that can help you in obtaining a domestic violence restraining order or taking other actions that will protect you. The Men’s Legal Center can also connect you with a victim advocate to go with you to family court as well as the domestic violence hearing. Men suffer the effects of domestic violence too. Do not allow this situation to continue; contact the Men’s Legal Center today.