When the topic of spousal abuse comes up, women are usually the first type of victim to come to mind. It is true that women are abused by their male partners more than vice versa. However, it is also possible for men in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to be the victims of domestic abuse.
Domestic violence in men may be more prevalent than people would think. According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, about one in 10 men in the United States are victims of physical violence, sexual abuse or stalking by a romantic partner each year. About 4 percent of all men have been injured by a partner at some point in their lives. Psychological abuse is even more common in men, with almost half of U.S. men having been emotionally or verbally abused by their partners. Some authorities believe that the numbers of men who suffer abuse by their partners are higher than those officially reported.
Men face unique challenges when dealing with spousal abuse, states HelpGuide, which likely contribute to their not reporting abuse to authorities. For example, a man may feel too ashamed to call police when his wife is hitting, biting, kicking or throwing objects at him. He may feel as if he should be able to defend himself or that he would be arrested for domestic violence instead of her. A man might feel like he needs to stay in the relationship to protect his children, since family law courts often favor the mother for custody. He may also fear the social stigma and potential backlash from family and friends if he attempts to leave his wife or get authorities involved.
Nobody should be subjected to abuse, regardless of gender. A family law attorney with experience in domestic violence may be a valuable source of help and support for victims of abuse.
For more information, contact Louis Wm. Martini, attorney at law.