Fresno Domestic Violence Lawyer Reveals 4 Reasons Male Victims May Not Report
Dec 23, 2015
Despite the overwhelming societal belief that men cannot be or are rarely victims of domestic violence, the actual statistics are overwhelming. A study published by Bert H. Hoff, J.D. indicates that approximately 40 percent of severe physical domestic violence victims are men. Unfortunately, the percentage of men as domestic violence victims does not translate into the same level of support and legal options. Here’s a look at some of the challenges that battered men can face and ideas to help overcome them.
Law Enforcement Response
Since most law enforcement officers receive training to deal with aggressive men in domestic violence situations, they struggle to shift their perspective and see a man as a victim. Men are physically stronger and typically larger in stature than women, so many police departments wrongly assume that a man could defend himself more easily and therefore could not be a victim of domestic violence.
As a result of this mistaken assumption, male victims who call the local police department for support or to report an assault are not taken as seriously. In the worst cases, they face disrespect or doubt from the officer who responds to the call.
Additionally, many media outlets tend to favor women as the victim, making it difficult to get accurate reporting on the incident. This often leaves battered men feeling as though they cannot call local law enforcement for help. In the cases where a male victim does call, this type of response discourages any future attempt for help.
Inequality in Punishments for Female Abusers
Abusive women may not receive jail time as often as abusive men when cases go to court. This can leave male victims feeling powerless, as though reporting the crime is not going to help since their abuser gets out so quickly. In fact, with limited punishments for female abusers, their male victims may face more abuse if they file charges.
Limited Support for Male Victims
Women have a vast array of resources for support when leaving an abusive relationship. There are shelters in almost every region for battered women, including shelters and housing for women with kids. There are support lines, emergency phone numbers and other options for women to escape an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, most of these resources are exclusive to women. Shelters for battered women will not take in abused male victims due to the sensitive environment with the women inside. Most shelters don't even have options in place for male victims and have to refer them to out-of-area resources.
Recent media coverage and the rising statistics have led to an initiative to develop shelters for battered men, but a lack of funding has left many of the organizations struggling. The domestic violence agencies that are receiving donations typically focus on supporting battered women with little effort put into implementing these same resources for men in the area.
Lack of Trustworthy Confidants
With the punishments being out of balance, the limited law enforcement support and a lack of supportive resources, most battered men struggle with the idea of making a safe escape from an abusive relationship. If you or someone you know is in this position, it’s important to understand that this struggle is very real, and overcoming it requires professional support.
In addition to talking with a medical professional to document any injuries, one of the best ways to help overcome some of these hurdles is to talk with a Domestic Violence Lawyer. He or she can help you to build a solid case and even develop an exit plan before you leave. With this support, you can often make a successful and safe escape before pursuing your legal options.
As you can see, the lack of media coverage and professional support for battered men does not mean that there are no male victims of domestic violence. Understanding the struggles that male victims face and having some tips to overcome them is the best place to start to get help. Contact us today for more information.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.