In this paper, the problem of domestic violence and some peculiarities of it are taken into account. The aim of the paper is to investigate the case of male victims in domestic violence. It is of common knowledge that women are considered to be more vulnerable in an abundance of families. As a rule, the cases of female victims are observed; this is the reason why much attention is paid to them by society and political structures which are often oblivious to male victims who prefer not to appeal to police; they try to refuse the abuse even if the case is already reported. The fact that such cases are likely to be unnoticed or forgotten makes the problem more than vital. In order to achieve the goal of the paper, different sources by outstanding authors, which cover various perspectives on the issue, were used.
Keywords: male victim, domestic violence
Male Victims in Domestic Violence
Nowadays, domestic violence is one of the most burning issues all over the world. As a rule, domestic violence (it is often called domestic abuse) is defined as “an encounter between people living in the same household” (Cefrey 2009). In most cases, domestic violence can include financial, sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. Moreover, one of the crucial peculiarities of domestic violence is the fact that anyone can become an abuser or a victim. Modern researchers have already proved that either men or women “tend to be equally abusive in relationships” (Riviello 2009). It is evident that male victims are at considerable risk, and as it has already been reported that, in 100 cases of domestic violence, 40% of women were abusers and men were victims. 10% of violent crimes were the cases of domestic violence; 3% of them were committed by females. 9% of murder victims were killed by their intimate partner; 21% of them were denoted to be males (Riviello 2009). There are some prerequisites for domestic violence and the presence of male victims:
- Poverty. “Living in poverty leads to despair, stress, and a poor sense of one’s own value (also called low self-esteem)” (Cefrey 2008). In these cases, women are often likely to make direct or indirect threats because of the low incomes of their husbands; this is the reason why men are more likely to be victims in this kind of domestic violence. In an abundance of traditional societies, a man is expected to support his family financially.
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse. It is obvious that substance abusers are known to be aggressive, and a woman as well as a man can become a victim in domestic violence.
- Divorces. A woman can behave more emotionally than a man, and it can lead to domestic violence, as well; in addition, the revenge of ex-wives can also be treated as a case of domestic violence.
Furthermore, the physical violence of women is often based upon self-defense; in addition, it can also “be motivated by efforts and other feelings, and a desire for attention or retaliation for emotional hurt, jealousy, and control” (Kimmel, Aronson 2004). One of the most significant reasons of male victims covers the fact that, in spite of numerous stereotypes, women are likely to use violence in order to gain power in the family as much as men.
Those males who have cognitive, psychiatric, and physical difficulties are under risk much more often than other males as they are always noted to be more vulnerable. An abundance of females use it against their partner and, in this way, they become abusers.
In accordance with the transtheoretical model, domestic violence includes five stages. The first one is the pre contemplation stage when “perpetrators do not believe their violence is a problem” (McClennen 2010). Often, they even accuse others of being violent.
During the contemplation change, the perpetrator can understand all pros and cons of one’s behavior. The period of time the pre contemplation stage lasts can be equal either for males or for females, but taking into account the emotionality of numerous women, it is obvious that men are under greater risk than women.
On the other hand, all factors of male victims in domestic violence can not be enumerated because of the lack of data concerning the issue. As a rule, it occurs because of men who tend to underreport or underestimate the domestic violence caused by women. It is evident that men and women are different psychologically: the majority of men do not want to be vulnerable whereas the fact that they admit themselves being a victim can be considered to be emasculating; and, on the contrary, women overestimate most offences caused by men. Making a profound analysis of the differences between genders, it is noteworthy to state that the quantity of male victims can be much higher than 40% in 100 cases.
Another reason of underreporting of male victims in domestic violence is the self-esteem and the self-image of a male. In an abundance of cases, men believe that if the problem is reported, relatives, family members, or friends will reject him. A personality is sure that any healthcare worker or even a police officer can not be assured about a male victim in domestic violence as only 19% of male victims used to contact the police.
Moreover, “the impact of the male-on-female stereotype upon the police perspective of domestic violence is clear” (Hoyle, Young, Young 2002). It is obvious that not only victims but also police officers do not take the cases of male victims in domestic violence seriously due to social stereotypes; often, the case of a male victim can have even a humorous effect on a citizen. This is the reason why working assumptions of police and their decision-making procedures depend on these stereotypes, as well. This challenge has a considerable impact on creating the statistics and the domestic violence theory.
In conclusion, it is vital to notify that males can become victims in domestic violence as often as females. There are several reasons for women violence: poverty, divorces, alcohol and drug abuse are one of them. Furthermore, the cases of male victims can not be prevented because of the lack of necessary organizations or bodies whereas, in most cases, the lack of information is present. In contemporary society, the remnants of the traditional way of living resulted in a considerable amount of stereotypes; one of them is an image of a man who can not be either vulnerable or weak. This is the reason why the situation concerning male victims in domestic violence can not be demonstrated precisely as most of them prefer not to contact the police; as a rule, even relatives or close friends of the family or a victim in particularly do not have a hunch concerning the possibility of the existence of a male victim in the family. Having made a profound analysis of the current situation, it is obvious that it must be under control of the government and social organizations for the purpose of giving an added gloss to it.