Domestic Violence Resources for Men
Washington Domestic Violence Resources & Awareness
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month it is important to remember that anyone, regardless of gender, age, or sexual orientation can be a victim of Domestic Violence. While Domestic Violence affects both men and women, Domestic Violence against men is a prevalent issue that is often overlooked by popular media.
More than 830,000 men in the US are victims of Domestic Violence, and that means once every 38 seconds, a man somewhere is being abused. 1 in 4 men has suffered some form of abuse against their intimate partner.
Gender norms insist that Domestic Violence cannot happen to men because men are physically stronger than women, but this is a dangerous myth. Abuse can happen in other forms too, not just physical. Men are often victims of emotional and financial abuse as well as physical abuse.
In this article, Divorce Lawyers for Men will bring awareness to issues that affect male victims of Domestic Violence such as abuse patterns and behavior. We are also going to share resources for men suffering Domestic Violence in Washington. This list of resources will include Domestic Violence hotlines and shelters for Men in Washington, as well as resources men can visit for legal, financial, and housing assistance. If you or a man you know is experiencing Domestic Violence, share this article with them so they can get the help they need.
Domestic Violence Questions and Answers
What defines Abuse?
Article: Is this Abuse?
Domestic Violence, or Intimate Partner Violence, is a pattern of behaviors that one partner does to continuously exert control over the other partner. The relationship may start out great, and the abusive partner may act in a charming and charismatic way at first. But over time, abusive partners start to manipulate or physically harm their partner. The abuse often worsens as time goes on. The victim gets weaker while the abuser gets stronger.
There are many different types of abuse: physical, emotional, financial, digital, and sexual. Abuse is not just a problem that women experience; men often experience these forms of abuse as well. Male Intimate Partner Violence is not discussed as much because there is still a societal idea that only men can be abusers of women.
Some signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who:
- Berates you or belittles you regularly
- Shows extreme jealousy of time spent with friends and family
- Prevents you from seeing or speaking with friends and family
- Controls where you go and what you do
- Threatens to harm you or your children
- Physically harms you or your children
- Destroys your property
- Takes your money or refuses to give you money
- Forces you to use drugs or alcohol
- Accuses you of cheating constantly or refuses to trust you
- Uses GPS technology to watch your every move
- Checks your search history and questions you about it
- Blames you for their behavior
- Forces you to do sexual acts you’re uncomfortable with
- Prevents you from having a job or leaving your home
Why do Abusers abuse?
Article: Reasons why your partner abuses you
Abusers harm their partner because they want power and control over them. They get pleasure out of controlling their partner in multiple ways. Many abusers believe that their needs are more important in the relationship than their partner’s. They continuously disrespect their partner and ignore their needs because they believe their partner is less important than they are.
Abuse is a learned pattern of behavior. Many abusers grew up with Domestic Violence in their own homes, so they believe that it’s normal and justified. Alcohol or drug use can exacerbate abusive behavior, but it is not the cause of it.
What many victims don’t understand is that abusers do not abuse their partner because they’re ‘bad’ or they ‘deserve it’. They do it to gain control and power over their partner.
No matter why your partner is abusing you, it’s not okay or justifiable. You don’t deserve it.
Why Don’t Men Leave their Abusive Relationships?
Often times, men don’t leave abusive relationships for the same reasons women don’t leave abusive relationships. Men may not leave their abusive partner for the following reasons:
- Fear: Men may be afraid to leave their abuser for fear of physical harm to them or their children.
- Lack of Money and Resources: Sometimes, an abuser is controlling their victim’s finances. It could be physically impossible to leave because the victim has no money and no place to go.
- Believing Abuse is Normal: Some men don’t know what healthy relationships look like, and they may see abuse as normal or accepted.
- Embarrassment or Shame: Men also may feel ashamed. They may feel like they failed in their role as protector of the family. They may feel embarrassed for allowing their wife to hit them or abuse them.
- Children: Many men also want to pretend that everything is okay for the sake of their children. They don’t want to worry them or make them dislike their mother. They also worry that if they leave, their abuser will restrict access to their children.
- Love: Often, a victim feels strong love for their partner. They may hope that their abuser will go back to how they were when they first started dating.
- Fear of Being Outed: A man in a homosexual relationship may fear being outed to his family or friends by his abuser.
- Law Enforcement Bias: Men have a harder time arguing Domestic Violence cases to the authorities because they may not believe them. Law Enforcement also may minimize the damage being done to men because of gender bias. Men may not leave their abuser for fear of not being believed.
What can you do if you’re in an abusive relationship?
If you are in an abusive relationship, it can be nearly impossible to leave. Your abuser may be controlling you financially, physically and emotionally. You may want to stay connected with your children, or you may believe the relationship will change for the better. Leaving is often the most dangerous time for the victim because the abuser is losing power. They may react in even more threatening and violent ways in an attempt to control their victim again.
You may not be able to leave right now for whatever reason, and that’s okay. When you are ready, check out the hotline’s website for help creating a plan to leave.
In the meantime, here are some ways that you can get help or minimize the abuse:
Create a Safety Plan
Call a Domestic Violence hotline for advice. Be sure to make the call when you are not around your abuser. Go to a friend or family member’s home to make the call.
Pack an emergency bag that has everything you need. In case you need to leave quickly, it’s good to have everything you’ll need readily available. Include extra clothes, prescriptions, money, important documents, and keys. Leave the bag in a safe place where your abuser will not find it.
Talk to a Friend or Family Member about the abuse you’re suffering from. They may be able to help you make a plan to escape.
Protect your Communication and Location
Use phones cautiously. Your abuser may be intercepting your calls. Request your call history from your cell phone company to see what calls they may be intercepting. Delete any call or text records on your phone if your abuser regularly checks your phone.
Use your home computer cautiously. Your abuser may also be checking your search history and looking through your documents. Clear your search history and transfer any important documents to a safe place.
Turn GPS off in your car and your phone. If your car has GPS, disable it so your abuser can’t track your whereabouts. Turn off location services on your phone as well.
Change your passwords. You should change your password for your Email or Financial online accounts. Make the password impossible for your abuser to guess.
Build a Compelling Case
Document Everything. Be sure to take pictures and document any signs of abuse your partner may inflict on you. Take pictures of any injuries they give you or your children. Save any threatening texts or emails. Try to record instances where your partner is yelling at you. Save all this information so you can build a case against your abuser. If you have a good case, it’ll be easier to obtain an Order of Protection. Show the evidence to Law Enforcement, your Attorney or Legal Advocate, Friends and Family, or your Medical Provider.
Don’t Let Yourself be Provoked Into Retaliation. If your partner stands in front of the door and refuses to let you leave, don’t physically move her away from the door. Even something small like that is likely to get you arrested. Don’t physically harm her or try to retaliate. Try instead to document all instances, and be specific as possible when recording the patterns of abuse.
Find an advocate. Call the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to be referred to a shelter near you. You may be able to find a legal advocate that can help you file an Order of Protection not only for you but for your children as well.
Domestic Violence Resources in Washington
If you or someone you know is facing Domestic Violence, there are ways you can get help. Here are some resources for Men facing Domestic Violence in Washington:
Victims of Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has helped millions of individuals experiencing Domestic Violence since its inception in 1994. The Hotline is Free and Confidential for any user. The operators for the Hotline are available to discuss any Domestic Violence topic with you. With the operators, you can discuss the abuse you are experiencing in your relationship, or you can ask if your relationship is showing signs of abuse. Their website also provides many free resources like how individuals can stay safe and escape their abuser. Call the Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) if you or someone you know is experiencing Domestic Violence.
Washington Guidelines for Domestic Violence Protection
The Washington Courts website describes the guidelines for individuals who want to file any kind of Domestic Violence Protection and Antiharassment Orders against their abuser in Washington State. Each Court Order has its own set of Guidelines that describe the parts of the Order. The website also provides forms and instructions for individuals to file Domestic Violence Protection or Anti Harassment Orders against their abuser. Visit this website if you are ready to move forward with filing a Domestic Violence Protection Order against your abuser and visit your Local Washington State Court for further Assistance.
Shelters and Domestic Violence Programs in Washington
The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a non-profit network of Domestic Violence programs. They have a hotline (800-562-6025) that victims of Domestic Violence can call for advice. The organization’s website provides information on Domestic Violence Programs in many different Washington counties. They also provide information on housing, financial and legal help for victims of Domestic Violence. Their website is a vital resource for victims of Domestic Violence in Washington State.
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