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What Happens When Abused Men Call Domestic Violence Hotlines and Shelters?

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Aug 02, 2009 | 0 Comments

Over the years, I have been involved in many cases where a husband was physically abused by his wife.  I believe that all domestic violence is terrible and should not be tolerated – regardless of whether the victim is a woman or a man. In some of these cases, I've been told that in our area, men don't receive the same assistance when they are abused that women do.

I read an interesting article a couple of weeks ago by Glenn Sacks on the topic of whether the “mainstream domestic violence establishment and its ‘men as perpetrators/women as victims' conceptual framework is properly serving those involved in family violence.”  This article discussed a conference which reported the following interesting statistics:

  • About a third of all domestic violence injuries are suffered by men.
  • Of the abused men who called domestic violence hotlines, 64% were told that they “only helped women.”
  • Only 8% of the men who called hotlines classified them as “very helpful,” whereas 69% found them to be “not at all helpful.”
  • Sixteen percent said the people at the hot line “dismissed or made fun of them.”
  • Twelve percent of the hotlines accused the man of being the batterer or responsible for the abuse.
  • Of the men who sought help by contacting local domestic violence programs, only 10% found them to be “very helpful,” whereas 65% found them to be “not at all helpful.”

I find these statistics to be very disturbing, as gender should not play a role in the aid given to victims of domestic violence.  I welcome my readers' comments about this subject.  If you are interested in reading more about this topic, I recommend you read Mr. Sacks' article and the references listed therein.

Source:  “Researcher: What Happens When Abused Men Call Domestic Violence Hotlines and Shelters?” by Glenn Sacks, published at his Fathers & Families blog.

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J. Benjamin Stevens

Senior Partner

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