“She held a knife to my throat ready to slit it open but was screaming for help. While she was howling to be saved, I was the one being endangered by her. Her voice shrieked like a victim in dire need of protection, but her hands firmly gripped the knife keeping me under her mercy. In horror, I looked upon the woman I love, the one everyone thought was too delicate to hurt a fly, once again abusing me emotionally and physically while maintaining the font of a victim… No one believed the truth so I got dubbed an abuser. The pain of being accused when I was the real victim is what I hope to topple with alcohol. Believe me, men are also victims of abuse.”
Table of Contents
What Does Abuse Entail?
To be abused is to be repeatedly treated with violence or cruelness. Abusive relationships are so soul wrecking that even after years of liberation, victims are left traumatised and deeply scarred.
Abuse occurs in several forms and they all have detrimental impacts on victims.
Societal Bias Towards Male Abuse Victims
While the efforts put into promoting female victims of abuse to speak up is laudable, there is a need for a mental awakening to the fact men get abused too. To say men do not get abused in relationships is to say men don’t cry, and both assertions are simply falsehoods.
The abused stories of male victims are easily downplayed and made a caricature. Their stories do not trigger the outrage the stories of abused females command, hence, many simply swallow their truth and save themselves that additional pain of being ridiculed over their truth.
Ignorant statements such as;
“How could she have hurt him? He is stronger while she looks delicate.” Are used to refute the claims of male abused victims. People forget that abuse is tilted towards willpower and not physical strength.
An individual in love though physically stronger might not want to retaliate even when being hurt. That aside, society is visibly biased on these issues, therefore when a man retaliates violence for violence, it is scarcely viewed as self-defence. Society ignores the fact the man was first hit and simply tag him as an abuser and the lady a victim of abuse.
Most female abusers are aware of this societal bias and weaponize it against their victims. So a man gets struck and his abuser in a mocking tone says;
“I dare you to hit me back. Let’s see who will get ruined.”
He knows if he fights back he would have fallen for her bait so he swallows his pain and continues to get abused.
Some Real-Life Abuse Stories of Male Victims
In my research on male abuse, I was able to come across real-life stories of male abused victims. The story of a family member’s co-worker struck me the most.
The young man had worked overnight due to some technical issues at his workplace. This is a fact my relative and other workers of the company could attest to. However, his pregnant wife had other ideas.
Upon his return home, she could not accept the truth so she grabbed a knife and stabbed him. What snatched him from the cold arms of death were neighbours who heard his scream of anguish and came to his rescue. He had to undergo surgery to pull out the knife. Words of his predicament got to his workplace and they visited him and foot the bills.
What left me mystified is the fact this case of abuse didn’t make headline news nor was the wife penalized. Like tons of other victims of abusive relationships, he went back to his abusive wife and they are still married. My relative vividly remembers him telling her that he had a dream that his wife would one day kill him. Yet, he is still with her.
Just as abused women find it difficult to leave their abusers, abused men suffer the same tragic fate.
Aside from this story, I was able to unearth some other stories of male victims of abuse. Someone I know cancelled his wedding plans abruptly. This was a shocker as it appears he was madly in love with his partner. In my quests for answers, I discover it was an abusive relationship and he was the victim. Regardless, he was willing to marry her.
The stress of planning a wedding triggered her aggressiveness to the height it became difficult to quietly condone and sweep under the carpet. Shortly, very close friends caught wind of the situation and threatened to cut all ties with him if he proceeded with the marriage. Still, he was adamant.
However, the deal-breaker occurred a few days to one of the marriage rites after she poured his meal on him over an argument and stormed off. This time, her apologies couldn’t cut it and the wedding was called off.
Before I forget, years before I ever thought of writing this piece, one of my dearest friends went through the horrific experience of a knife being held against his throat by his then-girlfriend.
Sincerely, if men are encouraged to be more expressive about their truth, we will view the world with a different disposition. Indeed, men are also victims of different types of abuse.
Types of Abuse
Men are victims of various types of abuse. Society claims that a real man does not talk too much, consequently, a good number of men silently go through the most.
Here are some of the abuses people endure including men.
Verbal abuse is a form of abuse where words are the weapons of mass destruction. Words are like lances, they can pierce deeply if the intention is to cause pain.
Some men suffer from verbal abuse in their relationships. When next you see a man unwilling to go home, ask him why and pay attention to him.
Verbal abuse has impacts on the victims. The impacts include,
- A decline in self-confidence
- Emotional pain
- Fear of expressing your thoughts to avoid a counterblast.
The scary part of verbal abuse is that it can be masked as simply criticism or an opinion. Many victims of verbal abuse are unaware that they are been emotionally abused. They only know their partners frequently say extremely hurtful things to them.
Emotional and Psychological Abuse
Men are equally victims of emotional and physiological abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse can be pulled off in the form of;
- Verbal Abuse
- Gaslighting and Provocation
- Belittling of Your Efforts
- Constant Comparison
- Deceit, and lots more.
Some women are narcissistic and are experts of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is tricky because it is difficult to pinpoint if you are not observant.
If you have a partner that belittles your efforts, intentionally provokes you then act innocent, constantly compare you to others in a bad light, manipulate your emotions in the sense that; today they are cold towards you and tomorrow they are hot for you; kindly critically analysed your relationship and you will see that it is emotionally and psychologically abusive.
An emotionally abusive partner is toxic and such a partner will slowly wane your confidence, smile, peace of mind, and happiness.
Men equally suffer from domestic violence. Some men are being violently abused by their partners.
There is a loophole in teaching boys not to hit girls, without teaching girls never to hit boys. Some women slap, stab, and violently abuse their partners. Some do this knowing fully well if their partner retaliates it will not be viewed as self-defence. Rather society will make utterances such as;
Why didn’t he just walk away?
He is a weak man for retaliating.
Real men don’t hit a woman no matter what. If she is hurting you just walk away.
Also, it is easier for women to flip the switch and act as the victim and the world with a sway to their corner.
It is saddening to know that there are so many abused men roaming the street masking their pain with faux masculinity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why do men stay with their abusers?
People stay with their abusers for different reasons. Men sometimes remain with their abusers because emotions have a destructive way of clouding judgements. Also, Some victims of abuse feel they can fix whatever is wrong with their partners but in the end, they only end up hurting more.
In addition, abusers are experts of manipulations. They will hurt you today, then apologise and make you incredibly happy tomorrow. That way, it becomes somewhat difficult to let go of them. Finally, due to the kids procreated in the relationship some men remain with their abusive partners.
As a man, what should you do in the face of abuse?
Gather evidence! Society has proven to be biased on these issues so gather enough evidence to back up your truth. After which, don’t just walk away from the relationship, sue your abuser.
When men normalise speaking their truth and suing their abusers against all odds, it will help rewrite the narrative of men always being the abuser.
How can abused men heal?
Attending therapy can help abused men heal. Healing is very important because hurt people end up hurting others. Victims of abuse should seek all the help they need. Bottling of emotions has never helped anyone.
How do you know your partner is abusive?
If your partner is showing traits of any of the types of abuse, they are abusive.
How do you leave an abusive relationship?
Leaving an abusive relationship requires determination and mental readiness. If you both share a house, pack your belongings and leave. Equally, ensure to block them on all social media platforms.
Note that if your partner is violent and extremely manipulative, never tell them you plan to leave. Silently set your plans in motion. Be smart enough to compile enough evidence in case they try to flip the story. Finally, if your partner was violent, file a police case and get a restraining order.
What factors can keep people in an abusive relationship though they are eager to leave?
Some factors bind victims to their abusers though they are mentally ready to leave. Such factors include;
Financial incapability to care for yourself and secure an apartment.
Societal pressure to maintain a marriage.
The fact children are involved.
Men are also victims of abuse and should be listened to when they cry out for help. The assumption that men are always the abusers is a falsehood that must be discarded.