Myths About Domestic Abuse


Domestic Abuse Myth #2:

So Few Heterosexual Male Victims Report Abuse Because of Shame


James Barnett, 26th Sptember 2016, LinkedIn

Depending on which source you go by, as few as 1 in 20 men actually report domestic abuse or domestic violence (Mankind Initiative figures). Some claims are as good as 1 in 10, but having studied the various sources available at the time of writing this article, the general average of figures from these official sources comes out at about 7%, or 1 in 14.

This compares to the 1 in 2, or 1 in 4, female victims who report abuse (again, depending on which source). Either way, there is a massive discrepancy between the number of female victims who report abuse, and the number of male victims who do. A female victim remains four or five times more likely to report abuse than a male one.

Frequently, one can find the same flawed explanation offered for this, specifically that the male victim is so ashamed of being tortured and attacked by a woman that he tries to bury what happened to him. The fact that male victims have a higher proportion of PTSD (specifically this – no other mental illness) than female victims is often offered as evidence to support this myth (Newman University Study 2013).

One can find the phrase ‘discourse of masculinity’ at this juncture also, specifically, and again, a man is so ashamed and his masculinity so destroyed (masculinity as patriarchal hegemony) that he cannot bring himself to alert the authorities or ask anyone for help. This myth is compounded by the fact so very few male victims confide in anyone *while* they are being abused, and is offered as further evidence to support this myth. So the myth quite plainly suggests the male victim, like the female victim at the start of the 8 swings yo-yo cycle, is fully aware of the fact they are being abused, but instead of telling anyone or asking for help, they keep it to themselves because of shame, and because of that threat to their masculinity and perception of gender stereotypes and patriarchy.

So to recap, the key components of the myth are:

  • Male victims don’t ask for help because they are ashamed.

  • Male victims are fully aware of their abuse in order to be ashamed.

  • Male victims are ashamed because of their threatened masculinity.

  • There is no real difference between how male and female victims experience and understand abuse, and therefore *how* they are abused.

Where does one begin? I will need to go into quite specific detail to debunk this myth.

Man with Head in Hands

The first thing I will say is that at a fundamental level, male victims of female perpetrators are invisible to services, with both the male victim and the female perpetrator and her main psychological weaponry being unacknowledged, with key components of that weaponry not even being a criminal offence in this country. This means even when male victims do report abuse, it is not recorded properly or taken seriously by services such as the police. As an example, I reported abuse to Surrey Police FIVE times as I was escaping from my abusive relationship, but that reporting will not be recorded anywhere (I have pulled my own records, so I know it hasn’t been). I was mocked and fobbed off five times. This discrimination I experienced is mirrored in some major form by every single male domestic abuse victim I work with.

The fact is, service response to domestic abuse allegations is still heavily influenced by anti-male misconceptions of 1970s radical feminism, for example the Duluth model, which clearly teaches “he” means perpetrator and “she” means victim. Duluth and its derivations are still being taught to front-line services in 2016, and this misandry – there is no other word for it, permeates all strata of the legal system, especially police and family court, the wording of legislation, the lack of domestic abuse services that accept the existence of female perpetrators (at the time of writing this article, only 7 of the 1,400 domestic abuse agencies in England and Wales have a recognised and legitimate male outreach worker as part of their official remit), indeed the very concept of domestic abuse as a phenomenon and industry and its associated infrastructures.

The second thing I will say is the vast majority of male victims only begin to understand they have even been abused once they have already gotten away, or are in the process of getting away. During the vast majority of the abusive relationship (the average abusive relationship lasting 3 years), male victims *do not identify* they are even being abused!

So far from the experience of abuse being the same for a male and female victim, the perennial idea of swapping a pink hat for a blue hat (see article on the myth of mutual abuse) is flawed, because male and female abusers derive power in fundamentally different ways, favouring different weapons. This makes the abusive experience of male and female victims different, the models and patterns are different, the response of services is different, and it can all be traced back to the very creation of domestic abuse as a concept via radical 1970s feminism whereby “he” means abuser and “she” means victim, as this is worth an enormous amount of money.

Thirdly, the overriding emotion when a male victim is being abused by a female perpetrator is one of confusion, not shame. For instance, while I was being abused I never once identified I was being abused. This again was because of “he” means abuser and “she” means victim which was indoctrinated into me as a child, as it was for all young men of my generation and later (the Duluth model also deceives the public). The male victims I assist also do not readily identify they are being abused, partly because “he” means abuser and “she” means victim, but also because of female perpetrator weaponry that is not even recognised within domestic abuse legislation.

The sophisticated psychological weaponry (gaslighting to isolate and discredit the male victim, including parental alienation, false allegations and covert narcissist victim complex, the latter of which fitting exactly with “she” means victim) employed by the vast majority of female perpetrators often sails over the heads of male victims, to the extent that they only see the end-result damage rather than the actual abusive process and weaponry in action so they might mitigate against it.

This explains the higher proportion of PTSD in male victims, the fact that the abuse is covert, under the surface, highly sophisticated, psychological (and so on) that it is not even recognised as abuse by the male victim himself, let alone services who are blind in one eye and deaf in one ear because of things like Duluth.

And this brings me to my fourth point. Once the male victim escapes, and begins to realise what has happened to him, female perpetrator punishment cycle is not the same as male abuser punishment. She discards the male victim, and gaslights services to also abuse him, so a false allegation of a sexual nature is usually standard. If there are children involved, she will see to it that the male victim never sees his children again, not without a huge legal fight, with the legal processes therein not even recognising the existence of either the male victim or the female perpetrator and her weapons. Her plan is to derive power from him endlessly by making him suffer, rather than the murder / suicide model one often sees with male abusers, so killing him is not her plan. This is the real reason why so few male victims are murdered by female abusers.

And speaking of female perpetrator plans, her target acquisition strategy leads me to my fifth point. It is true to say that *some* male victims feel emasculated by female-perpetrated abuse, but that is always because they don’t fully understand why the female abuser selected them as a victim in the first place. Female abusers are strongly attracted to the best qualities a man can have – selflessness, forgiveness, independence, often the strong silent types with high empathy or sensitivity who have usually survived a difficult childhood, often isolated in some way and protective of others, as these are all traits that can be weaponised while at the same time reducing the risk of the male victim in question telling anyone what is happening, even if he ever recognises it.

So another of the contributory reasons as to why so few men report abuse is because of the *type* of men who are abused, not simply because they all understand and are ashamed. It is another misconception connected to this myth. Male victims are the most masculine of men. There is a very good reason why vain shallow men are not abused, and it is to do with the amount of power a female perpetrator can acquire from destroying a good man as opposed to destroying a lesser man.

Fear is the main reason male victims do not report domestic abuse, but it is not fear of threatened masculinity or patriarchy, it is fear of female perpetrator weaponry which by definition (and due to her global gaslighting strategy that mobilises services like police and Social Services against those male victims) reaches its apex *after* they have escaped. This is also because of female perpetrator covert narcissism, whereby she can play the wronged-party and victim in public after the male victim has escaped or been discarded, and so her power grows along with the audience who feels false empathy for her...

It is fear of being arrested themselves, it is fear of never seeing their children again, it is fear of court and services, to whom they are invisible, and in a way the constant fear of "he" means abuser and "she" means victim; these fears, and nothing whatsoever to do with shame, is why so few men report abuse.

So to conclude, I am not saying some male victims don’t experience feelings of shame once they realise they have been abused, but this is *not* the reason so few male victims report abuse. The true answer is complex with multiple reasons; the key ones are explained above. The figures are skewed by various factors.