Dangerous Dating: When Men are Abused by Female Partners

Many people have preconceived ideas and prejudices about domestic violence. The first thing that usually springs into their minds is an image of a man beating a woman. However, the picture of domestic violence can also include a woman who is hitting her boyfriend or husband. As a result, few people realize that a man can be the partner that is victimized in an abusive relationship.

Domestic Violence Against Men

Many times women begin abusing their male partner in a non-physical way, primarily because the woman is physically weaker than the man. Women typically begin abusing men through control tactics and manipulation, which over a long enough period of time can escalate to include such things as physically abusive misconduct. In less frequent instances, a woman’s abuse may spill into both categories of emotional/manipulative abuse and physical abuse at the same time. It is important to make a distinction between women in relationships who merely have a controlling demeanor and those who commit true abuse. While women who are controlling and manipulative are not always pleasant to be around, this behavior does not technically cross into full-fledged abuse. If, however, the female takes on a tone that is threatening, intimidating, or commanding, the relationship can be categorized as one that comprises abuse.

Women who abuse their partners normally fit into two categories. They are either abusive consumers or abusive controllers. Women who are abusive consumers seek to control their partner so that they can eventually have access to all of their partners possessions. An abusive consumer uses her partner as a tool to elevate her own lifestyle and life. Women who are obsessive and want to control all aspects of their partners life, similar to an overbearing caregiver, are abusive controllers. An abusive controller sees her partner as nothing more than an extension of her own self, one to be manipulated and managed in the way that she sees fit.

How to Get Help

The man rarely reports that he is the victim of abuse at the hands of his female spouse or partner which results in a lack of awareness. According to the Department of Justice, a man is the victim of physical abuse every 37 seconds. One of the reasons that these cases of male battering go unreported is a result of the attitude that men have towards this subject.

Men are embarrassed to admit and openly tell someone else that he is the victim of abuse at the hands of his female partner. After all, society dictates that a man should be strong and the head of the household. Consequently, a battered male may not even question if he is being abused or not. Many men believe that women only abuse men who are physically and emotionally weak.

A man who is victimized by a female partner can get help in a variety of ways. He can start by talking to family and friends about the abusive woman or he can talk to a professional about the nature of the abuse if he is embarrassed about the subject. Another alternative for battered men is calling a national abuse hotline, especially ones that recognize that specialize in services for battered men. Finally, a call to the police to investigate the abuse to press charges is an aggressive step a man can take who is in a violent relationship with a partner.

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