Embarrassment barrier for abused men

domestic violence by womanStuff.co.nz 9 July 2013
Men are suffering from domestic abuse, but embarrassment will usually stop them coming forward until it is extreme, police say. Men often wait until knives are pulled before seeking help, Detective Sergeant Alan McGlade from the Hamilton police Family Safety Team said. Most reports of abuse against males were either of psychological or extreme physical violence, such as stabbings. “If I think about women abusing men, some of the violence is quite serious,” McGlade said. “The men think, ‘oh, she gives me a slap, I’m not going to tell anyone, but she stabs me, well…'”

A 30-year-long study beginning in 1977 by Professor David Fergusson, which sampled 1000 people in Christchurch, found levels of victimisation and perpetration of abuse were similar for both men and women. Victimisation rates were slightly higher for men surveyed, with 6.7 per cent of men and 5.5 per cent of women admitting to minor violence against their partner, and 2.8 per cent of men and 3.2 per cent of women admitting more serious violence. Psychologists say abuse against men exists, emotionally and physically, but is under-reported as men are usually too embarrassed to say anything. This can have severe outcomes.