Most people associate specific images with domestic violence. The most prevalent stereotype for who is a victim is usually lower income, uneducated, a woman of color. At FVPC we know that victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life. Victims can be any race, any sexual orientation, any socio-economic status and any gender.
It is difficult to determine the exact percentage of male victims of domestic violence. Studies that report men to be the victims of abuse as frequently as women are often flawed and use poor research designs. The National Institute of Justice discovered that the The National Family Violence Survey (NFVS) found equal rates of domestic assault between women and men are based on data compiled through the Conflic Tactics Scale (CTS), a survey tool developed in the 1970’s. CTS may not be appropriate for intimate partner violence research because it does not measure control, coercion, or the motives for conflict tactics; it also leaves out sexual assault and violence by ex-spouses or partners and does not determine who initiated the violence. A review of the research found that violence is instrumental in maintaining control and that more than 90 percent of “systematic, persistent, and injurious” violence is perpetrated by men (Kimmel, Michael S. “‘Gender Symmetry’ in Domestic Violence: A Substantive and Methodological Research Review,” Violence Against Women 8(11) November 2002: 1332–1363.).
Many social stigmas exist around male clients coming forward to report abuse whether in heterosexual or LGBTQ relationships. Heterosexual male clients often worry that no one will believe they are being abused and that they are somehow less masculine because of suffering abuse from their female partners. A 2001 U.S. study revealed that 85 percent of the victims were female with a male batterer. However, the other 15 percent includes intimate partner violence in gay and lesbian relationships and men who were battered by a female partner. (Rennison, C.M., U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001. 2003). Most of the men that we see in our offices are men who are being abused by their same-sex partner. Homosexual male abuse is often treated as less serious or hurtful than heterosexual abuse. Police are often more likely to make dual arrests when responding to an incident that involved a same-sex couple.
No matter what one’s gender or sexual orientation, we all deserve respect physically, sexually, emotionally and verbally in our relationships. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or unhappy in your relationship call our hotline (919-929-7122) or come in to speak to an advocate.