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This article appeared in the April 20, 1997 edition of The Detroit News , and is reprinted with The Detroit News' kind permission.


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Sunday, April 20, 1997

Battered men take problems to Internet

By Becky Beaupre / The Detroit News

    There's a place where battered men from around the world share stories.
    It is anonymous enough to give them the courage to speak out, big enough to let them network and, sometimes, it is accepting of their views.
    It's the Internet -- and it has filled a void left by a scarcity of support groups and social service programs.
    Male victims of domestic abuse have posted dozens of Web pages citing statistics about battered men and refuting claims that men can't be victims.
    They've shared stories, pleaded for support and argued their cases in thousands of newsgroup postings. They have networked by e-mail -- even using one such exchange to bring a branch of an Oregon support group to Michigan.
    "Her eyes would widen and glaze over," reads one home page. "She was edgy and abrupt and picked fights, so at that point I would hide all the knives and sharp scissors, pointed screw drivers, anything that she could use to stab me."
    That story appears on a page set up by Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE), a nonprofit group dealing with male and female victims of domestic violence.
    Jeff Gibbs, a Flint-area counselor, is spearheading the effort to start a Michigan branch of SAFE.
    "It's a medium that a lot of men are comfortable with," Gibbs said. "It's really been a godsend."
    Links to studies and statistics fill some of the pages dedicated to male abuse. Messages on newsgroups and Web pages encourage men to recognize the problem, to speak up and to get help.
    Some of the pages:
   * Stop Abuse For Everyone
   * Husband Battering
    Jeff Gibbs is starting a hotline and support group for Michigan men who are victims of domestic abuse. Call (810) 658-9826.


Check out MenWeb's Special Section on Battered Men


Related stories:

Special Report: No place to run for male victims of domestic abuse: Shelters, support groups rare for men whose mates batter them at home, A Detroit News report by Becky Beaupre.

Spotlight on Female Abuser: For 13 years, he never hit her A woman speak out. She was told she's the victim! A Detroit News report by Becky Beaupre.

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