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Battered Men - The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence
Battered Men's Stories

Men's Personal Stories


Copyright © 1998-2001 by Bert H. Hoff in trust for the anonymous contributors

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Note: If you have been the victim of domestic violence, please e-mail me and tell me about it. What happened? Did you tell anyone about it? Why or why not? Did you seek help? Why or why not? If you did seek help, did you get it? May we publish your story here? We'll do it anonymously, unless you give specific permission to use your name and/or e-mail address.

Check out MenWeb's listing of resources for battered men.

She slapped the walls in the hall way. ... She hit me in the arm a few times, goading me to hit back. ... As you can see the above picture doesn’t’ show any gross domestic violence.

I don’t believe my situation is the most serious example to be cited. However, I’ll share it with you anyway to illustrate some important repercussions in the hopes it might inspire other men to ‘watch’ for the danger signs.

From my perspective I was living the typical American family lifestyle. We had just rented a nice new home, and were enjoying our first child. I was in sales. As time went on, and the recession of 1989 hit a peak, I too became a casualty. I had learned first-hand what it meant to be "downsized." Not completely aware of the scope of the recession, I was sure that I’d be able to find work right away. I worked hard to network with former business contacts, and within my Church. I soon learned to hard truth that my situation was most precarious and would not be able to find a fast remedy.

As time went on, I tried to launch my own retail operation, but my experience and training were in wholesale. And, my product experience was tied to the high-tech aerospace industry. An industry that was then experiencing a great downturn. To bring in some extra dollars, I fell back on some old skills as an ‘interpreter of the deaf,’ finding work at some of the local colleges. My Church chipped in with food and on occasion paid the rent. And, the emotional impact was beginning to mount in its devastation. I felt the pressures of not fully supporting my family, creditors hounding me, and my own self-confidence waning.

My wife was supportive at first. She helped by starting a day-care in our home. We worked hard to try whatever we could to make ends meet. To take some of the pressure off her, I made extra efforts to chip-in with cleaning around the house and tending to our children. Without realising it, we had started to reverse roles (to some degree). This also increased her frustration, and fostered a major feeling of insecurity. After about a year or so of this, we unexpectedly became pregnant with our second child. Now the pressure was really on.

It was obvious that when our son was due, my then wife would not be able to continue with her day-care business. The Church was becoming frustrated in its supporting us too. Demands from many other families in the area were taxing its resources. It was time to makes some drastic changes. I felt a tremendous need to move closer to the city where my skills were more in demand. However, my wife had ‘nested’, and so the only light she could now see at the end of the tunnel, was for her…a train.

A few weeks before the birth of our second child, our Church encouraged us to move in with family or friends. I made every effort to do so. My closest family (a niece and nephew) were experiencing similar trials and soon lost their home. Without enough room for my entire family, the offered for me to move in with them temporarily in order to peruse work closer to the city. I asked my wife to check with her brother would allow us to stay together. He had built a 4,000+ sq. ft. home in a very exclusive area not far from us. I figured he had plenty of room for us to camp out until I could again fully support my family. But he long since turned on me, encouraging my wife to leave me, and refused to let me stay there with my wife and children. He would rather I sleep in my car, than come into his home the night I waited for my son to be born.

While I was wrenching over how to support and sustain my family, and preparing to move out of our home, I had no clue to the fact that my wife had already been swayed by the comments of ‘well meaning friends and family’ to ‘dump the bum’. She had already began her carefully orchestrated plan to undermine my emotional stability and rights to my children.

Weeks earlier, My wife had begun to turn-up the negative comments, both in volume and frequency. She quoted biblical verses at me stating that , "if a man cannot provide for his own, he is worse than an infidel." Soon, the yelling and cursing at me became more and more frequent. Already on edge, and hurt by her change in attitude and lack of empathy or understanding of my great desire and efforts to support us, I too joined in the yell-fest. She slapped the walls in the hall way. So, I hit the walls. For me, the walls broke. She hit me in the arm a few times, goading me to hit back. I remember one time in particular after being goated to my limit. To save myself, I found humour in what she was trying to do, and so only reached up to mess-up her hair. [She was quite surprised]. She locked herself in the bedroom once after a particularly demeaning verbal attack. In frustration, I broke it down. I learned that the resultant effort to replace, repaint, re-hang the door, and recover face from the land-lord, family, and etc.. made this a particularly stupid thing to do… I vowed to myself to never repeat such a mistake again. When finally moving the last of our belongings to her brother’s home, I felt particularly dejected. She took this opportunity to completely withdraw. When asking how she wanted things packed etc.. I was ignored, and she stayed most of the day with a neighbour. Our drive to her brothers was filled with bitter comments from both of us.

As you can see the above picture doesn’t’ show any gross domestic violence. But, I leaned and felt first-hand how it could. Having your most intimate friend and partner turn on you during a crisis situation is pretty tough to handle. Had this abuse been worse, I don’t know how I might of reacted. I ultimately found work, was able to re-establish my family, help my wife start a full-fledge pre-school, and you’d think live happily ever-after. However, about one-year after becoming stable, she announced formal divorce proceedings and the papers soon followed. She continued to play me like a yo-yo for the next few months. And, some of those experiences from long-ago, came back to haunt me in declarations that were used to gain a TRO, undermining my good name and rights to my children.

Men don’t talk about this sort of stuff, because it doesn’t sound very ‘manly.’ We don’t like to display our fumbles in marriage or employment for all to see. Heck, we don’t want anyone to our mistakes. But, fact is, if we don’t learn from each other, then some other poor naïve fool will eventually travel the same path. I believe life is give for us to learn from. These kind of experiences can make or break a family. Mine broke. If your wife is verbally or physically abusing you, see it for what it is. Chances are you could be in for more hurt than you realise. KEEP YOUR KEWL, and don’t delay, GET HELP! If you think you can’t afford it, think of what it might cost you in the long run. Check the Internet, call some colleges specialising in family law or family counselling (they have cheep interns available). Talk to PROFESSIONALS who know the system and what can happen. Don’t screw up your children’s lives and their rights to you by being so much of a "man" that you clam-up on this subject. To do so, is just being afraid, and that is the epitome of wimpyness! I kept my cool, but was made to look like I didn’t. That gave her the upper hand in court for awhile. Don’t be a fool and let this happen to you!

Perhaps in warning other’s, there can come some measure of redemption or recuperation of what we lose when violated or set-up in this manner. Hopefully, with the right intervention more families can be saved (or, at least more equal time with your children, and good-face).

Joseph Pinckney

I Joseph Pinckney, retain all rights to the above story, and grant Bert H. Hoff, Pub. & Ed., Men's Voices journal license to publish it during the year 1999. No part of the above shall be disseminated, published, communicated, etc, in any way except by my consent, and in writing. I am to receive a copy of any publishing of the above when it occurs. And, any modifications whatsoever to the above story must also be approved by me in advance, and in writing.

Hey, I just want to know to who, where, when, why, and how this is going.


Any advice for this man? E-mail me and I'll pass it on.

Certainly you are talking sense. I am in an abusive relationship with my wife.

She has love for me but when I get close to her she devalues me or beats me too. Many times she calls 911 and makes false accusations. I am not sure what to do. We have been married less than 2 years now and I brought her from overseas (Iran). And Immediately she got pregnant. She told me that it is safe for me to have sex with her. I insisted on abortion bust she didn't do it. So, She scratches me and once she hit my old father with the sharp edge of a spatula and broke his forehead. I called the police but my father didn't press charges. Anyway, I don't what's the best way to resolve this because she is very unstable and she cannot be continuously feeling good. The most the she has been pleasant has been 2 weeks. She is hopeless and so is my relationship.

Please if you have any advice, let me know.

Wife became very angry and she attacked me with a set of Porsche Keys - maybe three inches long. she stabbed me thirteen times. As I was trying to leave, she took our daughter and tried to throw her down the steps

When my daughter was six months old and my wife had filed for divorce, we were haveing a discussion about what was wrong. Wife became very angry and she attacked me with a set of Porsche Keys - maybe three inches long. she stabbed me thirteen times. As I was trying to leave, she took our daughter and tried to throw her down the steps (second floor.) I caught our baby and was hanging onto the bannister, with one hand, holding our baby with the other. Wife came over and was trying to push the key through my throat. I called out to our au paire, who came and got the baby.

I went to the hospital. They said that in order to get any help I had to file a complaint against my wife. I had visions of her in jail and went away and patched myself up. I had a friend who helped. Somehow I felt it was my failing, that I must have missed something, that if only I could get her some help, if only . . .

Later when she tried to run over me in the parking lot of my business in front of employees and customers, she knocked me down and jumped out of the car and began stomping me and kicking me, I was arrested for domestic violence. I was made to take anger management classes. Yes, she had to go too. The instructors warned me against her. The husband and wife team instructors had her in class too.

That was the beginning. She was awarded custody because I worked and she did not. Therefor . . . In Connecticut.

Nine years later, after much dollars and nonsense in the courts, the courts made an ex parte order of custody to me, April 27, 1997. I did not see my daughter for two and a half years, was in jail once, in prison twice, for this DV and contempt of court.

It took five years of fighting it out in California courts, San Bernardino County, but they could ignore it no longer. I have seen many men roll over, plead it out, give up their children, give up.

I am continually accosted for "taking my daughter away from her mother." I have lost several girlfriends who cannot understand my fervor and say that I care more for my daughter than . . .

If it feels wrong, it probably is. Fight it or you lose everything. If you don't you lose everything for sure. I do prefer anonymity since I do have a job and a daughter to protect at this time.

Although she had been physically aggressive in the past, she turned downright violent toward me. It started by hitting me with the phone, throwing objects at me, kicking and clawing. She drew blood a number of times. Under advice from my attorney, I was warned that even taking a defensive position could be seen as an act of violence toward her. The ONLY physical action I took toward her was to restrain her from hitting or biting or kicking me. She was an expert at falling down and screaming -- "see kids, look at what your dad is doing to me."

I don't know whether I would consider myself a "battered" husband not a "victim," but I clearly was the target of my soon-to-be ex-wife's violence. I will try to give you the short version of a long story.

My wife was diagnosed with bipolar clinical depression, although I still have doubts to this day whether she just learned to work and milk a waiting system or not.

While she would lay in bed all day neglecting our young children, I would work to support the family. As soon as was home at the end of the day, she would have a miraculous recovery, and out the door she went until late hours. Her expectation was for me to pick up the pieces of the day including housework, feeding the children, laundry, etc.

Over time, these behavior became both excessive and detrimental to the well- being of our three children. I announced that I was "putting my foot down" and that she would have to play an equal responsibility in the household, and that if her behaviors did not change, I would take the children to a safe environment.

Although she had been physically aggressive in the past, she turned downright violent toward me. It started by hitting me with the phone, throwing objects at me, kicking and clawing. She drew blood a number of times. Under advice from my attorney, I was warned that even taking a defensive position could be seen as an act of violence toward her. The ONLY physical action I took toward her was to restrain her from hitting or biting or kicking me. She was an expert at falling down and screaming -- "see kids, look at what your dad is doing to me."

My attorney advised me to call the police whenever she became violent. I did so three occasions while we still lived together. Even though I called the police, the treated each call as if I was the aggressor. They would ask her how much I had been drinking (never), where did I hit her, etc. They insisted I leave the house. I was refused a copy of the incident report. They told me each time they could do nothing because there was no evidence of injury. They even laughed at me when I told them I made the call.

Shortly later, the separation took place. I was awarded custody of my two boys. (I was forced to pay support even though they lived with me. The court custody served to "prove" the resided with me. My daughter, then 14, wanted to stay with mom. Even after moving to a new home, my "ex" would enter without my permission. At that point, I secured a Protection Order which was never enforced. On one occasion, she took my custodial son in his pajamas from the home on a non-visit day. The police located him at his school later in the day. She dropped him off "as is." I insisted that she be charged with assault and violation of the custody order. The police said they had no jurisdiction in a "civil" matter -- even though I presented both court orders at the time.

The Protection Order was scheduled to expire after one year. I requested and was granted a continuance. My "ex" had not shown up for the hearing, so I suppose I "won" by default. While in the courthouse waiting for the Clerk of Courts to finish paperwork, a representatives of a domestic violence group had asked each plaintiff if they could provide assistance. These representatives had a copy of the dockets showing who the plaintiffs and defendants were. In spite of that fact, another gentleman and I (both plaintiff's) were not offered assistance. I asked (very politely) if they offer assistance to all victims of domestic violence, or just women. (I knew what they "say" but quickly learned '"what they do") I was completely ignored.

Just prior to this event, my "ex" had completed a course at the community college that "our" counselor recommended. It was designed to help people -- mainly women -- who have stayed at home to raise children, upgrade their skills i.e. resume, interviewing, etc., get back into the job market. Sounded innocent enough, until I learned TurningPoint provided a portion of their class lecture. Not surprisingly, my "ex" suddenly became a self-proclaimed victim of domestic violence. Facts were not relevant, only the agenda of her and [the domestic violence shelter program].

Since these events, I have worked feverishly to get a divorce through. Even though I have custody of two of three children, I am forced to pay $12,000 per year in child and spousal support. The court does not require her to work, although she has a part time job. They have told me that my financial well- being, including my custodial children, is not their concern.

I have moved to another county to take a new job. This has eased the situation, but there have been no resources to help me. "Mom" has now told the children that the reason we are not together is that I beat her and the children. Tell a lie often enough, and the children will believe it. Counseling for my children is expensive and not one counselor could guarantee that the records would not be revealed to either the court or a supoena from my "ex's" attorney.

I am in a catch-22: so much money is taken out of my pay, I cannot afford the $3,000 plus my attorney wants to close the case. I have also got stuck with all the bills, taxes, etc.

I suppose in the big picture I am lucky to have custody of two of three children. The lack of parenting has ruined my daughters upbringing.

Perhaps this is more than you wanted to hear -- and it is the condensed version.

This man told me his story also appeared in the Dallas Morning News ...

Here's the kicker. I am a mental health professional, social worker and marriage and family therapist. I had blinders on like most guys. I interpreted her behavior as emotional disturbance, and would often sit up all night trying to comfort her after one of these episodes.

I was divorced in 1988. Throughout our 7 year marriage my wife was often very violent, at first throwing dishes, hot coffee, etc. On more than one occasion I had to have the glass company out late at night to replace a window. Her violence progressed to kicking and punching. One time, prior to the divorce, she kicked me in the lower back area, by surprise while I was shaving. I had previously had lower back problems, which she was aware of (and was eventually hospitalized I think sometime in 1994.) The violence progressed to the point where she chased me around the house, out of the house, and around the yard with a butcher knife. On another occasion, while visiting her mother, the latter came to my car very upset claiming that my wife had told her she was going to butcher me and the children. I naturally could not sleep that night and stayed up all night trying to talk her through whatever was upsetting her.

Here's the kicker. I am a mental health professional, social worker and marriage and family therapist. I had blinders on like most guys. I interpreted her behavior as emotional disturbance, and would often sit up all night trying to comfort her after one of these episodes. On more than one occasion I got her to schedule an appointment with a therapist, but over the course of the next several weeks, before the appointment, she would invariably feel better and cancel the appointment.

Looking back on it now, I should have called 911 at the first sign of violence. When she told her mother she was thinking of butchering me and the kids, I should have taken her to the nearest emergency room, instead of being the "therapist" myself, and trying to talk her through the distress. That way I would have had some documentation. (As it turned out her mother lied in court and said she never remembered the incident.) I never saw myself as a victim of DV, but as the husband of an emotionally distressed and disturbed woman. My faulty perception continued until I joined the Fathers For Equal Rights group in 1988, and I realized that I was one of the victims of DV that people hear about on TV.

Naturally, when she finally applied for a divorce, she accused me of being the violent party. (Mind you I am not a violent person and never hit, slapped, pushed her, or anything. In fact, I can't remember ever fighting, even as a kid in school.) Bottom line: we had an agreed settlement, with her getting the kids, since I was told that dads don't get joint custody in that particular county outside of Dallas in 1988. Several years later (1992) while I was running for Justice of the Peace, she decided to file for a protective order, falsely acucsing me of threatening her, etc. I think it was to embarrass me during the political campaign. Of course I had to pay for an attorney to defend me, while she was represented free by the assistant DA in Dallas County. At the hearing she accused me in open court of raping her several times since the divorce. The judge did not believe her and dismissed the protective order motion, apparently because she could not even say where or when the supposed rapes occurred. This was highly unusual as you can imagine, because most of the time protective orders are issued, or rubber stamped, when women request them and state that they are fearful of their spouse or ex-spouse.

On another occasion since the divorce, she filed criminal charges against me, alleging felony interference with child custody. It went to a grand jury. The notice to me from the grand jury was sent to the wrong address, I suspect purposely. I got the notice the night before the hearing when I was in Washington, D.C. on government business (I am a retired Col.). I flew back, and appeared at the grand jury to defend myself . Oddly enough she was alleging that I did not return my son to her on a particular date which was clearly my day to have summer possession of him. I had my certifiedl letters with me as proof that I notified her of my summer possession schedule. Apparently she figured with the wrong address I would not ever get the notice, and the grand jury would indict me, and I would have to defend myself in criminal court. (Fortunately, a neighbor around the block got my grand jury notice, and had the presence of mind to figure out where I lived and to bring it to my house .) The grand jury no-billed me, but not without a lot of grief and expense involved.

Well, anyway, that's my story, or at least part of it. I am still battling this individual in family court. I got off of the specific DV issue because my case illustrates another aspect of it, i.e. false accusations of DV. I find these false accusations of DV to be quite frequent in my professional practice these days, maybe even more frequent than the false sex abuse allegations, which may be on a slight decline, as society adds more and more incentives for women to accuse men of DV, and as society gets more and more punative toward men accused of DV. The courts seem to be getting a bit weary of the false sex abuse allegations, although they still hold a lot of power and can cause a lot of damage.

my lawyer looked at me like I was crazy when I told him ...

I guess,I never gave much thought to violence against men or women,because I did not see it in my home, even though my parents were divorced, if they disagreeded it was not in front of us kids. So,when I married a violent woman I did not know what to do.

I have had my X point a gun in my face,kick me,tare my shirt off,and scratch my face and hands. My X's parents had always fought,and the brothers and sisters fought among themselves. My X would always get you one way or the other, and she would tell you she was going to. I never hit her, it was instilled in me (you do not hit girls).I have a 5 year old daughter,who my X has screamed at and hit. After the divorce I filed for more visiting rights with my daughter. My X accussed me of sexually abusing my daughter, it was one of those (X say) one time things, and she is not sure when it happened. DHR backed her,they said "she was too humble" to make it up. Even though they had police report from a lot of family fights, in her family with her involved.

Other people that my X has had trouble with, will not tell it, because they are afraid of what she will do to them if they do. DHR has tapes that I sent them of people telling about her choking one of her daughters. Doesn't matter. I have never hit my X,and have never touched my daughter, yet I have lost my daughter, my job, and everything I had worked many years for, including having to go bankrupt.

Until,something is done for men like me, and childern like my daughter, this is not going to get better. No,I did not try to tell anyone about the abuse, my lawyer looked at me like I was crazy when I told him. I am 6ft 2in and my X is 5ft 4in. Women especially violent women, with personality problems know that they can get away with whatever they want to, and if they don't there is always a smart lawyer to tell them how. How can anyone honestly believe women are not violent, when from 55 to 60 % of childern killed, are killed by the biological mother?

I am writing under my mother's screen name, and am still fighting in court,so I can not tell who I am.

Thanks for listening.

Why did I take it? ...

Yes,there is domestic violence against men,I know ,I was one of them.I have had my x-wife point a gun in my face, scream she was going to blow my brains out, hit me with her fist while I was driving, and try to run over me with a car.

Why did I take it? I had a daughter that was small that was also screamed at and hit,and scared by stories of the bugger man getting her.I finally had to leave or get killed.No I did not hit my X-wife.I was always taught men do not hit women.Not only was my x violent she was a very good liar,she told me when I got a divorce she would ruin me,and she has,she has also ruined my daughter.If I had any idear's of tell about the violence my lawyer changed my mind about that,he said no one would believe me,because of my size and her size.Then when I got to court and was treated like I had crawled out from under a rock,I knew he was right.

I did fight until I was bankrupted,lost my job and my daughter.My x-wife was right she knew ,what she was doing,she ruined me.The lose of my job,and the gender bias in the court system is manufracturing another deadbeat dad, ME,and I can not stop it.

The awful part of this story is,that I can not help my daughter,I pray for her every day,I hope that is enough.

Grandmother was active in early women's rights, now urges men to speak out and act ...

I am a grandmother,with three sons. There is a very good need for your service. I live in a small Southern town,and for personal reasons have joined a fathers rights group. I was a very big part of the womens rights movement in the early stage.(The 60"s) What we were fighting for then is not what I am seeing now. If mens rights groups do not unite,men are going to be destroyed and so are their childern. Men have to understand that they have to have their rights, before their childern can get their rights. Women of the 90's are smart,they know what they can do,but they refuse to see what they are doing,is doing to their childern,are maybe they just don't care.

Please.keep trying to help these men,I think this is embrassing for them,and they have been made to look so bad,they are scared to be agressive,because they are told it is not political correct. Keep up the good work.I guess this needs to be done anonymously. I do not want the feminist movement to come down on my head.

John tells more of his story on his Web site.

My wife of almost 9 years was a woman of an incredibly short temper and possessed the ability to swing from mood to mood faster than you could shake a stick at. Over the years, she had thrown things at me, including knives, slapped me, punched me, and shoved me on numerous occasions.

I had always felt a sympathy towards her because of the fact that she had no one in her life that truly seemed to care for her. I was going to be her protector. During December of 1997, I was attempting to take two of my children to bed and one of them was crying because he didn't want to go to bed yet. She ran out at me and shoved me hard enough to knock me down and punched me in the shoulder.

Sidenote: I am 5'8 and at the time around 225..she is 5'9 and around 280.

I then became sick and tired of the whole situation and I filed a police report against her. She left before the police got there and they simply filed a report and gave her a warning a few days later when they stopped by as a follow up. She was on much better behavior after that. Then if you have read my story on the page, about 4 months later, my trial of tribulations started.

I think it is important that people see my story as well as stories of men who have gotten totally screwed. I can be a source of optimism in that sometimes, a man can perservere and justice isn't totally blind to reality.

John Dill

I believe if this got around, their would be a stigma. Some embarassment toward ex wives and present lovers. I don't want my kids to hear these stories, or to have others in their world, discussing me regarding this issue.

I will share two stories about Domestic Violence toward men from women.

The cops go to my friend's house, his lover had erlier gone into a bar, tossed his his secretaries food on the floor, before finding out that they were there together waiting for her husband. She had already stolen his e mail. and broken in to his house before this. This night, once again, she breaks in, they argue, she gets his gun, waves it around threatenting him.

He calls 911, she hangs up the phone. The cops come, but don't arrest her even though she later confirmed the detail about the gun. They asked if he wanted to file charges. He stood there with blood running down his hand from taking the gun from her and thought, if they are asking me, some men must say yes and some no. He said no.

It didn't make the papers - not even under police calls. In a town of 5,ooo if he had threatened to get his gun, he would have had his name in the paper.

My story.

Short and simple. She was my lover for many years, we really did love each other. Those that know of the abuse will never know fully of the intensity of the love we had for each other. They will think it wasn't really love, - just two codependents working out their past abuse.

Our relationship had some patterns from my family and hers. My grandmother was sexually abusive, both my mother and step-father were violent. Her brother and sister died from cystic fibrosis, her dad killed himself, her religion taught that what comes into your life comes from how you see life.

She will disagree with my view of this story. She will say that it was both of us, or that I made her so angry because I knew how to push her buttons. She initiated a few physical fights. I had difficulty restraining her although I am strong, and taught self-defense, etc. I didn't want to grab her or hurt her in anyway. . The last time or two I left marks on her arms from holding her to restrain her. For weeks afterwards, when she was angry, she would talk about the brusies on her arms and pretend I had no marks on me and that the bruises were not from being restrained.. The last fight, the closest I came to hurting her, I had my hands around her neck, sitting on her, shouting for her to stop. I am not pretending that after having been attacked three times in one evening, with only minutes in-between, that I didn't start feeling violent also.

The last time, like the very first time, I decided that I would not defend myself in anyway.. (Something the adult women I grew up with had taught me, I should take "punishment" like a man.) Anyway, I thought that if she hit me once or twice that she would see that "we" weren't fighting, only she was: I thought she would stop. I wanted her to face that and I was willing to take a hit or two to prove a point. She punched me five times in the face. Her blows were from the scars of a young girl who had too much trauma in her life. And my pain reminded me of my childhood. Losing her love, our love, hurt most. With the marks on my face I would have been the poster boy if there was one for male victims if anyone gave a damn about male victims. They don't in my world.. I had a black eye, swollen split lip, bruises. I drove home, 225 miles in the middle of the night, crying because I knew we could never be lovers again.

She acted as if nothing had happened afterwards. She was not the women I loved when she was in a rage. And I left her after this one. I left because she never said she was sorry and because she would sometimes "go off " in front of my young son and daughter.

Two women from a local safe house saw me, I knew them, they asked what had happened. I told them what happened and tried to make excuses for her. I said that her operation, an hysterectomy, that was supposed to control her blood loss during her period, had not controlled her mood swings as had been suggested. Her double dose of Prosaic didn't help, the therapy wasn't doing much...They stared at me.

If I had pushed her the women from the safe house would have begged her to come to their place, file a report. For me, later when I suggested that they had ignored me, while i knew that they would not have ignored her if she had been hurt, they said that they had talked to me. After they has said, "what happened" and the blank stare, they pretty much summed it up with "too bad, too sad" whatever.

A friend of mine who knows both of us, a gay black male, who works with sexist racist women who often don't recognize either their sexism or their racism, often spoke badly of men to him. He told them of her abuse. They said "he probably had it coming." I guess there is never an excuse to hit a woman but for some reason it is justified if a woman is doing it to a man.

These women did not see me washing the sheets at his house one night when her period had trashed the bedding. And how she felt embarrassed, and how I washed them and felt compassion for her. They did not see us drive 600 miles each once to spend a night together in a beatiful camping area. They had no clue of the poems, and stories and music we shared, the nights under the stars. The trashed me as a man because ... well, why not?

I felt suicidal for two weeks after. I know she didn't want to be as violent as she was at that moment. I also knew, that as a man, because I was strong looking, macho... there was less concern. The fact that I was abused as a boy, and that she touched those places that I had stuffed down, that I felt that all the good we had shared had been destroyed, were thoughts and feelings that they either didn't think a man could feel, or they didn't care. I feel that I was abused by them because of their indifference.

These same women write about DV and all the reports they have from women and none from men. And I know that my friends story and mine won't be heard.

Warren Farrell once asked if I would take that story to a national T V show, a show for women. I know that women , not all, but some, would ridicule me, make fun of a man for being hurt by a woman. And the truth is, as a boy I was taught to hide pain. And as a man I will not go out and be humiliated again, on TV, or anywhere else, because I have had too much of that from women in my life. And when feminists write that DV is a women's issue, I feel that as abuse also.

I have worked a few years with disturbed teens. And as a cop and prison guard. I also worked with seniors citizens. I know that there is abuse of men, and I know that we can't talk abut it. We were taught not to and laughed at behind our backs whenever a man is brave enought to speak up.

Please don't use my name. I believe if this got around, their would be a stigma. Some embarassment toward ex wives and present lovers. I don't want my kids to hear these stories, or to have others in their world, discussing me regarding this issue.

I still don't understand why I stayed in that relationship as long as I did. I quess it was because she was such a great girl in every other way and I hoped she would change. I'm never going to go back into that kind of insanity again.

I went through a very traumatic relationship about 8 years ago that exactly fit your question.

I went with a girl who used physical violence to hit, throw things and bite me in her attempts to control my actions... which normally meant trying to prevent me from leaving my home when she became violent.

Once, after she left my home, she called the police. They arrived at my door in a very threatening manner. I refused to open the door and they broke it down and proceeded to arrest me inflicting bodily harm in the process. Later she filed a "citizen's arrest" on me and I had to be bailed out of jail. She claimed I had raped her when I had not. The police acted without even checking out her story first. I was percieved guilty without even a trial.

Her emotional state was all they needed. I later sued the police and three years later settled for over a $20,000 settlement and an appology. The Sargeant who lead the arrest was no longer working for the force. Maybe I had something to do with that... I still don't understand why I stayed in that relationship as long as I did. I quess it was because she was such a great girl in every other way and I hoped she would change. She still calls every few years to say hello. I'm polite, but never going to go back into that kind of insanity again. My advise is to get out ASAP, at the first sign of violence... on either side. No relationship is worth dying over, or even going to jail over. I learned my lesson and hope someone can benefit from me mistake.

Funny, at the time I told myself I deserved it.

I am one of those guys who have been beaten by my wife. Ex-wife now. Funny, at the time I told myself I deserved it. I am bigger than her, but I let her hit and kick me. I have had a fat lip and a black eye once. I did not even think to call the police. Even now, if it happened again I am positive nothing would happen to her. Society does not appear to feel that men deserve as much protection as a woman. I never NEVER Never struck my wife or any woman for that matter, yet during our divorce my ex filed a domestic abuse suit against me. One more ploy used by women to take advantage of the system and men. Mad, you bet. angry and bitter too. E-mail me if you want more. My kids saw how beat up I was once, I would not tell them who did it. They now know. I wrote my local congress woman about it and received a yawn.


I was awarded temporary sole custody of my three children and possession of the marital home. My ex-wife was in shock and refused to leave ... Her attempts to provoke an incident increased. Finally one morning she cornered me alone in the kitchen and again began to punch me out after a nasty verbal exchange. Unfortunately, my 10 year old son witnessed this episode through a window while he headed for his school bus. I did not strike back. My ex then left and went to the police.

I was a victim of domestic violence in 1996. On two occasions my wife attacked me, viciously punching me in the face and chest and on several other occasions pushing me around. In each instance I believe her intent was not only anger driven abuse, but also a knowledge that if I retaliated she had the Domestic Violence Act on her side.

I was able to get a civil order of protection against my wife which prevented her from taking advantage of this one-sided statute. Once she threatened to call the police and tell them that I had been in a fight with her. She made good on her threat but did not tell the officer that I had struck her (which I hadn't done). When I told the officer that I had an order of protection against her, he left. The officer was clearly prepared to arrest me. Because (stupidly thinking I would never have to use it) I had left the actual court order at work, I had to take it in to the police station the next day. The officers advised that despite my order, they recommneded that I move out because of the requirement that they would have to arrest me merely on my wife's word that she had been abused by me. This was against the advice of my attorney and would have surely ended my relationship with my three children since my wife was attempting to leave the state. The police related that they are particularly against the Act also because they know that women use it as a sword as often as they use it as a shield. When they use it against spouses who happen to be police officers, the officer loses his firearm and therefore the ability to work.

After my divorce, I was awarded temporary sole custody of my three children and possession of the marital home. My ex-wife was in shock and refused to leave (probably on advice of her attorney). Her attempts to provoke an incident increased. Finally one morning she cornered me alone in the kitchen and again began to punch me out after a nasty verbal exchange. Unfortunately, my 10 year old son witnessed this episode through a window while he headed for his school bus. I did not strike back. My ex then left and went to the police. The police remembered my case and came to the house. They insisted that my ex leave (move out) and escorted her from the premises. The police then requested that I seek a criminal order of protection against her which I was granted. The judge laughed when he issued it.

I am reluctant to give permission to use my name at this time because my custody case is still pending and my ex is from a very wealthy family that has poured thousands into her case against me.

From New Zealand:

Perhaps my story does not qualify since I was never struck by my wife, physically that is. Rather my wife abused our eldest daughter physically ( not-sexually ), and emotionally ( extremely destructive ).

I sought to heal our family as a whole over the course of years until I brought in the Police for bruises around my daughter's neck. The policeman shrugged it off and made light, even agreeing with my ex that its okay to hit children, he even does it himself. His parting advice was that our "daughter should go and live with another family for a while so that she can learn its no picnic living with other folks either!"

As a consequence of the police involvement our government protection agency ( Children & Young Persons Service ) became involved and blindly persued a strong feminist anti-father line inspite of the obvious facts. This meant I was falsely accused of sexually mollesting our daughters and I lost posession of them in favour of my abusive wife. I was crucified as a person for some time until CYPS had to admit that they had it wrong because my wife continued to abuse the girls. The frivolous accusations were withdrawn, and I got custody of the girls, but not before I had lost my house, my assets, my savings, my job and career, and my mother who passed away when told of the accusations I faced. The cost to the girls and I has been immense.

I see the fact that for a long time I had to go to work not knowing if my children were safe with their mother as one form of abuse. Another perversity was that my career, my reputation as a reliable worker, sufferred when often the fighting at home was so bad I could not kleave my children unsupervised with their mother. As my job suffered, my income reduced, and I started taking flack from my wife that I was not earning enough.

I certainly are interested in matters of false accusations, and fathers as primary parents.

Although I must say that looking back I think think it should be almost impossible to get a seperation or a divorce. In love or not, parents should stay together for the sake of teaching the children. It is easy to set an example in good times, to set a good example in the face of really tough times is another matter, and too few people set this example to their kids. I reckon we are breeding a generation who cannot accept the tough times with the good, thus have no commitment, are not taught to have real calibre in their nature.

I think you should add that this was a bare-bones version with most of the blood removed. In truth it was a very nasty time in our lives, a time where supposed adults and professionals readily abandonned all quality standards in their conduct and their word. Many swore lies on oath in court, and some took sides against me before meeting or talkng with me.

An aside. Another aspect of our case is interesting. Its not that I seek victim-hood per-se, but statistics are usually only collected by the Police, shelters, victim-support, women's refuge, rape- crisis and official agencies. Our family-court has absolute confidentiallity, and so my case outcome cannot be detailed, and it is a shocking indictment on the various professionals and agencies involved in our case. The judgement even awarded me some compensation which was not appealed by the payee.

I get alarmed that my case does not statistically exist, and thus has no bearing on the future consideration of policies. So you see I am not allowed to warn the world of families about the problem we encountered, but now this is as if it never happenned. So I think we must fight for statistics to be taken, or in cases such as ours, we must have a way of registering the damage, the outcomes, so that future policy discussions can benefit from our disaster.

And from Australia ...

I live in Perth, Western Australia.

In 1992 after 3 months of constant verbal and psychological abuse from my wife, and my numerous complaints to police, who told me that: "This is a domestic dispute, we cannot interfere.." I finally gave up and moved away from my house and my three kids.

Here in Australia, we have the same problem as you guys in the USA do, there's no place that men can call a shelter for us battered men. When they say that the DV programs are there to help both gender, my answer to this is: "'s a damn lie." These programs are there to protect the women and millions of dollars of taxpayers monies are spent for their (women) welfare not men's.

My heart goes out to men who have been a victim of DV, and I pray to God that one day these injustices will end and that our plight will finaly be recognised.

Harry Yuruten

S.A.F.E. logo

Why did I not leave? Go to a shelter? Get help anywhere?
5 reasons

S.A.F.E. ( has a goodly number of personal stories. In one, a man talks about why he stayed in a marriage where his wife was abusing him. Another is by a police officer who didn't realize he was abused (despite the scars) until a friend pointed out that he flinched whenever his wife moved suddenly. The stories speak well to battered men and to people who know battered men.

Here's one from Douglas L. Flor, which he says he doesn't mind sharing. Doug Flor was formerly a project coordinator for the Department of Child and Family Development and the Adolescent Development Research Program, Institute for Behavioral Research, The University of Georgia.

Yes, you may cross post the message. Making it anonymous is not necessary, people may think I was a woman and that is something I wish to avoid. As a victim of spousal abuse from my former marriage partner, Why did I not leave? Go to a shelter? Get help anywhere?

First, I loved my former spouse. Even though she had a problem with violence, there was more to her than just the abusive behavior. I sought to work out the problem. She refused to admit that she "had a problem" (something many women's groups deny today, as well).

Second, I love my children. I felt that by being an active parent I could moderate or deflect any abuse that might be inflicted on the children. Today, they are adults. But I know that the courts don't give a man a fair shake when it comes to custody. A man can't be just a good father in order to gain custody of his children, he has to prove the mother to be incompetent. This only makes an adversarial situation more adversarial and we know that the single biggest predictor of emotional and behavioral problems in children is open hostile conflict between parents. I was unwilling to "go to bat" for my children as it would mean subjecting them to more negative behavior. By staying in an abusive relationship, I was able to assure myself that I would have access to my children and that they could see that there was a different way to have a relationship with a parent.

Third, there is a stigma attached to being a male victim of spousal abuse that even permeates our field. I had a discussion with a male professor at one university (in a family department) that refused to believe that a woman could be abusive. Try talking as a male victim to others that you are a victim of this kind of behavior and you will get such reactions as this, or reactions that imply: "you wimp", or "why don't you take it like a man", or "you must be a controlling man or she wouldn't do that", or "you must be abusive too".

These are a few reactions I have encountered by people in our field. How could I expect to have any kind of understanding from people who were NOT expected to understand families (police, etc). While I did encounter some people in this field who were understanding, it was still very embarassing for me on both the personal and professional levels.

Fourth, there are VERY FEW programs (if any) designed to help battered males. We just passed a bill called the Defense of Women's Act targeting all kinds of money for female victims of spousal abuse, but what about the men in this situation? By refusing to earmark monies to programs that are inclusive of men, we deny that a problem exists (that women can be abusive) and perpetuate an implicit message that it is perfectly OK to abuse men. THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM.

Fifth, even when researchers use data sets that could illuminate the problem of familial violence by forming a theoretical framework that isn't biased (or blind), they get attacked by the more radical, extremist political agendas of groups who wish to exclude, hide, or just ignore the issue by focusing only on the "real" victims of spousal abuse.

The political agenda of these various groups say that they can only look at one type of abuse (because it is "more important"). And while some give lipservice to the issue of male victims, they rarely, if ever discuss the issue without revictimizing men who have experienced abuse. Where is the "ethic of caring" in that?

The betrayal of a prime theoretical supposition to maintain a blindsightedness because it fails to meet their political agenda makes me highly suspect of these groups. They seem to have an axe to grind and they would rather remain blind, intolerant, and uncaring than to admit their political agenda is driving their theory and research.

Familial violence, whether it is perpetrated by a male or female, on an adult male or female (or child, whether male or female) is wrong.

But in trying to ascertain why it is perpetrated and why individuals stay in abusive relationships is very complex. Most of the reasoning, research, help, and content is still blind to the issue of male victims.

doug flor

Note: If you have been the victim of domestic violence, please e-mail me and tell me about it. What happened? Did you tell anyone about it? Why or why not? Did you seek help? Why or why not? If you did seek help, did you get it? May we publish your story here? We'll do it anonymously, unless you give specific permission to use your name and/or e-mail address.

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Domestic Violence in Washington: 25,473 Men a Year
According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1,510,455 women and 834,732 men are victims of physical violence by an intimate. In Washington, that's 42,824 women and 25,473 men. That includes 2,754 on whom a knife was used, 5,508 threatened with a knife and 11,016 hit with an object. Here are the data.

Help for Battered Men Practical suggestions, Hotline numbers, on-line resources. Print it out and hand it to a man you think may be battered--your caring opens him up to talking about it.

What's Wrong with the Duluth Model? The "Duluth Model" is the approach most widely used for perpetrator treatment--but it gender polarizes the "people problem" of domestic violence.. What's wrong with the Duluth Model? It blames and shames men. It's based on ideology, not science. It ignores drinking, drugs and pathology. Only one cause, only one solution. There's no real evidence it works. It ignores domestic violence by women. Women who need help can't get it. It's taught by wounded healers.

Latest Research Findings National Violence Against Women survey shows 37.5% of victims each year are men. Men are at real risk of serious physical injury. Murray A. Straus looks at controversies in DV research. Martin Fiebert examines reasons women give for assaulting men. JAMA emergency room study shows equal number of men, woman victims.


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