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Men Suffer Domestic Abuse

A staggering number of men are victims of domestic violence and abuse by their female partners. Domestic abuse is behaviour that someone uses in a relationship to deliberately coerce, control, manipulate, threaten and dominate, someone else. Anyone can be a victim of this kind of behaviour whether they are a man, woman or another gender identity. 

Men may experience domestic abuse from their partner or a former partner in heterosexual or same sex relationships.

Men can also be abused by family members.

Family abuse against men includes so called ‘honour’ based abuse, such as forced marriage.

Domestic abuse against men is perpetrated by both men and women.

Men who experience domestic violence and abuse face a number of significant barriers to getting help and access to specialist support services.

Although the severity, amount, and impact of domestic violence and abuse experienced by women is much higher than that experienced by men, men also suffer significantly as a result of abuse from a partner, ex-partner or an adult family member.

The experiences of many men who have experienced domestic violence and abuse are similar to those of women. Like female survivors many men find it hard to identify coercion and control as abuse, and to disclose to someone that the person who is supposed to love them is harming them.

A man who is being abused may experience some of the following behaviours:
• Mocking, humiliation, insults, criticism
• Being checked up on.
• Followed or stalked
• Intimidation, attacks or violence
• Not being able to see or it’s made extremely difficult to see their family or friends
• Forced into sex
• Having money controlled or taken

Although men want the abuse to stop if children are involved they want to protect them from the impact of abuse, they might not necessarily want to end the relationship.

The main reason men don’t seek help is the fear of not being believed, embarrassment talking about the abuse, and the feeling of being “less of a man”.

Men also worry about the welfare of their partner, damaging their relationship or losing contact with their children if they opened up to someone outside their personal network of family and friends.

Often men can lack the confidence to seek help as a result of the abuse they have suffered or some are not always aware of the specialist support services available

When men do seek help it’s often when their situation reaches a crisis point. While both men and women are reluctant to seek professional help for the abuse they are experiencing there is an added barrier for men and many fear being falsely accused of being the perpetrator.

We understand and respect every person who contact us and we believe that confidentiality and a none judgemental attitude is paramount to people who are seeking help from us or other services.

Rehouse to Rehome offer a service inclusive and tailored to address the needs of diverse male survivor groups, including those who are in same sex relationships and we offer ongoing support to all survivors by professionals who are specialised and dedicated to advise support and help others.

If any person tells you that they are in a relationship that Is abusive, you can:

Listen fully and don’t interrupt.
Tell them you believe them.
Tell them the abuse is not their fault
Tell them they do not deserve to be abused

Find out how you can help them by asking.
Let them know you respect their confidentiality
Encourage them to make a safety plan.
Help them to find resources.

If a man does not want to leave his abusive partner, be patient. Understand that changing or leaving an abusive situation is not easy. Let them know that you will be there no matter what they decide to do.

The things not to do:

• Don’t overreact
• If you appear horrified or shocked, the man may stop talking
• He may feel embarrassed for being in a relationship with his partner
• Do not give advice or suggest what he should do. He may stop talking to you, especially if he doesn’t want to take your suggestions.
• Don’t criticise or blame his abusive partner because If you do, he may feel forced to defend his partner.
• He may feel embarrassed for being in a relationship with his partner.
• Do not give advice or suggest what the man should do because he may stop talking to you,
especially if he doesn’t want to or isn’t ready to take your suggestions.

If you are a man and you’re currently in, previously been or recently left an abusive relationship please know that you are not alone, we are here to support anyone who has experienced domestic abuse.
There are many men out there, and many men like you are feeling as though they are the only one to experience this sort of abuse.

It is okay to be confused and hurt. Someone you love and care about that you trusted has broken that trust, turned against you and hurt you.

You don’t have to suffer in silence we are here and so are other agencies and people who do care and can offer you help, support and advice.

Just because you are a man does not mean you are impervious to pain!

If you are no longer with an abusive partner just remember ‘you can and will get over this’.
You may find that it still gives you terrors, making it difficult think about or to establish a new relationship, learn to open up and trust someone again. It may help to talk to someone about what happened and how you feel.

Just give it time and take some time out for you, give yourself time to recover.

Remember to be hit, insulted, ridiculed, treat like a doormat, threatened, attacked, shamed in front of your mates or anyone else, told what to do, when to do it and who with, is not ok!

You do not ever deserve to be abused in any way, shape or form by anyone ever!

Is a man you know a victim? Spotting the Signs

There is a range of support and information available to help male victims of domestic abuse escape and for friends, family and work colleagues to help too. Whilst you cannot always tell what goes on behind closed doors,  there are some telltale signs and symptoms of emotional, psychological or physical  abuse.  If you notice these warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or work colleague, please think how you can help him escape.

It is key to remember that domestic abuse does not always mean physical violence – it also covers coercive and controlling behaviour, including psychological and emotional control. Some men do not suffer from violence but suffer terrible psychological and emotional abuse.

If you are unsure, please call mankind on (01823 334244) – who receive lots of calls from concerned friends and family – every call is welcome. We would suggest you also look at Survivors’ Stories page on the mankind website – is the man you know, going through the same? And of course, if there is a man you know who is in immediate danger – call the police.

The warning signs that a man could be a victim fall into four main categories:

  • Changes in behaviour or demeanour
  • Changes in physical appearance and clothing
  • Changes in contact pattern
  • Changes in work behaviour

If you are an employer and think one of your male staff is a victim – please refer to the Safe Lives Employer Guide  or the Business in the Community / Public Health England Employers’ Toolkit  


Warning Signs

Warning signs of psychological control
Men who are being abused may:
  • Seem afraid of or are anxious to please their partner
  • Go along with everything their partner says and does
  • Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
  • Are being belittled, humiliated, and humiliated – “he is a rubbish, weak men”
  • If a father’s children are persuaded by their mother to turn against him (Parental Alienation)
  • Threatened that if he leaves he will never see his children again
  • Threatened with false accusations that he is the perpetrator
  • Being convinced they are going ‘mad’ or losing their ‘mind’ (called “Gaslighting“)
  • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
  • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness
  • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident
  • Threatened that if he leaves, he will be falsely accused of carrying out domestic abuse, sexual violence and even sexual abuse against the children
  • Show major personality changes (an outgoing person becomes withdrawn)
  • Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal
  • Take up, or, increase drink or drugs usage
  • Not taking his appearance seriously (being unkempt, unhygienic)
  • Looking unwell (including lack of sleep/insomnia)
Warning signs of physical abuse:
Men who are being physically abused may:

  • Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents” (“I walked into the door again…”)
  • Frequently miss work or social occasions, without explanation
  • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)
Warning signs of isolation:
People who are being isolated by their abuser may:

  • Be restricted from seeing family and friends
  • Never or rarely goes out in public without their partner
  • Has no (or no longer has) access to social media
  • Not being able to go to or return from work on their own
  • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car

You may hear (in person or via the ‘grapevine’) from his partner that he now has no time for or dislikes his friends and family

Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or domestic abuse

If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his (and his children’s).

Talk to the person in private and let him know that you’re concerned. Point out the things you’ve noticed that make you worried. Tell the person that you’re there, whenever he feels ready to talk. Reassure the person that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let him know that you’ll help in any way you can.

Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally abused or battered are depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help to get out, yet they’ve often been isolated from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.

If you are an employer and think one of your male staff is a victim – please refer to the Public Health England Employers’ Toolkit

Do’s and Don’ts
Do: Don’t:
Ask if something is wrong Wait for him  to come to you
Express concern Judge or blame
Listen and validate (believe them) Pressure him
Offer help (build a plan) Give advice
Support his decisions Place conditions on your support
Persuade them to call helplines or the police (offer to go with him) Show any doubt
Give him confidence that their can be a positive outcome
Reassure him – he is not to blame, he is  not weak, he is not alone
Show them examples of other men this has happened to (use our Survivors’ Storiessection)
Thank you to Helpguide and Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. for some of this information
(Mankind initiative – Helping men escape domestic abuse)

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