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Dear Diva Rebecca,
I have a friend that is involved in a verbal and physically abusive
relationship. He wants to get out and then file for divorce but financially
he is unable to. Is there programs out there that can help him like there
is for women. He says he might be able to move out by the end of this year
but I am afraid that she will turn violent and start throwing more things
at him such as a wine bottle she threw at his head which thankfully missed.
Please let me know what can be done for him. Thank you for your help on
Dear Troubled Friend,
What a great question. I think this is the first time I have received an
email regarding a man in an abusive relationship. And it is interesting
that you, his female friend, is the person who has emailed me with the
request. Most men in his position have a hard time verbalizing that they
are being abused. It might make a man feel weak or belittled to admit that
his woman is abusing him physically and/or verbally. And this presents an
even bigger problem because it will prevent this man from seeking help
because he is too embarrassed to talk about it.
The whole stigma of a man in an abusive relationship is a shame. People
tend to assume that just because women are generally smaller and weaker than
a man that she would be unable to inflict pain or cause harm to a man, and
that any man should easily be able to defend himself against his wife or
girlfriend. However, here lies one of the major problems. If a woman is
being physically abusive, there is not much the man can do besides leave.
He can not defend himself with force. If he defends himself by hitting
back, he immediately puts himself in the guilty position. Everyone would
assume that he is the aggressor. How dare he hit a woman, someone who was
smaller (even if she was wielding a butcher's knife). Next, even if the
only thing a man could do was to defend himself by using his own physical
strength, not many men would be willing to do so. Most men would never be
able to bring themselves to harm a woman, even if she is a psychotic bitch
with fireballs shooting out of her eyes. And if the police showed up to
quell a domestic problem, even if the entire time she was the aggressor, you
know who is going to jail, right? She might be off to jail as well, but if the man does
something as simple as trying to restrain his girl who is physically abusing
him, the act of holding her down will instantly send him to jail. It is a
sad truth that many men deal with on a daily basis.
What your friend needs to do is leave and leave immediately. He should do
so when his wife is not in the house. During a physically abusive
relationship, violence is always escalated when the abused party is trying
to leave. This is because "leaving" will break that little idea of
"control" which the abuser thinks she has on the situation. The minute she
knows he is trying to leave is the very same minute she will blow. And this
is when he does not want to be in the house. In most instances when a woman
is killed by her abusive male partner, it is when she is trying to leave. I would imagine the same goes for men in abusive relationship, however, this
information should be used to demonstrate how critical it is that your
friend leaves when his wife is not around.
The next thing he needs to do is document every single instance of abuse.
Every time he speaks with his wife he should tape record it, file police
reports if he needs to about specific abusive acts, ask friends to be
witnesses if they have ever seen an instance of abuse and he should hire a
lawyer. He also needs to file a restraining order citing abuse. He needs
to be the first one to do this. If he files for this restraining order
right away, it will put the law on his side very quickly.
Unfortunately, there are very few resources available for men in abusive
relationships. One of the best ones on the net is http://www.safe4all.org/
This is a free organization where he can find help for men, from men, about
being in an abusive relationship. I wish him the very best of luck.
Not everyone will agree with me, everyone has their own opinion.|
What would your advice be?
Be respectful and courteous. Rude remarks and slander of any kind will be removed.