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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 this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Worried Friend


    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.

    Sincerely,
    Diva Rebecca

    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.