When you hear someone talking about domestic violence, typically you assume the victim is a woman and the abuser is a man. But you might find it surprising that men aren’t immune to domestic violence.

Also known as Intimate Partner Violence or Spousal Abuse, domestic violence is extremely complicated and a multi-faceted issue. While studies show that women are victimized more often, men can be victims, too. Unfortunately, when both partners are violent towards each other, it’s often hard to determine which one is the core abuser and which one is the primary victim. However, domestic violence against male victims can include physical, emotional and sexual abuse and/or threats of abuse and can occur in both same-sex and heterosexual relationships. Thanks to ongoing studies, some surprising statistics about men and domestic violence are slowly being uncovered.

What Is Domestic Violence, Exactly?

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence includes willful intimidation, battery, physical assault, sexual assault, emotional abuse, threats and/or other abusive behavior. It is part of a methodical pattern of control and power committed by one spouse, significant other or intimate partner against the other. There isn’t a “typical victim.” It’s a proven fact that anyone can fall victim to domestic abuse; no matter their age, background, education level, ethnicity, economic level, religion, lifestyle, or sex.

Stats about Domestic Violence Against Men

The Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control began compiling domestic violence data in 2010 for its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. While the data confirmed that women have a higher risk of becoming a victim of domestic violence, it also exposed some unexpected statistics concerning men and their roles as victims of violence.

  • 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. This includes being beaten, hit with fists or hit with or slammed against something hard.
  • Just like women, nearly half of all men in the U.S. have experienced psychological aggression from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • At some point in their lifetime, more than 1 in 4 men in the U.S. have experienced physical violence, rape and/or stalking by an intimate partner.
  • Of the men who were stalked, 1 in 18 were stalked to the point they believed that either themselves or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
  • Of the total male domestic violence victims, 92.1% experienced physical violence alone, but 6.3% of male victims experienced both physical violence and stalking.

These numbers, while surprising, could be even higher, since it’s commonly thought that many men don’t report domestic abuse. The reasons behind not reporting are often similar to those of women. However, men often face embarrassment in addition, because they’re “supposed to be” the stronger partner, which also leads to worry over disbelief and role reversals where he’s actually accused of being the abuser.

Domestic Violence Statistics in Virginia

In Virginia, NCADV reported the state’s domestic violence statistics from 2012 data, which included:

  • Virginia law enforcement took 17,664 reports of domestic violence crimes, with many more going unreported.
  • 117 Virginia citizens were killed in domestic violence-related homicides, which comprised 34% of all homicides in the state that year.
  • At any given time, Virginia police departments estimate that there are approximately 31,000 active protective orders on file in the state.

While these numbers don’t differentiate between male and female victims, from the stats provided from the CDC survey, you could assume the percentages may be similar within the state itself.

Look to a Top Domestic Abuse Lawyer

While domestic violence against females is admittedly more common, sometimes the woman is the abuser, not the abused. Because men are traditionally thought of as being physically stronger than women, you might feel your abuse will be minimized. Again, you might be less likely to report the abuse due to embarrassment or fear you won’t be believed or accused of wrongdoing yourself. The Mint Press reported that some researchers estimated that approximately 20% of men who call the police to report an abusive spouse are themselves arrested for domestic abuse.

If you’ve been a victim of domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) can provide crisis intervention and resource referrals. There are also many domestic violence programs in Virginia for those seeking help.

If you’re accused of domestic abuse in Virginia, the consequences can be far-reaching and affect your personal, financial, and professional life. If you’ve been wrongly accused of committing domestic violence against your partner, call The Firm For Men’s Virginia Beach office at 757-383-9184. We’ve been serving Hampton Roads for over a decade with a dedication to fighting for men’s rights in domestic disputes. Our firm can provide you with the legal representation you need, whether you’re the victim of spousal abuse or the accused abuser.

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