Tuesday, 13 March 2012


Let me introduce myself.  I’m the silent victim.  To the outside world, I had the perfect life: a well respected spouse,  a job that carried great status, a delightful young family, surely everything one could have wished for .  However, no –one knew or very few people realised what went on behind closed doors.  For years, I was the silent victim.  I suffered severe emotional, physiological, mental and physical abuse.  For years I made excuses for the perpetrator to myself - it must have been my fault.  For years, I stayed silent to protect my children.  This is my story which has taken nearly 20 years to tell, I now have a voice.   Why has it taken me so long? Domestic abuse no longer carries the stigma it once did.  1 in 4 woman will be a victim of domestic abuse and  on average 2 women a week are killed by a partner or former partner.  As a result, there exists in England and Wales, over 7,500 refuge places available for women fleeing abusive relationships.  Help and support is readily available .  So why did I remain silent for so long allowing the abuse to severe impact my whole life?

There ‘s one minor detail I did not mention, I’m a man.  I’m not the stereotypical image you may think of for a beaten husband.  I’m not weak, I’m not weedy, I’m not a person who can’t stand up for myself.  I consider myself a man’s man.  I played football and rugby. I have my fair amount of playground fights with other lads when at school.  If a man hit me the likelihood is that I’d fight back.  I’m a man with values and principles and a conscience.  Despite whatever provocation I never hit back, I never responded with violence because hitting a female is wrong on all levels and two wrongs never make one right.  I’m not alone, there are many more silent victims out there, struggling to put on a brave face.  Many stay because of the lack of belief that male spousal abuse takes place.  Society, in particular, is weighed against the father fleeing from the martial home and so many men keep quiet for fear of losing their children.  Is it really that bad? 

Denis Campbell of The Observer  reported the following on Sunday 5 September 2010:

More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals

Campaign group Parity claims assaults by wives and girlfriends are often ignored by police and media

About two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men, contradicting the widespread impression that it is almost always women who are left battered and bruised, a new report claims.

Men assaulted by their partners are often ignored by police, see their attacker go free and have far fewer refuges to flee to than women, says a study by the men’s rights campaign group Parity.

The charity's analysis of statistics on domestic violence shows the number of men attacked by wives or girlfriends is much higher than thought. Its report, Domestic Violence: The Male Perspective, states: "Domestic violence is often seen as a female victim/male perpetrator problem, but the evidence demonstrates that this is a false picture."

Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09.

Similar or slightly larger numbers of men were subjected to severe force in an incident with their partner, according to the same documents. The figure stood at 48.6% in 2006-07, 48.3% the next year and 37.5% in 2008-09, Home Office statistics show.

The 2008-09 bulletin states: "More than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures are equivalent to an estimated 4.5 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.6 million male victims."

In addition, "6% of women and 4% of men reported having experienced domestic abuse in the past year, equivalent to an estimated one million female victims of domestic abuse and 600,000 male victims".

Campaigners claim that men are often treated as "second-class victims" and that many police forces and councils do not take them seriously. "Male victims are almost invisible to the authorities such as the police, who rarely can be prevailed upon to take the man's side," said John Mays of Parity. "Their plight is largely overlooked by the media, in official reports and in government policy, for example in the provision of refuge places – 7,500 for females in England and Wales but only 60 for men."

The official figures underestimate the true number of male victims, Mays said. "Culturally it's difficult for men to bring these incidents to the attention of the authorities. Men are reluctant to say that they've been abused by women, because it's seen as unmanly and weak."

The number of women prosecuted for domestic violence rose from 1,575 in 2004-05 to 4,266 in 2008-09. "Both men and women can be victims and we know that men feel under immense pressure to keep up the pretence that everything is OK," said Alex Neil, the housing and communities minister in the Scottish parliament. "Domestic abuse against a man is just as abhorrent as when a woman is the victim."


  1. Hi!

    My name is Crystal, and I'm the author of "Shout the Secret: A Survivor's Guide Through Domestic Violence and How to Thrive In Its Aftermath"... and a domestic violence survivor.

    I love what you're doing with this blog (raising the awareness of domestic violence as it pertains to male victims) and would like to offer a complimentary post.

    If interested, email me at crystal@shoutthesecret.com and we'll arrange a topic (if you want something specific) and deadline.

    Thank you for supporting this cause and raising your voices.

    Crystal Schwindt

  2. The story this man relates sounds so familiar it could have been written by me. The Police refused to enforce a PFA granted by the court and yet refused to defend me, rather I was told to "Leave the house, isn't your health more important than your property". So now I find myself facing another Back surgery and nearly everything I owned is gone or vandalized. She has my children most of the time, who previous to filing for divorce I cared for almost by myself. My income has been garnished from my bank account that she now takes 2/3rds, leaving me unable to support my home. She violates the courts order for visitation and they do nothing, actually taking more money and giving me even less time with my children. All of my abuse from her is documented, she has not a single incident of abuse by me and yet she is allowed to play "victim" with the court siding with her at every turn. I stayed in an abusive relationship for 6 years and when I sought help, I got none. My name is Don Reitmeyer. I live in Danville, PA. I see no sense in fighting against a biased system. I will soon be homeless. The only people prospering are my abusive ex wife who lives in subsidized housing and pays no bills, and the attorney's who keep the game alive. The Laws need changed to reflect reality and statistics. Anyone who can offer advice or assistance would be greatly appreciated. reitme@verizon.net
    Thank You.