Just like women, men also experience intimate partner violence and leaving can be
challenging. It is imperative that we educate ourselves as a community on the
obstacles that male abuse victims face, so we can empathize with their thoughts and
feelings, which is critical in helping them take steps to heal from the trauma they have

Society’s beliefs and attitudes towards men has enabled abuse against men in intimate
relationships be kept hidden and because of these beliefs men who are abused by
female partners may not admit it or seek help. Our culture commonly conditions men
from an early age to believe that it is not masculine to ask for help, admit hurt, or
claim to be a victim of any sort. Men have been made to believe that it is embarrassing
for men to have allowed a woman to abuse them.

Men who are viewed as “weak” or “unmanly” may face discrimination across multiple
sectors of life, the results of which can be devastating and which makes it difficult for
men to leave an abusive relationship. These underlying mindsets and belief systems
hinder male victims from seeking help.

Fear of loosing children, fear of being shamed and not believed, loss of assets and
financial security and fear of being viewed as the perpetrator of violence in the
relationship makes men stay in abusive relationships. Men may also feel guilty for
leaving an abusive relationship because it may be viewed as abandonment. They may
also have hope for the relationship and will stay to try to change their partner’s

While violence against men is not talked about as much as violence against women,
society is beginning to recognize and study the abuse of men by their partners which is
crucial in building resiliency and facilitating healing in the lives of those traumatized
by violence in our society.