The perceptions of physically abused male victims are quite different than that of physically abused female victims. In heterosexual relationships, female victims are perceived to have more serious needs warranting immediate attention than abused male victims. Dennison & Thompson (2011) found that female victims “were recommended to take more actions involving seeking external supports, ending the relationship, and seeking criminal justice responses when the perpetrator was male” (p.361). In addition, male victims of physical and psychological abuse may not be taken seriously when the perpetrator is a female (Dennison & Thompson, 2011).
I found an article that illustrates a husband being victimized by his wife. David explains how his wife would belittle him, blame him if anything went wrong, physically abuse him, and even forced him to have sex (David’s story, n.d.). When David told his mother what was going on in his marriage, his mother responded with “what are you doing to make her behave that way?” After several years David’s wife left him, and his friends and family blamed him for the breakup (David’s story, n.d.). These perceptions of David’s family and friends left him with the understanding that it was useless to tell anyone the truth of the dynamics that happened within his marriage. He felt that no one would believe him, but rather they would place blame or fault on him for the abuse. (David’s story, n.d.).
On the other hand, I found an article of a woman describing her physical abuse from her boyfriend. Kay’s boyfriend continued to physically abuse her and stalk her for 10 years. When Kay made the decision to leave her boyfriend, the police were very helpful. According to Davey (2016), Kay stated “when I did actually put my hand up and go to the police station they realized the gravity of the situation and I felt that they reached out, grabbed my hand and were not going to let go until they knew I was safe.” With the perceptions of female victims taken more seriously, this could have given Kay the incentive to report her abuse and leave the relationship.
Davey, M. (2016). The most dangerous time. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/society/ng-interactive…
David’s story. (n.d.). Domestic violence resource centre Victoria. Retrieved from http://www.dvrcv.org.au/stories/true-stories/stori…
Dennison, S. M., & Thompson, C. M. (2011). Intimate partner violence: The effect of gender and contextual factors on community perceptions of harm, and suggested victim and criminal justice responses. Violence and Victims, 26(3), 347–363.
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