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Yes, Men Get Abused Too


man subway
You never know what is happening in his world, until he tells you. If he does tell you his pain, his trauma, his hidden life, will you believe him? If you do believe him, will you know how to support him? Will your community support him?

Yes, men get abused too, and it's time we openly discuss this hidden issue. For far too long, abuse against men has been a hush-hush topic, with many people unwilling to acknowledge that it even exists. But guess what? It does, and it's time to break the silence and create safe spaces for men to find support and acceptance.

While it may seem that people are unaware that men can be victims of abuse just as women can, I personally believe that this is a learned societal norm that is part of the epidemic of men being told to "toughen up" and "be a man". The reality is that men suffer in silence, afraid to speak up and seek help because they fear being ridiculed or dismissed. So they sit in the empty vessel of shame and fear slowly losing themselves into the darkness within, retreating from the world.

I once sat witness to the reality of a man being abused and was sickened by him sharing that he and his children had no where to turn. In his words, "I called the domestic abuse hotline and was told that there were no resources open to men in my situation. They had nowhere to shelter a man fleeing physical violence with children. In essence I was turned away and it left me empty and distant without the support of even the agency designed to help."

I've sat often rethinking that conversation and how difficult that call must have been for him. I know how breathless I was when I called the hotline and asked for help, direction, guidance, support of what steps to take next...suffice it to say, that phone call took my breath and I could barely whisper to the person on the other end of the phone about my situation. While I was given welcoming help and started building my exit plan, he was turned away knowing that he and his children were still subject to physical violence. My soul felt his fear and confusion.

Every person you walk past during your day has a story they are living that you know nothing about. Are all the men you know safe? I am not talking only physical abuse either, though that's certainly a significant issue, men may also experience emotional and psychological abuse, as well as financial and even sexual abuse and sit within it not knowing what to do or how to escape. Feeling too ashamed to speak up because society tells us all that "men don't get abused" and if they are tangled up with a female narcissist that women will use the legal system to her advantage at the first sign of the relationship fracturing.

While abuse is a hidden reality for more people than most accept, society is beginning to see that men may indeed be victims of abuse. There is a growing movement to provide mental-emotional support for men in families of abuse. Is this support to the extent of safe shelters yet? I have not personally seen that level of assistance in place, however, I am really glad to be witness to many mental-emotional health organizations that are building safe spaces for men to come together and find an environment where shame might be eased and even erased while they are given the right to express and feel any and all emotions.

man and therapist
Therapy is key to healing from abuse.

In acknowledging that yes, men get abused too we create opportunities for leaders and healers to begin taking steps to address the signs of abuse and allocate resources to help men and their families in need. This will also help dismantle toxic masculinity.

By understanding that men who are in abusive relationships might have links to childhood traumas, sexual abuse, alcoholism, narcissistic mother, or father and much more we can begin to see the how he may have come see abuse, trauma, chaos as normal. Any mental-physical-emotional wounds to the man suffered as a child will be carried within him until he faces those and heals them.

Boys who were abused are likely to repeat the cycle of abuse as adult men. No this does not necessarily mean they will grow up to be abusers, it can mean they are going to grow up to be victims too. I recall thinking I was raising victims or abusers and that changing that reality laid only in my hands. It was my duty to create a different life for myself and my children, mainly because I was the one who saw it and wanted it stopped.

Cycles of abuse will travel through families until someone is courageous enough to say to hell with society! I am ending the abuse! These people reach out and ask for help. Their success largely depends on how communities are set up to help them through and out of the trauma.

Building safe spaces for men (and all people) to exit abuse and find temporary aid, in addition to legal support, safe shelter for him and his children and access to therapy should be a priority for all communities if we truly want to bear witness to healthier families and the societal benefits of the nuclear family.

How can you help break the stigma that men are always the abuser and never the abused? You can begin by educating yourself about how to support someone who is struggling with vulnerable conversations. Listen without judgement or shame. Encourage men to express their emotions and seek help when they need it. File police reports and getting a restraining order will be critical to them in breaking free of abuse.

sad children
Men with children who are being abused must be supported by communities who want healthier families.

You are the integral part of breaking the social stigma surrounding men's mental-emotional health and building the safety for men being abused to exit the relationship. You are the crucial element in helping them break toxic cycles of trauma and even generational trauma.

Please encourage conversations about this crucial topic and work with others to create a safer, more supportive community. Because when we stand up against abuse in all its forms, we're not only helping individual victims, their children and families—we're also creating a healthier, happier society for us all.

By Nita Kruger

Generational Healer for her family

NOTE: While this article is written from the perspective of heterosexual men, it is crucial to state that abuse is not selective or subjective and men (and women) of all sexualities can suffer from abusive relationships and the support of the community must not discriminate. People who need help; need help.

HELP: Get my book releasing July 2023 Narcissistic Abuse GTFO 15 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO HELP YOU BREAK FREE OF AND RECOVER FROM NARCISSISTIC ABUSE WHILE UNDERSTANDING AND FACING CODEPENDENT BEHAVIORS for help and support breaking free of abuse. This gives the tools and support I needed when I first discovered I needed to call a hotline and ask for help... - Nita Kruger

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