LET’S TALK ABOUT MALE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
The perception often when you hear of a domestic abuse case, is that the victim is a woman. In South Africa sadly in these cases that often end tragically, it is a woman that is the victim.
However, here in South Africa, there are male victims too. Many of these cases are seldom reported though as men are not supposed to show pain and are laughed off. A male SGBV survivor risks social stigmatization, ridicule and isolation.
NIPSV Survey in the US, 8.2% of men experienced “contact sexual violence” (a term which includes rape, FTP cases, sexual coercion, and/or unwanted sexual contact) from an intimate partner during their lifetime (Smith et al., 2018, p. 9) – Mankind UK
According to the South African Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, sexual offences are gender-neutral. They allow legal recourse for men and boys who have experienced GBV.
Even though protection by law exists for the LGBT+ community in South Africa, discrimination against the community continues. As such, those affected by Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in the LGBT+ community are often hesitant to bring report abuse.
Furthermore, with the stigma that remains rampant in society associated with IPV (regardless of sexuality) and homosexuality, many opt not to report partner abuse for fear of self-identifying as members of the LGBT+ community and survivors of IPV. Thus avoiding homophobia and rejection by family and society. For these reasons, there is limited data or research on the impact of IPV within the LGBT+ community.
TYPES OF ABUSE THAT MEN SUFFER:
- Coercive Control
- Financial Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Psychological Abuse
LONG-TERM PERSONAL IMPACT
- Physical scars
- Substance Abuse
- Violent Behaviour
The abuse men experience is no different from the type of domestic abuse that affects women. Additionally in South Africa, men do not only suffer abuse at the hands of other men but at times at the hands of their wives too.
Men that are survivors of abuse need to be heard by friends and family. Do not silence or marginalise men that have the courage to speak up about their abuse by mocking or minimizing their experience. Assist them in finding support.
Should you be in an abusive relationship or a survivor of abuse needing to speak to someone about IPV, please reach out to these organizations for support:
Childline (in cases of abused children)
SAPS on 10111