Healthy Lifestyle

Domestic Violence: Gender Natured, Not Gender Specific

Published: Oct. 13, 2021

Research shows that men are more likely than women to be arrested for domestic violence, and they’re also likely to be treated more harshly by the criminal justice system. Research also suggests that when men are the victims of domestic violence, they rarely report it. There are a variety of reasons for this:

  • Men have been socialized to suppress their pain and fear.
  • Men assume no one will take their allegation seriously.
  • Men aren’t aware that there’s support available for them.

It’s important to note that domestic violence can happen to anyone. In fact, one in three women and one in four men have been the victims of physical domestic violence. And while physical abuse is usually a component of domestic violence, there are many different ways someone may try to obtain power and control over a spouse or partner.

Types of Domestic Violence

Physical abuse may include:
  • Denial of physical needs (food, water and sleep)
  • Forcible physical restraint (being held down or locked in a room)
  • Hitting, punching, slapping and/or kicking
  • Strangulation
  • Stabbing and/or shooting
  • Drowning

Statistic: Almost half of female murder victims and nearly 5% of male murder victims are killed by intimate partners.

Psychological abuse may include:
  • Constant blaming, accusing and name-calling
  • Repeated insults and criticism
  • Public humiliation
  • Threats of harm (against the victim, the victim’s children or the victim’s pets)

Statistic: More than 48% of women and almost 49% percent of men have experienced at least one psychologically aggressive behavior by an intimate partner.

Economic abuse may include:
  • Placing unfair limits on money and/or credit cards
  • Using the victim’s checkbook or ATM card without their knowledge
  • Preventing the victim from going to work or causing the victim to lose a job
  • Forcing the victim to sign financial documents
  • Demanding a lease, mortgage or assets be in the abuser’s name

Statistic: Four in 10 women and four in 10 men have experienced one form of coercive control (manipulation, economic control, deprivation of liberty) by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Sexual abuse may include:
  • Forcing unwanted sexual experiences
  • Forcing sex with others
  • Making false accusations of infidelity
  • Engaging in affairs and then boasting about it to the victim
  • Placing conditions on sexual contact or withholding sex altogether

Statistic: Nearly 21% of female high school students and more than 13% of male high school students report being sexually abused by a dating partner.

Support for Survivors

Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital have a team of specially trained nurses who care for all victims of domestic violence. They provide a medical-forensic exam to evaluate and document injuries. They also provide community resources as well as follow-up medical recommendations.

If you’re concerned about a loved one’s safety, reach out to them! Simply being a steadfast friend is key to a survivor’s healing process.

More Resources

About the Author

Jen Tran, RN, SANE, Methodist SANE/SART Program coordinator, says she is inspired every day by the passion and tirelessness of her fellow Methodist SANE nurses. She is also inspired by the community and the way everyone pulls together to try to put an end to sexual assault and domestic violence. 

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