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Spousal abuse: not just a problem for women

When it comes to domestic violence, women and children are most often the ones who are affected. However, women can also abuse their partners physically and emotionally. The issue of domestic violence against men is not as widely discussed in Florida and elsewhere, but that does not mean it is any less grave of a problem.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline claims domestic violence against men may be more common than you think. About 10 percent of men in the United States each year report being victimized by their partners, and almost half of men have reportedly been psychologically abused by a partner. Because many men do not report abuse, the statistics may be higher.

Common ways women may abuse men

Your partner may not be as physically strong as you, or she may know you would not strike back at a woman, even in self-defense. Many women make up for a physical disadvantage by attacking their spouses while they are asleep, by using a weapon or by threatening to harm the children or pets. They could also use psychological abuse methods, such as manipulation, isolation, jealousy and public ridicule.

Unique challenges men face for reporting abuse

You might be afraid you will not be believed if you report a physical attack to the authorities, or you will be ridiculed for not being able to defend yourself. Your spouse could also turn the situation around and make a false accusation of abuse against you. These situations are not unheard of, unfortunately. It may help to gather evidence of the abuse against you and keep a journal of the psychological tactics and behavior your spouse exhibits.

You have the right to stand up for yourself and protect your children from an abusive partner. Doing so does not make you any less of a man.

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