Men Can Be Victims of Domestic Assault
In Ontario, the police take domestic assault very seriously. Depending on the nature of the offence, domestic assault can be a serious charge. Furthermore, the law gives the Crown authority to pursue a case even if the alleged victim later wishes to drop the charges – the reasoning being that victims of domestic assault often feel pressured by their abuser to withdraw the charges.
Although most people assume women are usually the victims of domestic assault, intimate partner violence also happens to men. According to a 2010 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Justice, men were the victims of severe physical violence 40 per cent of the time. Men were also more likely to be victims of psychological abuse by an intimate partner.
Men May Not Report Assault
Men may suffer just as many instances of domestic violence as women, but they are less likely to report it, according to the Mayo Clinic. Because men are generally socialized to be strong, they may be reluctant to admit they have been abused by an intimate partner. Sadly, when police respond to a domestic assault complaint, they often assume a male partner is responsible for any injuries, even if the man has suffered injuries from being abused or attempting to defend himself. This can lead to the actual victim – the male partner – being arrested and charged with a criminal offence.
Intimate Partner Violence: Know the Signs
Men may also be less likely than women to recognize signs of abuse in their lives. Domestic violence comes in a variety of forms, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. It can take place between heterosexual and same-sex partners.
Domestic violence behaviours include:
- Possessive, jealous behaviour
- Attempts to isolate the victim from family members and friends
- Intimidation, threats
- Hitting, choking, shoving
- Controlling access to money
- Blaming the victim for violent behaviour
- Preventing the victim from going to work or leaving the home
If you are a man who has experienced intimate partner violence, and you have been charged with domestic assault, it is very important to work with an experienced criminal defence lawyer. Don’t be a victim twice – we can help.