October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
While our Castle Rock divorce attorneys understand that while women account for the vast majority of all reported domestic violence cases, men are actually victims about 40 percent of the time. Unfortunately, they are loathe to the judge – or anyone else – despite the fact that it could help their divorce case, particularly with regards to child custody.
Witnessing violence in any form, no matter who the victim, is not healthy for children, and in order to protect them, it has to be reported.
A recent study by researchers at California State University revealed that of 1,000 college females surveyed, some 30 percent admitted having assaulted their male partner. Among the reasons they gave was that their partner wasn’t listening to them, wasn’t being sensitive to their needs or that they wanted to gain their partner’s attention.
However, there is no excuse for violence.
Another study by the University of Pennsylvania looked at emergency room reports for the prior 12 months. It was revealed that 12 percent of men reported they had been assaulted by their female partner in the last year. Of those, half reported being choked, bitten, punched, kicked or had something thrown at them. Nearly 40 percent of those cases involved a weapon. And yet another study by the National Center for Disease Control reported that more than half of domestic violence assaults against men involve a weapon.
These are not women who are striking out in self-defense.
In order for male victims of domestic violence to prove their case during the divorce process, as well as protect the rest of their family, they need to do the following:
- Call the police. You may not wish to see your spouse go to jail, but this is a necessary step to documenting the abuse you have suffered.
- Request child custody evaluations, particularly from someone who is experienced in domestic violence cases. This will allow a third-party to give an impartial evaluation as to the impact of the violence on your children. Your Castle Rock divorce attorney can assist you with this.
- Seek counseling. This is not a sign of weakness. It will allow you to sort through the various conflicting emotions and find strength in clarifying what has happened and what you’re feeling about it.