Man after argument

"Men of all ages experience relationship violence. Understanding that abuse is not limited to physical violence reduces misconceptions about domestic abuse."

While there is always a challenge to provide adequate health and social services to those in need in the community, health and social services geared to boys and men are particularly under-developed.

The 2014 General Social Survey on Family Violence of Statistics Canada revealed that 418,000 men experienced domestic abuse within the preceding five years [1], which equates to about 28,000 men in the Greater Vancouver area, for example.

Despite high levels of victimization among men, they are significantly less likely to access essential support services like counselling, crisis centres, victim services or domestic abuse shelters. Statistics Canada reported that male victims of spousal violence were four times less likely to receive formal support services from some sectors and received no support at all from others. [2]

Men of all ages experience relationship violence. For example, a recent study conducted largely by The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University researchers report high rates of dating violence committed against adolescent boys. [3]

Recognizing the issue:

Perceived and real barriers often prevent men from seeking help. Social norms, stereotypes and popularized views of men and masculinity can impede men experiencing crisis from seeking help.

Experiences of men in crisis vary widely and victims of abuse can experience multiple forms. Thus, understanding that abuse is not limited to physical violence reduces the misconceptions surrounding intimate partner abuse and male victims.

Some examples of abuse may include:

  • Having felt manipulated or diminished by your intimate partner.
  • Feeling like you have no access to your own or shared finances.
  • Feeling obligated to stay in a bad situation because of religious or cultural expectations.
  • Feeling isolated from friends or family by your significant other.
  • Being coerced to take part in sexual acts without full consent.
  • Being physically attacked by your partner or by someone encouraged to do so by your partner.

Practical Tips:

To determine if you are in an abusive relationship, it’s important to understand the definition of abuse, sexual abuse, and know the misconceptions surrounding abuse in male victims.

Talk to your support system – this can include friends, family, or colleagues. Chances are, if you are in an abusive situation, other people may know it too.

CCMF understands that men who have been in abusive relationships need a non-judgmental and compassionate space to begin the process of healing.

We recognize that it’s difficult for men who have experienced family or relationship violence/abuse to find the assistance and services that they need.

We are proud to offer a 13-week recovery program, offered in a peer-support format. It is designed to serve all male-identified people who are victims of domestic violence, domestic abuse, and/or intimate partner violence.

This program is the first of its kind in Canada and offers positive, affirming and confidential support dedicated to men and men’s experience of domestic abuse. It will help men to acquire the skills, coping strategies, and resources to get through difficult times.

Our highest priority is ensuring the group environment is compassionate for all men attending regardless of sexual orientation, identification, religion, race, ethnicity, background or experiences.

Individuals outside of British Columbia can also contact CCMF centres in other areas of Canada. We have locations in Calgary, London, Ottawa, York and Toronto.

If you are at serious risk of harm or danger – please call your local police. Remember – filling police reports are voluntary. There are many factors in deciding whether to pursue legal action following domestic violence.

We recommend accessing the support of services such as the Victim Services or social service programs such as the CCMF Legal Clinic. Victim services can provide assistance and are trained to support male survivors who wish to explore options through the justice system.


Guest Author:

Tai Chatur is an advocate for mental health accessibility and as the Executive Director at the Canadian Centre for Men and Families (CCMF Youtube). He aims to help destigmatize help-seeking among boys and men, while raising awareness and providing social care programs to those in need. He manages operations at the CCMF virtual centre and leads plans for the development of a physical facility with in-house programs in Vancouver, BC.

insta @psych_tai_chatur

References:

  1. Marta Burczycka. (2014). Trends in self-reported spousal violence in Canada. Statistics Canada.
  2. Burczycka, Statistics Canada.
  3. Shaffer, C.S., Adjei, J., Viljoen, J.L., Douglas, K.S., & Saewyc, E.M. (2018). Ten-Year Trends in Physical Dating Violence Victimization Among Adolescent Boys and Girls in British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

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