According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1 in 16 men have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner or other family member. This number may surprise you, but as domestic violence awareness grows in Australia, we are beginning to understand it better and respond more appropriately. DV may not always be physical and the victim isn’t always female. At Respect Legal, we have supported both male and female clients who are victims of domestic abuse. If you are a male or suspect a male you know is enduring this type of abuse at home, there is help out there.
Domestic Violence can take on many forms
While domestic violence has traditionally been portrayed in the media as perpetrated by men, this is not always the case. The incorrect assumption that all men can protect themselves from harm has made it difficult for some men to come forward if they are experiencing domestic violence. Furthermore, up until recently, there has been very little media coverage and access to support services for men. This is slowly changing, however it remains challenging for men and the people around them, to recognise that they are a victim. The many types of DV that can occur at home include:
- coercive control
- physical violence
- financial abuse
- threats – ie, false allegations to the police about sexual assault or physical violence
- LGBTQ+ cases of Domestic Violence – up until recently Domestic Violence has been gendered, making it extremely hard for members of the LGBTQ+ community to acknowledge and seek help for their experience of Domestic Violence
Perpetrators of Domestic Violence may include:
- Former partners
- Step children
- Other extended family members
Signs a man you know may be experiencing Domestic Violence
- Increasingly withdrawing from friends and family
- Attending work events, family functions and social engagements less
- Bruises or other signs of physical abuse
- Needing to ask for permission to spend money
- Changes in personality – does he seem more down than usual?
What support is available right now?
While Respect Legal offers legal advice regarding specific family violence matters, there are organisations and services you can turn to if you need further support. Here are just a few:
- 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) – a telephone counselling service for both male and female victims of family violence. During your call, your counsellor may help you identify signs of abuse and help you with your first few steps in dealing with your situation
- MensLine Australia – a free telephone and online counselling service for Australian men
- Lifeline (13 11 14) – a suicide prevention service that offers 24/7 crisis support for both victims and people who are concerned about loved ones
- BeyondBlue – online and phone counselling for men who are needing mental health support
Respect Legal offers legal support and advice for all victims of Domestic Violence, no matter their gender, background or sexual orientation. If you or another family member is in immediate danger we urge you to call triple zero.
We offer free 15 minute phone consultations if you wish to discuss your personal situation with a lawyer to see how the law can help you.
About Respect Legal
Respect Legal is here to disrupt traditional ways of practicing family law through our respectful approach to dispute resolution. We focus on outcomes that strengthen families, rather than tear them apart.
Our team of highly skilled lawyers are leaders in their field who provide expert advice and guidance through complex legal processes so you can achieve an outcome that works best for you and your family.