Male victims urged to report domestic abuse
Men must overcome social stigmas and let police know when they are victims of domestic abuse, an expert said.
Darius Richardson, the guest speaker on a public Zoom forum on domestic abuse on Saturday, said help was at hand for men in abusive relationships.
He said: “The victim needs to call the police and do the right thing. A woman gets punched by a man she calls the police. A guy should do the same thing.”
Mr Richardson, the head facilitator for men's support group Change Your Mind, Change Your Life, said: “Some men think it is embarrassing if they go to the police station.
“They feel like they will be laughed at. It is embarrassing to take licks from a woman. They think if someone reads a newspaper story about a man being abused, then he must be a ‘punk' or a ‘sissy' or something.
“It feels unbalanced. But the law is the law.”
The forum was set up a day before Father's Day by Tina Laws, the founder of domestic violence support group Under Konstruction, in collaboration with the Foreign Women Club of Bermuda and its founder Shervonne Hollis.
Ms Laws said: “You need to file a complaint, so that if anything happens down the road you would have a track record of what you have been dealing with.”
One in nine American men experiences severe physical violence, sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Victims can suffer from fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder and contraction of sexually transmitted diseases. One in 71 men have been raped.
The Zoom chat covered related topics including fostering healthy relationships with children and identifying abuser traits.
Mr Richardson said men should look out for warning signs in potential abusers. “Alcohol and drugs are big red flags,” he said.
“If you see that person trying to be smart to other people, you could be put in your place soon.
“Look at her family — if her daddy is abusive for instance, she might go on to do the same.
“Some people seem too good to be true. They like everything you like and that can be a red flag.
“Or they can be mean to animals, which can show the viciousness of a person.”
Mr Richardson, an EMT and former corrections officer, encouraged male victims to reach out.
“You deserve better, come to me,” he said. “Be more afraid of staying in that situation. Your heart, your self-esteem are getting damaged. Humble yourself and make contact. We have a team that will guide you through this.”
• For more information about Change Your Mind, Change Your Life, visit https://www.facebook.com/lifechangingmind or call 333-1367