Psychiatric News released an article in 2007 about how men shouldn't be overlooked as victims of abusive relationships. They said: "These days, women can do virtually anything a man can—working as doctors, lawyers, and rocket scientists; flying helicopters in combat; riding horses in the Kentucky Derby. And physically assaulting their spouses or partners."
In fact, a study about nonreciprocal violence found that around 70 percent are perpetrated by women. This means women are beating up their boyfriends (or husbands), and men aren't fighting back.
Before we tell you what to do when you're trapped in this kind of relationship, it's important to know why some women hit their partners. Dr. Joy-Alvi R. Arañas, counseling psychologist from Pathways Counseling and Assessment Center, explains that this has something to do with how she was raised by her parents.
"Children adapt the observable behaviors of their parents. They learn how to establish relationships and handle stressful situations from their parents or significant others. Children who experienced frequent violence in the family may feel insecure and often tends to manifest a strong need to control others," Dr. Arañas says. It is also possible that she was previously a victim of domestic violence and tends to perceived men as the "aggressor."
If you want to save the relationship, Dr. Arañas recommends opening up the channels of communication between you and your partner. It may not come easy to talk about this matter with her considering the situation, but this will definitely help both of you to build a better and healthy relationship.
"Communication is a significant factor in any kind of relationship. However, perfect timing has to be considered. Try talking to her when she calms down. Be honest with how the abusive behavior affects you as a person and the relationship," he advises.
Never, ever think of hitting her back. Just because she physically abuses you doesn't mean you have the right to do the same to her. Our psychologist says: "Retaliation will aggravate the situation."
"Men may be charged of violating RA 9262 or also known as The Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004 if harm is inflicted on women," warns Dr. Arañas. "It is also important to note that abusive women are inclined to use power to provoke their partner in order to give in to their demands."
Stay calm and don't let your emotions control you. If you can leave the situation, do so—"It is important to show disapproval of such behavior," says Dr. Arañas.
You might not want anyone to know your situation because it's embarrassing or people might assume that since you're the man, you are the perpetrator and not the victim. However, informing a trusted family member or a friend can help you prevent more harmful situations that may arise. If this doesn't work, it's best to encourage her to seek counseling and psychotherapy to help her manage her emotions and behavior.
"Considering the fact that the cycle of violence is a complex issue that is difficult to break, the abusive person needs professional help to resolve her conflicts that affects her current state of being. Making her realize that admitting her mistakes is the first step to restore her brokenness and renew her self-worth is important," Dr. Arañas explains. However, you have to bear in mind that you cannot help someone who doesn't see any problem about her.
If all else fails, then it might be time to walk away from the relationship. "It's better to move on without her. Keep in mind that whatever past mistakes you’ve done, you do not deserve to be abused. Human as we are, we need a loving relationship that values respect and freedom," concludes our behavioral expert.
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