Domestic violence also impacts men

Published 1:40 pm Friday, October 12, 2012

Letter to the Editor

In response to your article about domestic violence (Volunteers can combat domestic violence, Oct. 10), I would like to add that men can be victims of domestic violence as well.

According to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey given by the Centers for Disease Control, one in four women and one in seven men in the United States will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. There is a stigma in this country that men cannot be victims so the services available to them are limited. As a social work graduate student who works at a domestic violence agency, I am concerned by the amount of support males are able to receive. I have had calls from both homosexual and heterosexual male victims asking for support. In reality, until we raise awareness and reduce the stigma, male victims will continue to be underserved. Shelters are only for women so men end up having to go to a homeless shelter and often face discrimination even from shelter staff.

Maybe if people start to also acknowledge men as victims, there will be new programs and services established at the local, state, and national levels.

Christy Bullins,

Chapel Hill, N.C.