Am I being abused?
“The physical or emotional or sexual mistreatment of children, (or adults)
“A rude expression intended to offend or hurt” or “cruel or inhumane treatment.”
– Princeton University; definition of ‘abuse.’
Definition of Domestic Abuse (home/office):
“Any incident or threatening behavior, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are, or have been intimate partners or are family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.”
– British Crime Survey in 2006/07
People involved in the cause to fight abuse are always amazed at how many individuals are being abused and DO NOT REALIZE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THEM because in many environments, abuse seems normal to them. The easiest way to figure out whether abuse is happening is to see how you feel when things are happening to you.
If things are going on between you and another person who has authority over you or can physically overpower you, and these things makes you feel bad, pain, scared, hurt, strange or shameful, it is a good chance that you are being abused.
TO REPORT IT OR NOT?
This is the biggest question that abuse victims and survivors ask.
Here at the PLF, we are obliged to tell you what you may expect to hear. Yes, absolutely report it! Unfortunately, there are a several things to consider if you are going to do this. It is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. We understand. We also know that if you are strong enough to survive abuse, you are brave enough to report it. So instead of a lecture on the topic, we thought we should let others who were faced with that decision in the past tell you in their own words what they did and how they felt about their decision. Then you can make a more informed choice.
11 REASONS WHY MALES DON’T DISCLOSE ABUSE
- A cultural bias maintains that males cannot be victims. Males are expected to be confident, knowledgeable, and aggressive. To be a victim means one is an inadequate male.
- If the boy’s body has responded sexually, he feels he is somehow responsible for the sexual abuse.
- Male victims of sexual abuse struggle with issues of homosexuality as most offenders are male. Their homophobia plus their confusion and fear encourage silence. Not to mention the social stigma attached to homosexuality.
- If a boy receives money for sex, he is less likely to be perceived as a victim.
- If a boy has a homosexual orientation, he is often blamed for the “seduction” of the older male, instead of being acknowledged as a legitimate victim of sexual abuse.
- Molestation by an older female is often viewed positively as a kind of “initiation rite” into manhood. Cultural pressure encourages participation while denying feelings.
- Male victims of sexual abuse, more than female victims, may fear loss of freedom and independence if the sexual abuse should be made public.
- Fear of reprisals from the offender plays a role in under-reporting.
- When boys are victimized, they tend to be blamed more for their abuse and are viewed as less in need of care and support.
- Boys fear negative judgment by family and friends.
- Embarrassment and/or confusion prevent male victims of sexual abuse from disclosing.
I AM TOO LATE TO REPORT IT?
If you wait too long to report these crimes, the statute of limitations may pass and you may not get justice for the abuse inflicted on you. Keep in mind that if you were abused even 20 years ago, that abuser could still be abusing others. It is never too late to take action. Laws in different states in the US, or in different countries, are very different. Do your research or you may call your local law enforcement agency anonymously to find out what your local statutes of limitations are.
If you are too late for your own justice and the statute of limitations is passed for crimes against you, there are always civil cases. You may be able to receive a settlement that will pay for, among other things, your therapy. If you are interested in this, you need to contact what is called a Civil Litigation Attorney.
An interesting forum on the topic is here.
WHY REPORT THIS FACTS
About half of the male victims’ reasons and a third of the female victims’ reasons for not reporting their intimate partner victimization to the police was because it was a “private or personal matter.” While this reason was the most often given by both male and female victims, it was given by male victims in a significantly higher percentage than female victims.
US Deptartment of Justice
It’s only been in the past few years that the battered male syndrome has gotten serious attention. The latest percentage of battered men was placed at approximately 36% or roughly 835,000 of the 2.3 million abuse cases reported yearly. Researchers believe that those figures are far from accurate for the obvious reason that most men are very reluctant to admit they have been victims of abuse.
Harvey P. Forehand
We see that 54 percent of the females, but only 42 percent of the males reported their rape victimizations to the police.
National Crime and Victimization Survey, NCVS
Book: A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer See what happened to a real boy when the people did the right thing and reported his unbelievable case of child abuse. All male abuse survivors should get some Dave Pelzer in their life.
He also has a great web site and radio show.