Domestic Violence refers to certain types of violence between two people who share a qualifying relationship under that specific statute. Under New Jersey law, these types of violence include, but are not limited to sexual assault, harassment, assault, and burglary.
It is a common notion that this type of violence requires a male aggressor and a female victim—but that is far from accurate. A recent study from 2011 by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey concluded that over 5,000,000 males were victims of intimate partner and sexual violence while the number for females reached about 4,700,000.
Society has consistently depicted males as dominant and controlling figures while females are painted as helpless victims. However, this observation is rather inaccurate. Both men and women can be victims in domestic disputes but, unfortunately, this legal system is severely lacking in providing programs and services to male victims. Society is fully educated in the dangers of violence towards females and provides programs such as women’s shelters and assistance from advocates in the county.
When it comes to programs provided for male victims, statistics have shown that accessing those programs were either unhelpful or offered no help because they were intended specifically for women. Even when trying to seek police involvement against their aggressor female partners, men are more likely to experience dismissal of their concerns based solely on the fact that they are male. In some cases, if a man seeks police help or other programs, law enforcement or the program providers actually accuse him of being the aggressor, too.
Motives for violence are not gender specific; males can be aggressors and victims, just as females can. It is important to realize that men need and deserve protection under the statute just as women do. It is more important to advocate for specific programs intended for male victims just as it is important to have programs directed toward females. Professionals in this field focus on the fact that though this is a gender-neutral crime, it is not enough to provide gender-neutral programs to help those who are victims. Men and women struggle with different things and providing specific programs aimed their specific needs will provide healthy coping mechanisms and ways to deal with past violence.
If you have been a male victim in a domestic violence dispute, please call me, attorney William Miller. Even though you may feel embarrassed, it is important to have an attorney help guide you through the process of seeking a restraining order or to provide legal assistance to the next steps that should be taken. Call today for a free consultation at (732) 742-5556.