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VEST: Victims Empowerment Support Team

VEST serves the entire community. This absolutely includes men, teens, and boys who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. And although when domestic abuse and sexual assault are discussed, thinking often defaults to male violence against women, violence and abuse against males can be equally devastating. Our agency’s recognizes that violence is a universal social issue and its impact is felt throughout the community. The damage that it does against its victims must be addressed to preserve the health of the community.

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Recognizing Abuse

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute in the United States. This means more than 10 million physical abuse victims every year. Even though domestic violence is prevalent across all communities, recognizing abuse, even by victims, is often difficult.

Furthermore, physical violence is just one component of domestic abuse. Examples of Domestic Violence include patterns of behavior someone uses to maintain power and control over another person when they are part of an intimate or familial relationship. Domestic Violence is sometimes also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), dating abuse, or relationship abuse.

ABUSE DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE

An important thing to remember is that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. Domestic violence can affect people of any race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, education level, or economic status. This applies to both the victim and perpetrators of domestic violence. Everyone within a community is affected by domestic abuse. But those who are directly impacted by the violence, domination and controlling behavior inflicted by an abuser, often avoid recognizing abuse or don’t want to accept they are being abused.

THE MANY FORMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE

Domestic violence includes any behavior that can intimidate or physically harm a person, manipulate or control a partner/child/family member or otherwise force a person or persons to act in ways they don’t want to. Domestic violence is demonstrated in several forms, including physical, verbal, psychological, emotional and/or sexual abuse, or the abuse of someone through financial control. It is more common than not to see multiple forms of abuse acting at the same time in abusive relationships.

Components of abuse

For example, physical abuse involves the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. Psychological, emotional and verbal abuse involves the use of verbal and non-verbal actions to diminish a victim’s confidence and self-esteem. Using these types of abuse keeps the abuser in control so they can maintain power in the relationship. Furthermore, in cases of sexual abuse, physical, psychological, emotional and verbal abuse can be combined in a manner that forces a partner to perform sexual acts that the victim doesn’t consent to or want to participate in.

Violence Against Men

VEST serves the entire community. This absolutely includes men, teens, and boys who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. And although when domestic abuse and sexual assault are discussed, thinking often defaults to male violence against women, violence and abuse against males can be equally devastating. Our agency’s recognizes that violence is a universal social issue and its impact is felt throughout the community. The damage that it does against its victims must be addressed to preserve the health of the community.

Recognizing Domestic Violence Against Men

The Mayo Clinic published a good article describing the aspects of Violence Against Men in an article you can find here. To summarize, intimate partner violence occurs between people who are or have been in a close relationship and can happen in against men in both heterosexual or same-sex relationships . This abuse can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse, stalking and threats of abuse. The core of an abusive relationship always involves an imbalance of power and control.

For example, an abuser uses intimidating language and behaviors to control his or her partner. As in the case with women, initially it might not be easy to recognize domestic violence against men. Early in the relationship, your partner might seem attentive, generous and protective in ways that later turn out to be controlling and frightening. Initially, the abuse might appear as isolated incidents. Your partner might apologize and promise not to abuse you again.

Continue reading “Violence Against Men”

Getting Help

Help is Here.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! If you feel that you are in immediate risk of physical harm. please call 911 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Also, please remove yourself and any children who may also be at risk from the danger NOW.

VEST understands that everyone’s situation is unique, but that everyone deserves a life free from violence and abuse. That’s why we have a menu of services to address both your immediate emergency and ongoing needs.

CLICK HERE to see our list of services.

CLICK HERE to contact us.