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When men are the victims of domestic violence

Being that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it's an appropriate time to look at all of the different ways in which domestic violence is being done and affecting people. One group of victims that you may not have expected to have numbers so high is being given some helpful steps to take when abused by their family.

Coloradans may be interested to know that while 85 percent of reported domestic violence cases are surrounding female victims, a study done by the National Centers for Disease Control a few years ago showed that some 40 percent of domestic violence victims were actually men. The reason for the discrepancy? It is believed that not as many men report their abuse, due to the potential flippant response, or even the potential double standard. Whether it's a woman or a man being abused in a household, it can be difficult to get out of that situation, but that doesn't mean either should be accepted.

One step a man can take when dealing with domestic abuse is to notify the police, even if there has just been the threat of violence against him. There are many different forms of abuse and violence, so being aware that you have a right to your safety can help you change the situation. Another idea is to have a psychiatrist look into the perpetrator and evaluate their mental state and why they are acting out in an abusive manner. An important step to take if you have children is to request custody of them early on. Knowing that the custody process may take a long time and be difficult can seem daunting, but showing that you can and intend to care for these children in a safe home may help your situation and the outcome.

Perhaps the biggest step you take is saying you're not happy with the situation, even if you're afraid. Often it can be the hardest thing to do, to ask for help, but it could save your life or your child's. Working with an experienced attorney in a situation like this could help you navigate through this difficult process. Domestic violence is a terrible and scarring thing to go through and if you or any other Colorado residents are dealing with this, speaking up could be the best thing for you.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The five musts for dealing with domestic violence in your divorce," Joseph E. Cordell, Oct. 10, 2012

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