47 25TH ANNUAL CRIME PREVENTION GUIDE Society’s attitudes can make it harder Our society is beginning to recognize and study the abuse of men by their partners. Society’s inappropriate beliefs and attitudes about men have kept this kind of abuse hidden: •Men are supposed to protect women •Men don’t get pushed around by women •Men are not supposed to hit back even when a woman is hitting them •Men should be able to “handle” their women Because of these beliefs, men who are abused by female partners may be slow to admit it. They may not want to tell anyone. Sometimes police and other professionals may not take the abuse seriously. As a result, a man in an abusive relationship may have some of these feelings: •Afraid to tell anyone •Depressed or humiliated •Afraid he has failed as a lover •Confused because sometimes she acts loving and kind •Believes he deserved it Ten things you can do if you are being abused 1. First, make sure you and any children are physically safe. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. 2. Make a safety plan. If your partner has ever been violent, the violence could happen again at any time. You will need a safety plan so that you can get to a safe place quickly if necessary. 3. Know you are not responsible for the abuse. The abuse is the responsibility of the person who is abusive. 4. Understand that abuse and violence will likely continue without intervention. 5. Tell someone you trust about the abuse. Choose someone who will believe you. Secrecy gives abuse power. Do not give up. 6. Find out more about abuse in relationships. You are not alone. About six per cent of Canadian men report being abused by partners.2 7. Find out what help is available in or near your community. 8. Get professional help from a qualified counsellor. 9. Look after yourself. You are in a difficult situation that takes energy and strength. Make time to do some things that feel good. 10. Spend time with healthy people. Even if they cannot help you directly, being with healthy people will remind you that most people have kind and rewarding relationships. You can too. * Abusers can be male or female. MENABUSED BYWOMEN ...continued Know you are not responsible for the abuse. The abuse is the responsibility of the person who is abusive. “ ”