Battered & Abused Men -
Taking Responsibility for Your Victimization

Dr. King

by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

One of the challenges for battered men, as it is for battered women, is taking responsibility for their own victimization. Once this is done, a window opens for change...for reform...for transformation.

When we hear the word "victimization," we hear something "happened to" the injured party. While something probably did happen to the victim, one must ask: what can this person do to insure their own safety and well-being in their given situation?

How can the abused man or battered woman take responsibility for their victimization? Here are some essential steps to taking responsibility for your being abused.

1) See the battering for what it is In a nutshell, it's all about control. Domestic abuse is fundamentally about control, wherein one partner seeks to establish and maintain an unequal amount of power in the relationship.

Violence may be a manifestation of abuse, but abuse is essentially about control. You see, when the perpetrator in an abusive relationship feels that they are losing control (i.e. losing their grip), violence will escalate so as to re-establish control. This so-called violence can take the form of verbal abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse as well as physical, financial and sexual abuse.

2) Separate yourself from the assaults, whether verbal, emotional, psychological or physical. They're not about you.

Battering is fully owned, operated and controlled by the batterer and no one else. While the abusive wife (or abusive male partner) will want you to believe that you "provoked" that which they delivered, always be mindful of the fact that they had and have options. And their choice to exercise violence as an option is theirs and theirs alone.

3) Recognize how you enable that which is dished out by your battering partner, simply by remaining on the receiving end. When you accept responsibility for the assaults as though you "deserved" it, you enable it.

When you seek to regulate the battering as something you can control, you also enable it. Honestly, you do not have the "Job" nor do you have the wherewithal to fix it, because it's not yours to fix. In fact, your campaign to do so is the very thing that keeps you on the receiving end of being abused.

4) Find the fine point of ownership of what is actually yours here and what is theirs. The moment this becomes clear to you, the dynamic entrapping your victimization loses its hold on you.

You are exclusively responsible for your safety and your well-being. You are never responsible for another person's safety and well-being unless that person is a minor, elder or disabled individual for whom you have explicitly assumed responsibility for their welfare.

You must realize that when you engage in possessing ownership of another person's happiness, you are out of your business and utterly out of your mind. Let's face it, if you lose yourself in minding their business, who then is available to tend to yours? Easy answer: no one.

5) Most importantly have compassion for yourself as you give yourself permission to take responsibility for your victimization.

This, of course, will necessitate that you embrace the shame and embarrassment that you experience over the fact that you are involved in an abusive relationship, being the victimized partner or doing any of this, including even reading this article.

When you stop defining yourself as the shame, but instead place a blanket of understanding around that which makes you shameful, you open to the changes you long to live.

For more information to help battered men, see and claim your Free Instant Access to your survivor success eInsights. Dr Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps abused men and battered women recognize, end and heal from domestic violence. Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

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Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.