HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – An element that is often overlooked when talking about domestic violence is domestic violence directed at men, but there’s help for them, too. “People tend to think of male as being tough, just being able to take care of things themselves and not needing help as much,” said Trish Miles, a Counselor with the YTWCA’s Resolve Family Abuse Program.

Miles has 10 years of experience working with domestic violence victims and survivors from all walks of life. At a time when women are considered the most likely victims of domestic violence, she says male victims are frequently overlooked.

Miles says in order to make this conversation less of a taboo we need to provide more education, empower men to speak out, and tell them it is okay to come forward with their stories.

Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime, and while women are more often victims to physical abuse, advocates and counselors say with men the abuse is primarily psychological.

“[It includes] name-calling, belittling, making their self-esteem very low, making them think that they’re not worth anything,” said Miles.

“Usually with men, [women] use the kids against them,” said Brandi Reese, a court advocate out of Mingo County. “It’s more of the mental abuse, and sometimes it’s physical.”

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 10 men will be physically attacked or stalked this year by an intimate partner, while 1 in 7 men over the age of 18 will be the victim of severe physical violence by a partner.

But the one thing both men and women share in common when it comes to domestic violence is the struggle of breaking the cycle of abuse, something Miles say they can begin to do by picking up the phone.

“Seek help. Call the YWCA,” said Miles. “We have support groups, we can develop a safety plan.”

If you have experienced domestic violence, there are services available no matter who you are. Anyone can fall victim to domestic violence.

If you need help, you can contact the resolve Family Abuse Program at (304) 340-3549. and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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