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June 10, 2006

Number of men who are domestic abuse victims far higher than the number actually reported, police say


“Only 20 percent of suspected domestic abuse cases involving women are reported, so I would think the percentages are about the same for male victims,” Janese said.

Another reason why there may be far more male victims of domestic abuse than are reported could be the social stigma attached to those claims.

“A lot of male abuse goes unreported because people laugh at a male who says he’s being abused,” Janese said. “In our society, we don’t believe a woman can abuse a man.”

Janese said many male victims also fear the reaction of police when they make a complaint against a female partner.

“Our officers on the street treat it the same and they do an outstanding job,” Janese said. “We treat all victims the same. All the things we do for female victims, we do for male victims.”

Even domestic violence education programs address the potential for male victims. Though Janese admits, when he speaks to students in high schools about the topic he sometimes gets an skeptical reaction.

“I tell them 97 percent of domestic violence is against females, but there are males who get assaulted too,” Janese said. “I get a big chuckle from (the teenage boys). If only they knew.”

However, men who have been abused, by reporting that violence may take a step toward preventing retaliatory violence against women.

“I had a guy who came in and made a report, the female had been beating him for quite awhile,” Janese said. “And he told me he was at the point where he almost hit her back and he didn’t want to do that.”

That victim, Janese said, made the right choice.

The crime doesn’t know city lines either.

Down the road, in the City of Tonawanda, a 911 call, at around 10 p.m., sent officers into action there.

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