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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Men Aren’t Always the Aggressors in Illinois Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic violence cases are increasing nationwide and are being highlighted in the media as a major problem in society today. In turn, domestic violence has received broader attention from lawmakers — and rightfully so.

There is a hidden epidemic, though: men can also be domestic violence victims.

In fact, the subject of domestic violence against men is recognized so little that many male victims of domestic violence don’t even recognize they are being abused.

Because of these societal norms, in domestic disputes, law enforcement sometimes wrongly assume that the male is the aggressor, leading to false domestic violence allegations.

Below, we share facts about Illinois’ silent epidemic, information regarding what male domestic violence commonly looks like, and what you should do if you are falsely accused of being an aggressor.

Male Domestic Violence Victims: A Silent Epidemic in Illinois

When we consider domestic violence, we often assume that the victims are women. While the statistics for violence against women are horrific, the less-recognized element of this story is that a surprising number of men are victims, too.

One in four adult men in the US will become a domestic violence victim in his lifetime. Men can and do suffer physical, mental and sexual abuse in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships. Many men simply don’t seek help for domestic abuse for fear of appearing to be weak, and instead, choose to suffer in silence.

We believe few things are braver than walking away from an abusive relationship in any scenario. Raising awareness regarding domestic violence against men can also help end stigma.

What Illinois Domestic Violence Against Men Looks Like

Domestic violence against men rarely receives much attention. Even when it does, many people perceive this violence as an isolated incident, and speculate that the man “did something to deserve it.”

Common abusive behavior includes:

  • Using berating language, insults and name-calling
  • Preventing the victim from seeing or being close to his friends and family
  • Threatening to reveal embarrassing personal information or secrets
  • Controlling or possessive behavior
  • Controlling the victim’s finances or restricting his spending
  • Shoving, slapping or striking the victim

In reality, these types of violent acts are not isolated, and are often preceded by actions that may not seem like domestic violence at first, but are in fact a series of abuses against male victims.

False Domestic Violence Allegations in Illinois

When a domestic dispute occurs, we mentioned law enforcement can sometimes wrongly assume that the man is the aggressor. This can lead to false domestic violence charges.

The truth is, the actual abuser often corroborates for the sake of vengeance. The abuser may also make unprovoked false domestic violence allegations for the same reason.

If you are a male domestic violence victim, understand that things move quickly in these cases.

The perceived aggressor is usually issued a temporary restraining order at the time of the arrest, barring him from his home if he cohabitates with his abuser. This type of order also prevents him from seeing any children they have together.

The hearing for a permanent protective order happens shortly thereafter. If issued, the permanent order can have long-term consequences on the victim’s living situation and child custody.

, Men Aren’t Always the Aggressors in Illinois Domestic Violence Cases

This means that if male domestic violence victims face false allegations, they must act quickly and proactively to set things right. Contact an experienced Illinois domestic violence attorney to ensure you don’t wind up the victim of false allegations, too.

 

About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.

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