DEAR ABBY: In the past, you have printed letters from men who have been physically abused by their wives. We want to thank you for helping to make the public aware of this aspect of domestic violence. Male victims of domestic violence face grave difficulties. Chief among them is having few places to turn for information and help.
One of the first things these men need to know is that they are not alone. A national survey funded by the Centers for Disease Control found that nearly 40 percent of all domestic violence victims -– or 835,000 men a year –- are physically abused by their intimate partners.
SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone) has a Web site where male victims (straight and gay) and lesbian women can share their stories with others. It is www.safe4all.org. The Web site lists services that are sympathetic to this underserved population, as well as a number of highly qualified professionals ready to provide training to law enforcement, health-care providers, social service, crisis lines, etc. in how to identify, support and properly refer male victims of domestic violence.
SAFE also provides a brochure for male victims and their concerned family and friends. It identifies domestic violence, lists typical reactions and provides specific advice.
Anyone wishing a copy of this brochure should send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with a $1 suggested donation to SAFE-Male Victims Brochure, P.O. Box 951, Tualatin, OR 97062. SAFE is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and donations are tax-deductible. -- PHILIP COOK, NATIONAL VICE-CHAIR, SAFE
DEAR PHILIP: Thank you for your important letter. The complex problem of domestic violence will not be resolved until government, private agencies and the public become aware that domestic violence is not a gender issue -– but a human one.
My mail tells me that not all law enforcement agencies are sensitive to the issues concerning female-to-male abuse. I am pleased your organization is providing training to law enforcement for this ugly, often ignored problem.