Though reports of intimate partner violence typically list a female as the victim, almost ten percent of U.S. men have been victims of stalking, physical violence, or rape at the hands of their partners, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Nearly four percent of males reported injuries due to intimate partner violence over their lifetimes. Men abused by their wives are entitled to take the same actions that female victims do, including divorce.
Violence comes in many forms and psychological violence can be just as damaging as the physical form. The National Domestic Violence Hotline claims that nearly 49 percent of men in the U.S. reported being victims of physical aggression inflicted by an intimate partner during their lifetimes. Though many of these men bear the scars forever, they get themselves out of the situation to begin recovering.
It may seem difficult to divorce an abusive wife due to the emotional bond that once existed. It can be even more difficult for a man to prove the abuse and deal with retribution from his wife. Abusive women commonly use their children to manipulate their husbands into staying in the relationship. Some men worry about losing everything they have worked hard for, such as their homes and retirement savings.
Getting educated and developing a plan makes it easier to divorce an abusive spouse. Once a man decides to divorce his wife, he should consult with a family law attorney. This will help him understand what to expect and know what documentation to gather. Family lawyers usually advise their male clients against disclosing their divorce plans with their wives. Instead, they help their clients plan exit strategies that limit opportunities for manipulation by their wives.
Preliminary steps include copying important documents and storing these in a secure place such as a safe deposit box. Opening a separate bank account and making deposits into this will help save enough cash to cover expenses over the short-term. A family law attorney will recommend how to handle money in joint bank accounts based on state divorce laws.
Men whose wives are physically violent should get contested divorce help regarding child custody. They must decide how to tell their children about the abusive situation and take steps to prevent their wives from harming minor children. After filing for divorce, abused husbands should direct all communication through their lawyers and cut off all other contact with their abusive spouses so they can begin building new lives.