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Domestic violence can affect Maryland men as well as women

While Marylanders are probably aware of the many domestic violence programs and services that are available to women, some complain that men who are victims of domestic violence often get overlooked. The recent arrest and release of actress Emma Roberts on allegations that she abused her boyfriend is the latest incident in what some might call a string of celebrity domestic violence cases over the years in which the man was the victim.

The problem with men and domestic violence is more serious than what some might think. Some studies indicate that since 1977, men and women have been abused in domestic situations in equal numbers, with men actually being more likely to suffer severe violence at the hands of women than vice versa.

The data back up the conclusion of some law enforcement officers that in about 50 percent of all domestic violence cases, the partners are mutually abusing one another. It is only in one-fourth of all domestic violence cases that the man alone is the perpetrator. Still, men report having a difficult time getting help for domestic violence when they try to escape a bad situation at home. Many of the men who called service centers for help even reported that the center presumed that they were the perpetrator of the violence.

Fortunately, Maryland domestic violence laws do not discriminate between men and women. Both men and women have the right to expect protection from the police should they make a substantiated criminal complaint, and both have access to the civil courts should they require a protective order to ensure their safety against an abusive spouse.

An Ann Arundel County domestic violence lawyer may be able to assist all victims of domestic violence, male and female, by informing them of their legal options. If necessary, the lawyer may be able to represent a domestic violence victim in a protective order case or other court proceeding.

Source: The Daily Beast, “In cases of domestic violence, men are also victims,” Philip W. Cook, July 22, 2013

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