Earlier this week, a soldier from Florida used a GoPro to show that his wife was physically abusing him, resulting in his estranged wife going to jail, according to WTSP-10.
The solider, who’s been identified just as Michael in order to protect “his identity since he is a victim of domestic violence,” has been in a custody and divorce battle with his wife, 37-year-old Corinne Novak, WTSP reported. The captured GoPro video shows Novak hitting the solider below the belt during a custody exchange last week.
“This is just one of many instances where I’ve had to use the camera to either prove her guilt or prove my innocence and that’s the only reason I am carrying it,” Michael said in the video.
Michael told WTSP that the video will show the courts what his wife has been doing to him, which may solve the long custody battle the former couple has been having over their two 2-year-old daughters.
“We have court coming up so hopefully it goes to show a little bit of validity to what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been saying and disapproving what she’s been saying,” Michael told WTSP. “It seems to be overlooked when the man is a victim of domestic violence.”
Although women make up the majority of domestic violence cases — close to 1.3 million annually, according to the American Bar Association — about 835,000 men across the United States are domestically abused by their partners every year, the ABA reported. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention said about one in seven men suffer intimate partner violence annually.
According to Help Guide, a nonprofit organization that aims to help people’s health and well-being, most men tend to be stronger than women, but that doesn’t make it easy to escape an abusive relationship. In fact, men often lack the resources that women do when they’re abused, Help Guide explained.
“An abused man faces a shortage of resources, skepticism from police, and major legal obstacles, especially when it comes to gaining custody of his children from an abusive mother,” according to Help Guide.
Men also face the issue of being “socialized not to express their feelings or see themselves as victims,” according to The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Young boys are taught from a young age to show strength and not express emotions, which makes it difficult for men to recognize the signs that they’re being abused, the NDVH reported.
Warning signs include partners calling them names, preventing them from going to work or threatening them with violence, according to The Mayo Clinic.
Society tends to treat male domestic violence as a joke, according to the NDVH. An example of this was seen last year when famed rapper Jay-Z was attacked by Solange Knowles, the sister of Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce Knowles, according to the NDVH. The controversy inspired memes on the Internet and even a song lyric from Beyonce.
Despite society’s views on male domestic violence and the lack of resources, men can find help with domestic abuse problems from a variety of sources. Help Guide recommends talking to physicians, psychologists and therapists on the issue.
Local authorities may also be a source of help. But men should try to get evidence of the abuse, like Michael did, to prove that they are being attacked since authorities are likely to be skeptical of the issue, Help Guide reported.
Men should also look to leave their relationship to avoid abuse, and they should never retaliate, Help Guide reported.
It’s also important for men to speak out about their problems, despite societal pressures, according to the Mayo Clinic. This will help other men speak out about their domestic abuse issues, and might spark a societal change where it’s more common to come forward about attacks.
“Start by telling someone about the abuse, whether it’s a friend, relative, health care provider or other close contact,” The Mayo Clinic explained. “At first, you might find it hard to talk about the abuse. However, you’ll also likely feel relief and receive much-needed support.”