Isaac's Story: Not the Typical Victim
Isaac was not the typical victim of domestic violence. He was a doctor, he was middle-aged, and he was male. Yet those things did not keep him from suffering at the hands of his wife.
We met Isaac after one of his wife’s assaults sent him to the emergency room. The social worker at the hospital gave him our information, and he contacted us immediately.
He related a story about emotional, verbal, and physical abuse that had not only cost him his peace of mind, but had cost him his job. Since getting married eight years ago, his wife had subjected him to a constant barrage of violence, both in the privacy of their home and in public. She called him degrading names, and harassed him so much that he lost sleep at night. As a doctor, it was critical for him to get enough sleep in order to do his job. One night after being abused, he lacked the sleep he needed and made a mistake. He was fired for that mistake.
In the latest incident, Isaac’s wife had threatened him with a knife on a street. When she tried to stab him in the neck, he managed to grab her weapon hand. She then used her free hand to punch him in the face, leaving him with an injured nose, broken glasses, and a bloody face. Someone who saw the attack called the police, but by the time they arrived, his wife had fled.
Isaac’s story is a reminder that domestic violence can and does happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, or other factors. Just as women can be victims of abuse, so can men, and they can suffer just as much from their experiences.
At Safe Horizon, we offer everyone affected by violence and abuse the same opportunity to find escape, the same chance to regain and rebuild their lives, and the same tools to help them move from crisis to confidence. For Isaac, there would be no judgment. We helped him get through the crisis he faced.
Safe Horizon provided Isaac with counseling and referred him to family court where he could get an order of protection against his wife. With the history of violence and the police report, Isaac easily obtained the order. In addition to helping him in court, we helped him to obtain counseling.
Isaac also felt he needed counseling, so we helped him obtain this as well. After a few counseling sessions, however, it became clear that Isaac was suffering trauma from his experiences as a domestic violence victim. He could not sleep at night because the nightmares he experienced kept him awake.
Isaac needed more than counseling: He needed therapy, so we referred him for mental health treatment. In addition, we provided him with legal services as a victim of domestic violence. Isaac now has the tools he needs in order to move on and away from violence, and to find the hope and healing he deserves for a safer future.
Make a difference. Domestic violence can affect anyone regardless of background. You can help victims of violence and abuse find the support they need to get through crisis and to find the confidence to move forward.
* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.