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Most Men Don’t Report Domestic Disputes

By Marianne Martinez, CBS 11 News

GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Questions still remain surrounding the domestic incident involving interim Dallas mayor Dwaine Caraway and his wife, State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway. But the story has highlighted a problem with domestic violence across the country. The number of incidents could be much higher than you think – because most men who are victims do not report the case.

“I don’t think Barbara has the intentions of hurting me,” Caraway said on an audio tape. “But in the midst of a fit of rage, you never know what may happen.” That audio shed light on a heated argument between the interim mayor and his wife, but it also shed light on a bigger situation across the nation.

It was the mayor who felt that he had to hide and protect himself in his own home, as his wife held a knife in her hands. Incidents of reported domestic abuse like this, where the man is the victim, are rare. But they do occur. “A lot of times, men aren’t reporting because of shame. They feel embarrassed,” explained Neystal Howard-Jones with Brighter Tomorrows in Grand Prairie.

Brighter Tomorrows is a center designed for victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The organization helps more than 700 women each year, but only about three or four men. “Often, men end up hiding at work or escaping with friends,” Howard-Jones said. “You don’t hear it happening to them.”

Howard-Jones has seen cases of women becoming physically aggressive and pulling weapons on men, but the men usually do not do anything about it because the couple has children. “They’re not only trying to protect themselves, they’re also trying to protect their children from the violence as well,” Howard-Jones said.

But anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, and men should know that there are resources available to help them out. “We are willing to offer them all the same services,” Howard-Jones said.

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