Abused man reveals hidden side of domestic violence

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 1 at 12:01 AM

RICHARDSON -- Women comprise the vast majority of domestic violence cases, but last year in Dallas County, 28 men qualified for a protective order.

"She had come charging up behind me," said 62-year-old Stanford Oliver, speaking of the moment he was nearly pushed through a plate-glass window. "I just remember looking at her and thinking, 'This is sick. You are sick.'"

Oliver said he quietly tolerated 19 years of physical abuse at the hands of his wife.

"The glasses I was wearing would go flying off of me and land across my room, and I would end up with a black eye,"  Oliver said. "Same story -- time, after time, after time."

Most battered men don't report abuse, but sometimes they do.

Two years ago, Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway called police from his home, where he had barricaded himself to protect himself from his allegedly knife-wielding wife.

"I don't think Barbara has intentions of hurting me," Caraway said to police in the recorded phone call in Jan. 2010. "But in the midst of a fit of rage, you never know what may happen."

Caraway never pursued charges against his wife, State Representative Barbara Mallory Caraway. He tried to keep the entire incident and the audio tape a secret.

Councilman Caraway declined comment on our report.

"It's the embarrassment to your own psyche," said David Almager, a domestic violence counselor.

Almager said there is a stigma when it comes men reporting abuse of any kind.

"Society sees that a real man doesn't put up with it -- is always in control in a relationship," he said. "And so, I think it is very difficult for a man in our society to seek out help in a professional setting."

"The police that came tried to talk me out of filing charges at great length," Oliver said. "My own father tried to talk me out of it."

Oliver filed a police report anyway for assault. The case was ultimately dropped for lack of evidence, he said.

He left his alleged abuser for the same reason women often do.

"[For] the kids," Oliver said. "And the violence had to stop."

You can reach the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men Crisis Hotline at 1-888-7HELPLINE. Resources for men can also be found at the links here and here.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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