“Women abuse men in many different ways,” says Mamello Pitso, a social worker at SheHive – an organization that provides counseling and support to people living with abuse.
She said it’s vital for a man in an abusive relationship to know that they’re not alone and that abuse of men happens far more often than expected - in both heterosexual and same sex relationships.
“They can deny men their conjugal rights till they go to court. Nannies can also abuse boys sexually; here we must remember that a boy is still a man. We can also have a situation where a man does not work and be forced to depend on money provided for by a female partner which becomes fertile for abuse that becomes physical.
Talking back by a man in such a relationship can lead to his getting insulted and or being labeled useless, so the men tend to bottle this up,” she elaborated.
“It happens to men from all cultures and all walks of life regardless of age or occupation,” she said.
Pitso says abused men hide behind their masculinity and pride, preferring to be seen as men who don’t cry, who can’t be beaten by women and as providers.
“But when they cannot provide they feel low and inadequate. The woman might also start comparing him to other men who are working,” she said.
Pitso encourages men to speak out when they find themselves in abusive situations, and that sometimes it’s best to cry out, to speak out, and report abuse - they should seek counselling where it is needed.
According to Reverend Professor Calvin Motebang, a family therapist and marriage counselor, abuse is the absence of stability, peace and relaxation in a relationship.
“It can be done selfishly. Women can abuse men by being selfish, especially if she wants things done her way. If a woman is persuasive she can be abusive because if she persuades a man to do something the man will do it even if he does not want to do it.