DEAR ABBY: I read your recent column about the warning signs of an abuser. Would you use your influence to say that men are also victims of abuse?
My son was in a three-year relationship with a woman who scored 15 out of 15 on your list. We knew it was a toxic relationship, but he couldn't see that.
The night he came to us for help, battered and bloody, I finally took a stand. It took six months to get her out of his life. My son was ashamed to be a battered man, and she had told him that men who call 9-1-1 go to jail. It kept him from calling.
Please, Abby, help to change that.
- Interfering Mom
DEAR MOM: I'm glad you wrote so I can emphasize that abusers can be members of both sexes, from every economic level and sexual orientation. I received a ton of mail about this:
DEAR ABBY: My second marriage was a sad and unhealthy rebound affair. My ex was attractive, talented and host to multiple addictions - risky sexual encounters with men and women, cocaine, alcohol and marijuana. I became aware of her blackouts and outrageous behavior just before our wedding.
I finally left after two years to avoid committing a crime in response to her physical abuse, chronic infidelities, psychological cruelty and pathological intoxication. Please urge men to report their abusers, file charges and flee bad situations!
- Set Free in North Carolina
DEAR SET FREE: All I can add is that men who suffer physical abuse at the hands of a partner should go to an emergency room for treatment so their injuries can be documented, then file a formal complaint and end the relationship.
DEAR ABBY: Abusers abound in the gay community, too. I have gay and lesbian friends who were involved with abusers. Gay and lesbian centers offer counseling for this. LGBT people face the same problems as straights do.