MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- According to the Memphis Family Safety Center, at least least 1 in 7 men nationally are abused by their partner and those are only the reported cases.
Too often it takes sirens, flashing red and blue lights, and sometimes even murder to expose male victims of abuse. Sometimes it’s too late for anyone to intervene.
"A lot of time we never involved police, in what went on," said Roscoe Johnson.
Johnson’s wife used to hit, push and even throw things at him.
"It’s bad to say it, but it was normal. I thought it was a normal relationship," added Johnson.
Johnson’s eyes showed the pain of the past but it’s no longer his reality.
"She’s hit me with a lamp. A few times she’s pulled a knife," said Johnson.
Since divorce was not an option, Johnson and his wife found guidance through finding faith. That's when Johnson and his wife were able to mend their marriage. Johnson and his wife have been married now for 37 years. Much of the domestic violence in their relationship took place more than 30 years ago. The two of them now work together to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Expert say it's more common for males to victims of domestic violence than people realize, but most often they do not speak up. Jordan Howard said men feel less than a man and vulnerable. They think they can't be a victim.
"Men will tell me about severe physical abuse. They’ll laugh it off and say 'Well, it wasn’t really abuse because it didn’t hurt me that bad,'" said Howard.
But it’s no laughing matter.
"We’ve seen broken bones, hospital visits, all the way up to homicides," added Howard.
Through Johnson’s story of strength through the pain of abuse, the Family Safety Center is able to reach even more men who are too ashamed to speak up.
"When you get one-on-one and find someone can be real transparent and tell the truth, then you’ll open up," said Howard.
The Family Safety Center wants to help victims. Their office is located at 1750 Madison Avenue, Suite 600.
You can also call the 24-hour Crisis Line at (901) 222-4400.
To send a private message, click here.