Officials see rising number of Indiana men reporting domestic violence

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 11, 2016)-- Roscoe and Deloris Johnson lived the nightmare. Her anger and violent streak started early in their 37-year marriage.

Her victim was the man she loved.

"It wasn't my make up. If I had to be with her, put my hands on her and fight her, it was time for me to go, " said Roscoe.

Like many other battered men, he endured the abuse, never letting on to others the turmoil in their home.

"Actually I thought it was normal," he said. "The environment you are raised in dictates what you bring out."

Indiana advocates at the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence say the Johnsons' case is not as rare as you think. More and more men are coming forward, saying they are the survivors of domestic violence.

"Yes women do experience it at a higher rate and more severe level but men do too and its very similar in the same type of pattern, men are experiencing it, they acknowledge it and it’s in the same way," said Executive Director Laura Berry.

According to the coalition, 1,100 Hoosier men seek out domestic violence services every year.

"Is the issue getting worse or are we finally addressing it and recognizing that women use violence? I think we're finally recognizing it," said Berry.

Advocates also say all domestic violence survivors must overcome the stigma surrounding the crime.  But for men, they say it’s often different.

"Men are supposed to be tough, men don't ask for help and don't get hurt, " said Berry. "In my opinion, if a man can reach out and ask for help, that's one of the most difficult situations he can face."

The Johnsons got help and have made it their mission and ministry to help other couples.

" If we hadn't given our lives to the Lord and God saved us we wouldn't be together, " said Delores.

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