Las Vegas Sun

October 1, 2014

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Breaking the man code: Male says he’s a victim of domestic violence

Cornell McCrary paced around the Safe Faith United office as he prepared to tell his story.

Bags showed under his eyes, heavy from a sleepless night brought on by fear. He says three people have threatened him, calling him a snitch for his 9-1-1 call after a reported attack. He knows there is a stigma for what he is about to share, but he wants his story told for others like him.

With a deep breath, McCrary, 58, explains he has been a victim of domestic violence since 2011.

“I’m not running,” said McCrary, who is a civil and human rights activist. “I’m not going to stop doing my job in the community. I’m not going to be scared to go anywhere.”

For three years, McCrary said he remained silent as he’s endured physical abuse and harassment from an ex-girlfriend. McCrary said he had filed a permanent protective order against her, but she continued to abuse him.

The woman, who could not be reached for comment, is in custody at the City of Las Vegas Jail on a domestic-violence count after an incident last week. McCrary sought help from Safe Faith United, a nonprofit that aids domestic-violence victims, in January. He decided to waive the nonprofit’s privacy policy to help push back against the stigma men face filing domestic-abuse actions.

“We wanted to bring awareness to the domestic violence among males, and to the Department of Justice that male victims need to be taken seriously,” said Rebecca Ferreira, founder of Safe Faith United.

McCrary’s case is not unique. Every year 800,000 men are victims of domestic violence, but few ever report the abuse out of fear of being labeled weak or less of a man by society, Ferreira said.

Ferreira says society often doubts men can be victims of abuse. But she said some men were helpless against attacks because they don’t want to harm a woman. Other times, the abuse can be psychological.

Her nonprofit aids victims of domestic violence, helping them file protective orders or offering shelter if needed. She hopes McCrary’s story will let other male abuse victims to know there is help available.

“We want male victims to feel that there is help,” Ferreira said. “We not only help females, but we help victims of all walks of life.”

McCrary just hopes his story will help other victims like him and bring him justice.

“I want justice for me,” McCrary said. “And I want justice for other victims still living.”

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