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For you to ask “Is it normal for my girlfriend to hit me?” more than likely means her behavior is taking a toll on you. NO. It’s NOT OKAY for your girlfriend to strike you. I’m truly sorry you’re experiencing abuse in your relationship. Many people don’t know women hit men or they excuse the behavior because of their female gender.
Sadly, men become invisible victims of intimate partner violence because society overlooks the fact that males can be victims. Male victims of domestic abuse are more common than we think. In fact, 1 in 4 men has experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
What’s more is that men are less likely to tell someone or report the incident to the police. The unwillingness is often linked to shame or fear of getting accused of being the perpetrator.
Hitting is an act of violence known as battery, which is a crime. It is considered domestic violence (DV) if it occurs in close or intimate relationships. I’ll explain what acts fall under physical violence. You’ll also learn the possible reasons why women hit men, but more importantly, how to handle the situation following a step-by-step guide.
If you need to speak with a domestic violence professional right away, click National Domestic Hotline to speak to someone.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence “is a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.” According to the Center for Family Justice, “Domestic violence [or domestic abuse] takes many forms: physical; emotional; economic; stalking and harassment; and sexual.”
In this case, you’re experiencing physical violence. The violence does not have to leave marks or cause permanent damage for it to be a crime. You also don’t need to be living with your girlfriend for her conduct to qualify as domestic violence.
Factually speaking, women are generally more controlling and aggressive than men in intimate relationships. Some take their aggression a bit further by slapping or punching their partners. In addition to hitting, your girlfriend may engage in the following other behaviors that fall under domestic violence:
Why Does My Girlfriend Hit Me?
The root cause of intimate partner violence can range from a need to control you to struggling with a mental health condition that causes aggression, such as borderline personality disorder. Other causes include:
Even though it’s important to determine why your partner acts the way she does, there’s no justifiable reason for her to hit you. You should NEVER tolerate the behavior or excuse it under any circumstances.
An abusive relationship is a toxic relationship and one you should safely get out of ASAP! Things usually grow worse as time goes by and so does the nature of the violence. Grabbing and pushing will turn into hitting or the use of weapons.
How to Deal with Your Girlfriend Hitting You: A Step-by-Side Guide
Abuse is not love. Abuse is never okay. You must take steps to protect yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Of course, all the proper steps depend on your unique situation but can include these that follow.
Step 1: Do NOT hit her back
Men tend to harshly judge their manhood based on how a woman sees or treats them. They are the dominant gender and hate disrespect. Hitting them is a huge sign of disrespect and leaves them feeling emasculated. Men hate feeling out of control and emasculated by women and have a natural tendency to react by hitting back. Do not do it!
Not only could you seriously injure your girlfriend, but you also have a high chance of getting arrested and jailed if she reports the incident. Instead, remain calm and composed, and process what just happened. Do not threaten, yell at, or call her names or react in any other harmful way that could further enrage her.
Step 2: Calmly tell her that her behavior is NOT okay
Your girlfriend might have been raised to think slapping or hitting someone is a normal way to deal with conflict.
Chances are she experienced violence in a previous relationship or abused others without being held accountable. Therefore, she may not think its wrong or may think you’re weak for making a big deal of it.
Let her know in a clear and calm way hitting you is an act of violence and a crime, and is completely unacceptable. She might try to justify her behavior, minimize your feelings, or launch a verbal attack. For example, calling you a sissy. Don’t retaliate.
If it’s the first time she’s putting her hands on you, let her know you’re willing to end the relationship if she repeats the abuse. If she continues to defend her action and fails to apologize, there’s a good chance she’ll hit you again. Will you risk it?
Step 3: Talk to someone from the National Domestic Violence Hotline
I totally understand how difficult it is for you to reveal the abuse. For your safety and well-being, it’s crucial for you to put aside shame or fear of negative judgment and get help from a domestic violence (DV) expert.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline exists to help women and men. The agency provides a safe and non-judgmental environment for you to talk about what happened. Contact them via their website or call 800.799.SAFE (7233).
The organization will provide more information on relationship abuse, why it happens, warning signs, and what to do. You’ll get help with developing a safety plan to prevent abuse from escalating, especially once you exit the relationship.
Continue reading the other steps if you remain in the relationship for the time being.
Step 4: Try to understand why she hits you
Abuse or acting violently is a learned behavior and there’s always a root cause for it. You’ll need to have a conversation about what’s causing your girlfriend to lash out at you.
You might not be the problem. Perhaps she’s misdirecting anger felt for someone else towards you. Even if you did something wrong, hitting you isn’t a solution.
You could ask her about her childhood. Listen for information that points to growing up in a dysfunctional or abusive family. Try to find out if she was in an abusive relationship or living with a diagnosed mental health condition that causes the individual to act violently.
Let her know the reasons she gave do not excuse her conduct. Tell her it’s necessary for her to get help to manage her anger and harmful behavior. Help could come in the form of trauma therapy, relationship therapy, or individual therapy. Caution her that this is the only way to move forward. Otherwise, it’s best for you two to move on.
Step 5: Decide if you want to continue this relationship
Some people have a one-strike-you’re-out rule for intentional violence in a relationship. Others are more compassionate, empathetic, and forgiving and more willing to offer second chances.
No judgment here. Just keep in mind that relationship abuse happens in a cycle and it usually gets worse with time.
That said, consider everything that’s at stake and determine if you can build a healthy relationship from here. I suppose it will depend on her response to calling her out and her willingness to get professional help to deal with underlying issues.
Without the coping skills to manage anger and stress in a healthy way, hitting will likely become a pattern of behavior. You will become her punching bag.
Step 6: Establish rules and boundaries
Offering your girlfriend a chance to explain what’s driving her behavior is a mature thing to do. That doesn’t mean you will allow her to keep violating you. Setting up firm boundaries is essential in this situation now that you decide to stay and give her a second chance.
You’ve already set up a boundary by letting her know you won’t tolerate physical aggression or assault from her in the future. Make it clear you have ZERO tolerance moving forward–no second chances. If she ever strikes you again, end the relationship.
Step 7: Tell someone you trust
As strong as you are, you can benefit from a support network made up of people who care about your safety and well-being. Always let someone in your close, trusted support system know what’s happening. Who knows, they could be your witness if the police or court gets involved.
Explain what your girlfriend did and how you feel about it. They may suggest helpful resources or allow you to stay at their home. This is if you need a place to stay as you transition out of the abusive relationship.
You could also tell your boss you’re in a DV relationship. This is just to cover your bases in case your girlfriend escalates the violence by showing up at your job and making a scene.
Step 8: Don’t blame yourself
Sometimes blaming yourself is easier than confronting the real reason your partner resorts to violence. You may feel like you didn’t do enough to make her happy. You may blame yourself thinking you did something to provoke the assault.
Sometimes you might get angry with yourself for allowing her to hit, giving her a second chance, or staying in the relationship for so long. Psychologists put forward numerous reasons why men stay in abusive relationships. Reasons include denial, shame, low self-esteem, or to avoid separating from their children.
Whatever the reason for staying, you’re not the reason your girlfriend has a volatile temper. Human personality traits are shaped in childhood and based on early life experiences. So don’t beat yourself up for her bad behavior.
Step 9: Talk to a mental health professional
Abuse leaves long-lasting emotional trauma, even for men. Talking to a professional will help you make sense of what’s happening and how to cope.
You’ll be able to work through any anger or resentment you feel towards your girlfriend or yourself. Addressing your anger helps prevent you from taking it out on someone else in a future relationship.
A behavioral therapist can help you work on rebuilding your self-esteem. You’ll learn your worth and stop allowing others to hit you.
Step 10. End the relationship or move out if she doesn’t change
Never agree to stay in a relationship or home where your safety and well-being are at risk. Ending the relationship is in your best interest if your girlfriend assaults you again. She’s lucky you gave her a second chance after the first incident. You even tried to help her get help.
It’s time to move out and move on if you live in the same home since she insists on being abusive. Remember to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline if you don’t feel safe leaving without the guidance of a DV counselor. There’s a text option. Just text “START” to 88788.
Don’t worry. The call and the entire process are confidential.
Final Thoughts on Is It Normal for My Girlfriend to Hit Me?
Always take relationship abuse seriously, whether it’s physical or psychological. You deserve a happy, healthy, and loving relationship.
Do what’s best for you and seek support to deal with domestic violence, cope, and heal. If necessary, report the matter to the police and locate a therapist near you. Educate and equip yourself, and never stop fighting, with 15 Safe Steps to Get Out of a Toxic Relationship.