Battered Disney Princes Encourage Men 'Not To Be Embarrassed To Ask For Help'

08/11/2014 02:52 pm ET
  • Robbie Couch Associate Editor of Impact, The Huffington Post

A new campaign is using the "hero" archetype of Disney princes to spread awareness about domestic violence against males.

Artist Saint Hoax's latest project, "Prince Charmless," depicts some of Disney's most iconic leading men with battered and bloodied faces to remind viewers that men, too, can suffer from violence from intimate partners, and shouldn't feel ashamed to speak out against the abuse.

According to a 2000 study by the U.S. Department of Justice, 7.7 percent of men reported being raped, physically assaulted or stalked by their female partner. While that rate is far lower than that of partner violence against women, advocates say men may be less likely to report abuse for fear of how others will react, according to RAINN.

battered disney prince

"We continuously see campaigns about abused women but rarely encounter any campaign that targets male victims of domestic violence," Saint Hoax (a pseudonym used by the artist behind the project) told The Huffington Post. "I only knew these statistics about abused men last month after doing an intensive research around the subject. The information wasn't out there, I had to dig for it."

bruised disney prince

Saint Hoax previously created a similarly conceived project, "Happy Never After," which focused on domestic violence against women:

the little mermaid domestic abuse

He told HuffPost he decided to start "Prince Charmless" because feedback from "Happy Never After" questioned why the project neglected to show male victims.

While Saint Hoax is focusing on the importance of empowering men to seek help, it's worth noting that ongoing domestic abuse impacts women at far higher rates than men. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported that 85 percent of all victims of domestic abuse are women, and that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. The organization also found that female perpetrators of lethal violence against male intimate partners are seven to 10 times more likely to act in self-defense than male perpetrators.

Gay and bisexual men are also disproportionately affected by domestic abuse, as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has noted, with roughly two in every five reporting abuse in intimate partner relationships -- a figure comparable to domestic violence against heterosexual women.

aladdin bruised prince

To Saint Hoax, the projects weren't intended to compare domestic violence by gender side-by-side, but rather focus on the challenges each issue faces.

"In my 'Happy Never After' series, the main objective of the posters was to tell victims that it's not too late to put an end to domestic violence," the artist explained to HuffPost. "While in the 'Prince Charmless' series, the main objective is for men not to be embarrassed to ask for help."

domestic violence men

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Related on HuffPost:

How To Help A Victim Of Domestic Abuse

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