WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - What you're about to see is a troubling story of domestic abuse. But in this case, the victim is a man. The abuser, now convicted, is a woman. And she'll be sentenced in court Wednesday morning.
Only on 9, Andrea McCarren sat down with a man who believes there's a troubling disparity with the way the system treats male and female victims of abuse.
The young man you're about to meet has been tormented by an ex-girlfriend for more than two years, in two separate local jurisdictions. He felt compelled to speak out about the abuse, the failed protective orders and a system that's left him feeling helpless and vulnerable.
He said, "She's stalked me, she's harassed me, she's hit me, she's kicked me."
What began as telephone harassment quickly escalated into physical assaults.
He said, "Abuse is abuse. It's not cool for a man to hit a woman. It's not cool for a woman to hit a man. "
A series of protective orders demanded that his abuser stay away from his home, workplace and family. Yet, she repeatedly defied them. "She has called my employers and told them I'm a thief and not to be trusted."
Court records also reveal the ex-girlfriend with whom he spent less than a year has repeatedly stalked, harassed and assaulted him, even in public places-inside a courthouse and on a Metro train.
"I cannot react. I can't strike, I can't push, anything like that is going to put me in a whole world of trouble. I have to run away, literally. That's the best thing I can do in a situation like that, " he said.
If their roles were reversed, he's convinced the judicial system would be treating him differently.
"I'd be in jail right now, waiting for a court date, without a bond or already serving my sentence," he said.
"It's almost like the domestic violence system wants to see you after you've already been beat up, stabbed, shot," his current girlfriend said.
His current girlfriend has helped him navigate the judicial system.
"I'm afraid for anyone male or female who is the target of someone like the person we've had to deal with these past two years. Because clearly the system is ineffective," she said.
For now, the couple lives in constant fear that his ex or someone working on her behalf will strike again.
"It is an intense feeling. Everywhere I go, I know at any moment, she could pop up or have someone pop up behind me and just be there, and do something," he said.
His girlfriend agrees. "Something bad is going to happen. Something bad has already happened. And continues to happen."
The abuser was recently convicted of stalking and telephone misuse. She'll be sentenced Tuesday morning and could face as much as 18 months in jail. But in the past, she's only received suspended sentences and unsupervised probation.