One campaign group claims assaults by wives and girlfriends are often ignored by police and media.
Almost two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men contradicting the widespread impression that it is women who are mainly assaulted, a new report claims.
A study by men’s rights campaign group party found that men assaulted by their partners are often ignored by police, see their attacker go free and have far fewer refuges to flee to than women.
The charities report ‘Domestic Violence: The Male Perspective’ states that “Domestic violence is often seen as a female victim/male perpetrator problem, but the evidence demonstrates that this is a false picture.” Their analysis of statistics on domestic violence shows that the number of men attacked by wives or girlfriends is much higher than expected, reports the Guardian.
Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men make up 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2005-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available.
The 2008-09 bulletin states: “More than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures are equivalent to an estimated 4.5 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.6 million male victims. 6% of women and 4% of men reported having experienced domestic abuse in the past year, equivalent to an estimated one million female victims of domestic abuse and 600,000 male victims”.
“Male victims are almost invisible to the authorities such as the police, who rarely can be prevailed upon to take the man’s side,” said John Mays of Parity. “Their plight is largely overlooked by the media, in official reports and in government policy, for example in the provision of refuge places – 7,500 for females in England and Wales but only 60 for men.”
The number of women prosecuted for domestic violence rose from 1,575 in 2004-05 to 4,266 in 2008-09. “Both men and women can be victims and we know that men feel under immense pressure to keep up the pretence that everything is OK,” said Alex Neil, the housing and communities minister in the Scottish parliament. “Domestic abuse against a man is just as abhorrent as when a woman is the victim.”
Mark Brooks of the Mankind Initiative, a helpline for victims, said: “It’s a scandal that in 2010 all domestic violence victims are still not being treated equally. We reject the gendered analysis that so many in the domestic violence establishment still pursue, that the primary focus should be female victims. Each victim should be seen as an individual and helped accordingly.”
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