The BBC reported today the true figures of domestic violence in the UK. For once, they are actually showing the true figures of violence towards men.
Like any man who writes on this subject, I feel the need to start with a caveat warning that I’m not in any way taking away the abhorrence of violence towards women. I’ve always found it inherently sexist to suggest that pointing out how similar impacts on men somehow “diminishes” the impact on women. As though men count as negative victims. No more prevalent can this be seen in the victims of female on male sexual assault; but that’s a post for another day I feel.
Lets be clear. ALL domestic violence is wrong.
But what I find most shocking is the scale of how much under-reported there is when the victim is male. You’ll often as not see it referred to as a “tiny percentage” or a “much lower number” of the total. Or how about “By far the greatest number of victims are women”.
But before you think I’m merely making this up for effect, take a look at the website “The Hidden Hurt’s“.
The page is titled “Men can be victims too!” (the exclamation point really galls me) and goes on to say
We know that there are many men who DO experience Domestic Abuse at some stage in their lives, and whether there are 1000 or 100,000 per year in the UK alone doesn’t make any difference to the individual suffering and fear and pain experienced by any one man in an abusive relationship. What is important, is that their suffering is taken seriously, and that support and help is available when needed, regardless of gender.
Well, the so called “Domestic Abuse Information, based in the UK” website is wrong. Because the true figures of domestic violence in the UK are;
- 1.2 million women and,
- 784,000 men
Meaning that violence to men by their partners are over 65% of the figure given for women. Not 1,000’s, not a tiny percentage and not a much lower number. The fact is that a huge number of men are subject to violence and have almost no support whatsoever.
What’s more disturbing, and this is the cause for the update, is the levels of female domestic abusers who are actually making it to court for their crimes, let alone being convicted, is shockingly low. ManKind, who I mentioned in my original post, obtained the Crown Prosecution Figures for England and Wales and the they make shocking reading.
Despite men being 65% of the victims the number of women actually going to court for the crime represents just 6.5% of the number of men going to court. What is more, once in court, the number of convictions year on year is less than that of men.
And lets be clear on this final point, what we don’t know from these figures are what the punishments being handed out for the convicted perpetrators of female on male violence. Because anecdotally women are given lighter sentences, as even the Huffington Post had to report upon. Men receive 63% higher sentences for the same crime than men committing the same crime.
None of which can be reassuring to the male victims of domestic violence who are finding themselves either ignored, warned off, arrested themselves or told to “man up“. With so few money actually being charged to go to court, it’s no wonder men find themselves isolated and how much of this leads to suicide is undocumented, so far.
One source of help is ManKind who are desperately short of funds and have only managed to open a single drop-in centre for men. Their website is currently struggling to cope with remand. It appears to receive no Government funding, unlike so man women’s refuge charities. Please donate.
Everybody who needs support against domestic violence should receive it.
One final point, despite the BBC story highlighting the shock news that men are a far larger victim group than previously thought, this is the picture that accompanied the BBC news story……