Plight Of Male Victims Of Domestic Abuse – May 2008

Victims who have come forward with there experiences to the Dewar Research Survey 2001(1) by 100 male victims of domestic violence in England and Wales and in Ireland suggested that genuine male victims of female violence in couple relationships suffered no less physical and emotional consequences than female victims in many instances. Over half had been threatened with a weapon and a signicant proportion reported serious forms of injury. One third had been kicked in the genitals, and others burnt or scalded, stabbed, or hit with heavy objects. Male victims were also
less likely than female victims to report the violence or abuse against them, and when they did report, were often faced with what appeared to be widespread prejudice or discrimination against them by the police, social agencies and courts. About one fifth of male victims were themselves arrested. Little action was taken by the police against female assailants unless the men had a visible and significant injury.

Nearly half of male victims who reported abuse against them were subsequently excluded from the family home, and a significant proportion lost meaningful or any contact with their children, who usually remained with the violent mother. Father victims who reported abuse against them by the mother were particularly vulnerable to the consequences of parental separation and the continuing hostility and obstruction of the mother. Only a small proportion of father victims subsequently had regular unimpeded contact with their children. Over three quarters of the 203 children involved witnessed the violence by the mother against the father.

The latest published British Crime Survey results for year 2006/07 in England and Wales(2) show that male victims of partner abuse constitute about 40% of all victims, with a higher proportion (48%) in the category of ‘severe force’ during the previous 12 months.

The recent Report(3) published by the Home Affairs Select Committee following its Inquiry into Domestic Violence in England and Wales largely ignored the plight of male victims, although it did recommend the provision of more emergency accommodation for them but subject to ‘means-testing’.

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