Around 713,000 men experienced domestic abuse during 2016/17 and 13 died at the hands of their partner, according to new research by ManKind Initiative, the charity that supports male victims of domestic abuse.
One in six men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, with gay or bi-sexual men being more vulnerable than those in a heterosexual relationship.
Mark Brooks, chair of the Mankind Initiative, said: “These figures are shocking and yet welcome. They show the level of domestic abuse against men and the growing confidence they have in coming forward.”
Even so, men are still three times less likely to tell anyone about the abuse than women. Half the men contacting the ManKind helpline had never spoken to anyone before. Many said they had suffered for as long as 6 years but have been reluctant to leave the relationship because of concern about their children. Half said they had been too embarrassed to say anything and a quarter genuinely feared for their life.
Generally, younger men are more likely to be abused by their partner, as illustrated by two cases to hit the headlines this year.
In one, Alix Skeel (22) suffered 4 years of mental abuse at the hands of his girlfriend. In the final 9 months of the relationship, Alix was stabbed and scalded by his 22 year-old partner, Jordan Worth, a fine art student who was later jailed for 7 ½ years.
In another case, Kieran Bewick (18) was stabbed by his girlfriend, Zoe Adams (19) who was sentenced to 11 years.
Don Bird, partner and head of family law, said: “The research reveals statistics that many will find shocking. But it does dispel the myth that domestic abuse is restricted to women or to those in heterosexual relationships. Hopefully this will encourage more men to seek the help they need to end the relationship.
The most common type of abuse is emotional, but men also suffer physical, financial, sexual and psychological abuse as well as coercive control. It is important that anyone suffering abuse, of whatever gender, knows that they can seek confidential advice in the knowledge that help is available.”
ManKind Initiative operates a confidential helpline where you can call anonymously on 01823 334244 weekdays 10am to 4pm. If you are in immediate danger call 999.
Author: Gail Harris