Busting the Domestic Abuse Myths #2: The majority of male victims are gay

In a piece in the Daily Telegraph, following the release of the #violenceisviolence video, the following claim was made:

“It’s also really important to recognise that in the remaining 11 per cent, men are more at risk when they are in same sex relationships. Quite simply, proportionately very few perpetrators of domestic violence where there is ongoing abuse are female.”

If we ignore the fact that the true figure for repeat incident is 30% male, 70% female as shown previously – does this claim stack up?

It is very carefully worded but gives the impression of the remaining 11%, that the majority of this is made of gay men, so heterosexual men are in the minority.

Not true.

The percentage of gay or bi-sexual men (6.2%) who suffered partner abuse in 2008/09 (the last figures by sexuality) is nearly double the number for heterosexual men (3.3%). Women in same-sex relationships (12.4%) as a percentage also suffered far more partner abuse compared to heterosexual women (4.3%). The figure for females in same-sex relationships never gets aired.

These figures can be found on page 76 here

According to the National Census, a total of 1.5% of men said they were gay while 0.7% of women defined themselves as gay or lesbian. However, 5% of men declared themselves as not being heterosexual.

In the British Crime Survey, extrapolating the population figures it shows that in 2008/09, there were 16.15 million men who lived in England and Wales between the ages of 16-59.

98% heterosexual/2% gay

Heterosexual = 15,827,000

Gay= 323,000

95% heterosexual / 5% gay (non-heterosexual)

Heterosexual = 15,342,500

Non-heterosexual = 807,500

Working back from the population figures and the percentage stating they are victims of partner abuse, the actual numbers are:

Heterosexual men

(3.3% are partner abuse victims)

Gay or Bisexual Men

(6.2% are partner abuse victims)

Actual numbers (98%/2%) 522,000 (96.2%) 20,026 (3.8%)
Actual numbers (95%/5%) 506,302 (90.5%) 50,065 (9.5%)

There is a disparity in the extrapolation as only 430,000 men declared they were victims of partner abuse in 08/09 but as the same percentages are applied, the actual figures are proportionate.

The figures show therefore that for every 20 victims of partner abuse, between 18-19 will be a heterosexual men and between 1-2 will be a gay man.

This means that while gay men are twice as likely to be victims of partner abuse than heterosexual men, gay men do not make up the majority of actual male victims suffering partner abuse. This is due to relatively small numbers of gay men in UK society.

So the intimation that of the 11% of people who suffer more than four incidents of partner abuse (while not true anyway) are more likely to be gay is not true.  Of that 11%, this will be made up of c1% of gay men.

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