01 June 2015
Charity reveals significant underuse of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (“Clare’s Law.”) by men.
Following Freedom of Information requests (see annex 1) to police forces, the ManKind Initiative charity has revealed that of those (22) who could supply the data by gender only one in 25 (4%) of requests to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (“Clare’s Law”) were made by men. This is despite the fact that on average one in five (20%) victims of domestic abuse1 who report to the same police forces are men thereby proving that they do not believe the scheme is open to them.
The aim of the scheme (introduced in March 2014) is to provide anyone with a formal mechanism to make enquiries about their partner if they are worried that they may have been abusive in the past.
Research by the charity shows that between its introduction on 8 March 2014 and 5 January 2015, of those 22 police forces who could supply the data broken by gender it was only used by 64 men (4%) and 1,547 women (96%). In five police forces no man had used the scheme (Staffordshire, Lincolnshire, Cambria, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire).
The charity raised concerns2 in the 2011 government consultation that the over-use of the term “Clare’s Law” would lead to men thinking this scheme was not available to them. To address this, the charity wants local Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure that everyone in their area including domestic abuse professionals fully understand it is available for men to use as much as for women. All publicity, information and training about the scheme is referred to as “The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme”, not just “Clare’s Law” and that both female and male victims are referred to.
Ian McNicholl3, domestic abuse survivor and honorary patron of the ManKind Initiative, said:
“Had it been available to me, why would I have taken advantage of this scheme whilst I was been victimised if I thought it was just for women? It is similar to asking pensioners “Why are you not going on a Club 18-30 Holiday?” The clue is in the often-used title. This life changing legislation is available to men right across England and Wales and they should be encouraged to come forward and seek help from the Police. Don’t be like me, please make the request to the police, alternatively, speak to friends and family and ask them to make the request on your behalf
Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind Initiative, said:
“It is great news that so many women have used the scheme but given that so many men are also victims of domestic abuse as well, it is concerning that so few are asking for information. It is vital that men, family members, friends and neighbours are also aware they can use it as the figures clearly show this needs to be addressed and can be done so with better publicity.”
The Home Office reports that male victims (29%)3 are nearly twice as likely as women (17%) to not tell anyone about partner abuse. Only 10% of male victims will tell the police (27% women).
Notes to Editors
- 1. ManKind Initiative FOI responses on number of men and women reporting to police forces between January 2012 and June 2014: https://mankindnews.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/male-victims-police/
- ManKind Initiative response to government consultation (2011) http://www.mankind.org.uk/pdfs/Mankind%20Clares%20Law%20response%20final.pdf
- 3. ONS BCS Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences 2012/13 http://tinyurl.com/nb4xga; Table 22 on Appendix Table: http://tinyurl.com/qgxb7xg
- 4. Ian McNicholl is a domestic abuse survivor. His partner was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2008. Since that time, Ian has campaigned across the UK to ensure the voices of male victims are heard and that services are provided.
- about the ManKind Initiative
The ManKind Initiative (www.mankind.org.uk), based in Taunton, Somerset, is a national charity which runs a help-line, information and referral service for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence. The help-line number is 01823 334244 (weekdays 10am-4pm and 7pm-9pm).
It received 1,600 calls from male victims (or from people on behalf of victims – often mothers and sisters) every year.
- 6. Media
Annex 1: Statistics
|FEMALE 2014||MALE 2015||FEMALE 2015||MALE TOTAL||FEMALE TOTAL||UNKNWN GENDER|
|AVON & SOMERSET|
|DEV & CORN||0||0||124|