New Domestic Violence and Abuse Act must lead to full and equal recognition for male victims
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister that she is planning a major programme of work leading towards bringing forward a Domestic Violence and Abuse Act, Mark Brooks, Chairman of the ManKind Initiative, a national charity supporting male victims of domestic abuse, said:
“We welcome the news that the Prime Minister has decided to make ending domestic abuse a real priority as we need to hasten changes in the support given to victims and in helping them become survivors with successfully rebuilt lives.
“It is vital though that there is a real step change in supporting and recognising men, who make up one in three of all victims, if this policy and law is going to keep all those affected by domestic abuse safe. This also includes men fleeing domestic abuse who also need to escape with their children.
“Men currently suffer from a lack of recognition and acceptance in Government policy which then leads to a lack of services and funding at a local level, and, a failure to change public attitudes. This has to change. We need the principles of fairness, inclusion and equality to apply to men, as well as women escaping from domestic abuse.
“A clear example of where things have to change is where it is current Government policy to record and class a crime of domestic abuse against a man as being a crime against a ‘women and girl’. This effectively treats men as second class victims and renders them invisible. This marginalisation of male victims cannot continue, so we call on the Government to make sure the new policy and law is fully inclusive and equal.”
Notes to Editors
- According to the Office for National Statistics, 4.4% of men in 15/16 and 7.7% of women stated that they have experienced domestic abuse in 2015/16, equivalent to an estimated 716,000 male victims and 1.27 million female victims. For every three victims of domestic abuse, two will be female, one will be male.
Source: Office for National Statistics (British Crime Survey) – Focus on violent crime and sexual offences, England and Wales: year ending Mar 2016: http://bit.ly/2kqolyb
- The Government’s “Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy” includes tackling all crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual abuse, sexual violence, stalking and “honour based” crime – even if the victims are in fact male.
For example, the footballers who were sexually abused when they were younger are, according to Government Policy and the Crown Prosecution Service, classed as being a victim of a crime against a Women and Girl.
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).
It received 1,500 calls from male victims (or from people on behalf of victims – often mothers and sisters) every year.
Journalists requiring further information please Mark Brooks on 07834 452357 firstname.lastname@example.org