ManKind Initiative calls on NICE to ensure quality standards are applied to male victims

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence produced a consultation on quality standards in the health service with regard to domestic abuse.

The ManKind Initiative’s response focussed on ensuring that  male victims were identified as an under-represented group  and therefore should be considered as a group under the Equality and Diversity sections of the standards.

The response is here: ManKind Submission


Charity issues Welsh Assembly consultation response to ensure the voice of male victims in Wales are heard

The Welsh Government have created A Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill and the Welsh Assembly are currently consulting on it – the details and process can be found here. The  Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee i the Welsh Assembly have been tasked with reviewing the Bill and set out a public consultation.

We submitted a ManKind Initiative Consultation Response response and are appearing before the committee on October 2014.

The charity is supportive of the Welsh Government’s Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill in principle and recognises that it is a step forward in ensuring the victims of these crimes receive the protection and support they need.

However, the charity believes there are a number of issues that will need to be addressed to ensure that in Wales, all victims of these crimes receive the protection and support they need. A law that supports victims of domestic abuse is supported, but often from the charity’s experience, the application of law in terms of the provision of services for male victims, is lacking.

These issues, include:

(i) recognising and accepting that domestic abuse is not a gender-based crime. It is therefore vital that the part of the bill’s title entitled “Gender-based Violence” is recognised and interpreted as being separate to “domestic abuse”. An answer could be to rename the Bill on an alphabetical basis: Domestic Abuse, Gender-based Violence and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill.


(ii)  if forced marriage and honour-based violence are viewed as being gender-based crimes, then how will male victims of these crimes be equally recognised and supported as female victims of these crimes?


(iii) ensuring national and local strategies fully recognise male victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence and that the strategies explicitly address the needs of male victims. This also includes service commissioning, staff training and awareness raising.

Is Clare’s Law for male victims?

By Ian McNicholl – domestic abuse survivor and Hon  Patron of the ManKind Initiative

It transpires that Clare’s Law has most recently been rolled out across England and Wales (BBC coverage). Consequently, we can all relax safe in the knowledge that potential victims of domestic abuse can be offered an escape route before they are groomed into “victim” status. “Hoorah, Hoorah!”

You may feel that as a consequence of the above the following question is extremely relevant: “Does Clare’s Law afford the same choices to all potential victims of Domestic Abuse?”  I politely suggest that Clare’s Law will not provide equality of access.

There is no doubt in my mind that Clare’s Law will enhance the range of services to potential female victims and this is indeed most welcome.  However, this Law is yet another example of services for both potential and actual male victims of domestic abuse, (yes, they do actually exist!) not been considered within the arena of awareness therefore services afforded to male victims can only stagnate and consequently fall behind those services afforded to female victims.  In today’s modern society, this is simply unacceptable.

Well, it’s only a name” I hear you cry.  Should this be the case then I propose a name change to “Ian’s Law” with immediate effect secure in the knowledge that this will make no difference whatsoever to the number of potential female victims seeking to take advantage of the law.  Changing the name of the law to a male influenced prefix would be the equivalent of lighting the blue touch paper on Bonfire Night prior to reading the safety Instructions.  The sensible solution would be to change the name of Law to a prefix used by both females and males alike, “in memory of Clare Wood.”

The key message here is one of “signposting” and Clare’s Law will do very little at best, and at worst absolutely nothing to encourage potential male victims to ask the relevant questions, to seek reassurance and therefore make the same informed choices afforded to potential female victims.  The clue is in the title!  A further point for your consideration is to ask yourself if you would be equally comfortable if there was a “Law” that enhances awareness, and therefore prioritises support based on “Ethnic Origin,” “Sexual Orientation” or “Age.”

Whilst I am in no position to empathise with a parent who has had to lay their child to rest, as a male survivor of domestic abuse, and not domestic violence, I am in a position to understand the need for enhanced levels of awareness as this will almost certainly, positively influence “Risk.”  However, awareness and risk remain gender neutral whilst the mind of a perpetrator is not gender specific.

I have met and spoken directly with many survivors of domestic abuse and there is not one survivor who would wish to see support prioritised and therefore consequently denied based on “Gender.”  Services must be all engaging and fully inclusive with “Risk” and “Need” the overriding criteria.  Furthermore, there is an obligation on Service Providers to provide support on a proportionate basis.

It will be interesting to see what proportion of approaches to individual police authorities are made on behalf of or directly from potential male victims?  However, my message is a simple one and one that can apply to any potential victim of domestic abuse:

Should your instinct tell you to make an approach to the Police with regard to your current partner, then you should take action to ensure your own safety today rather than tomorrow.  Tomorrow may be one day too late”

It will be most interesting to see how Clare’s Law unfolds.  However, I remain deeply concerned that this recent development only reinforces the division that exists within the arena of domestic abuse service provision when all should be ready to respond to a cry for help.  Ignore the first cry and it may be the last cry.

Ian McNicholl – doemstic abuse survivor

8,800 men suffer from domestic abuse in Croydon each year

The Croydon Advertiser revealed that 22,000 people per year in Croydon, in Surrey, suffer from domestic abuse each year including 8,800 men. Of those men, around 1,0o0 suffered more than four incidents.

It was very pleasing that such a profile was given to the number of male victims.

The challenge given the recent finding by NICE and also the fact that there is no known service for male victims of domestic abuse is to ensure that those men suffering are able to get the help they need. If no support is available, including safe house support, then the council and health agencies will be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

Equal recognition at last for male victims in new guidance

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence issued new guidance this week ( We and Broken Rainbow sat on the Programme Development Group which not only in itself was a significant development and recognition of male victims – it also helped to ensure the guidance fully covered the issue off. At some stage we will undertake an analysis of what it means for men and also organisations supporting them. The quote we gave to the media was:

“The full recognition of male victims in these welcome guidelines is a crucial landmark in the way we tackle domestic abuse in this country. The fact it clearly sets out the responsibilities that organisations such as local authorities and the NHS have in recognising and supporting male  victims is a huge leap forward. No longer should the hundreds of thousands of men who suffer every year find there is no support for them in their local community.”

It was heartening to see that NICE also gave prominence to the figures about men. We hope it is a real wake up call to the health sector, police and councils to ensure their staff are trained to support and recognise male victims juts as they are female victims. Only then can we move to a country where all victims receive the support and recognition based on individual need and not gender – which still remains the predominant and misguided ideology underpinning much in the domestic abuse sector.

ManKind Initiative launches updated 25 Key Facts on male victims

The Office for National Statistics has recently published its updated  2012/13 report and datasets on the British Crime Survey which highlights a range of statistics on domestic abuse amongst a host of other important data.

The ManKind Initiative has collated these and a number of other key statistics into one 25 Key Facts_Feb 2014 (final)

Please feel free to download and circulate.

Some key facts are:

  • 38% of domestic abuse victims are male: for every five victims, three will be female, two will be male
  • 4.4% of men were estimated to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year, equivalent to an estimated 720,000 male victims
  • 1% of men and 1.4% of women were victims of severe force at the hands of their partner during 2012/13.
  • More married men (1.5%) and cohabitating men (4.0%) suffered from partner abuse in 2012/13 than married women (1.3%) and cohabitating women (3.4%)
  • Male victims (29%) are nearly twice as likely than women (17%) to not tell anyone about the partner abuse. Only 10% of male victims will tell the police (27% women), only 22% will tell a person in an official position (38% women) and only 10% (15% women) will tell a health professional.