September 25th, 2016

Spotlight turned on male victims

Updated: 10:21 am, May 07, 2015

NEARLY 1,200 men told police they were a victim of domestic abuse last year – but the true figure could be ten times as high.

A total of 1,156 men in the West Mercia area reported they had been victims in 2014, an increase of 47 per cent compared to the year before.

But according to the Home Office, only ten per cent of male victims will inform police, compared to 27 per cent of women, while 29 per cent will not tell anyone.

As well as encouraging other men to come forward in the knowledge they are not alone, the charity Mankind Initiative aims to highlight to professionals working for councils, the police and the health service how many men are suffering.

It is also hoped by releasing the figures it will encourage friends, family and work colleagues to recognise men can also be victims and help them look out for those who may be suffering.

Ian McNicholl, domestic abuse survivor and honorary patron of the charity, said he did not tell the police when he was a victim and it nearly cost him his life.

“These figures show there are men right across West Mercia who have come forward and told the police, so if you are suffering in this way, you are not alone and there is help out there.

“Don’t be like me, please call the police, speak to friends and family and get the help you need.”

Charity chairman Mark Brooks added the number of men coming forward to the police sent a ‘clear reminder’ to those supporting victims they must provide the same support and look for the same signs as they do for female victims.

“This includes adequate emergency housing provision such as a refuge or safe house, running awareness campaigns and ensuring there is specific support for men.”

Det Ins Steve Eccleston, head of protecting vulnerable people, said: “We know domestic violence and abuse of all kinds is under reported and so we are encouraged more men are reporting these crimes.

“Our aim is to give people the confidence to come forward to report these offences in the knowledge that their report will be fully investigated and they will be given the support they need.”

He added the domestic violence disclosure scheme, also known as Clare’s Law, was launched in March 2014 and gives people the right to ask police whether their partner has a violent past. Since its launch, more than 100 people in Warwickshire and West Mercia have used the scheme.

The Mankind helpline number is 01823 334244. It is open weekdays 10am to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm.