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Men are victims too: the ManKind domestic violence conference

As part of LGFL’s holistic approach to divorce, Director Rita Gupta attended the ManKind conference last November. The ManKind Initiative helps men escape domestic violence and their confidential helpline is available for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence across the UK. In this first article in a new series, Rita highlights some of the key findings she discovered at the conference.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. Victims come from all walks of life and professions, across all age groups, and from all parts of the UK. Yet public awareness is low and the subject can even be a source of amusement, as ManKind showed in a powerful video.

How would you react?

ManKind secretly videoed the reactions of members of the public witnessing an incident of domestic violence. The man and woman involved were both actors, but the public were unwitting bystanders the unfolding drama.

  • In the incident where the man was abusing the woman, male and female bystanders came to intervene to help the woman.
  • When the man was abused, the bystanders found it amusing and no help was given.

(If you want to view the video, click the link here. Please be aware this video contains offensive language and images of simulated violence.)

How prevalent is domestic abuse against men?

The reactions in that video show that public awareness of domestic violence is low, and understanding limited, despite the facts that:

  • There is an equal split 50/50 between the gender of the primary aggressor
  • 1 in 3 victims of domestic violence are men who self-report the incident
  • In 2017/18, 6000 women were convicted of abuse

 

If you are experiencing domestic violence, the time to act is now. Call 999 and if possible, get yourself and your children to a place of safety. Call the ManKind confidential helpline on 01823 334244. Then, once you’re safe, contact us for professional legal advice on how to proceed.

Equality for all victims

ManKind wants funding to be equal for both male and female victims, for them to be treated as equals regardless of their gender, or that of their attacker.

It’s an approach that as family lawyers, we heartily endorse. We have seen first-hand the devastating effects of domestic violence, abuse and coercive control on the victim, their children, their family, and their careers. The stigma behind domestic violence against men can mean they do not get the support, advice or protection they need. (It may also prove to be very costly for the victim, as we’ll explore in our next article in this series.)

The true scale of the issue

In his presentation, psychologist Dr Ben Hine detailed how reporting on domestic violence against men in the UK is held back by the men themselves being unwilling to officially report incidents to the police. As a result, the statistics that do exist are probably far lower than the reality.

Dr Hine and his team looked at data from the reports, and discovered that:

  • Male DV victims were generally older
  • 86% are white/ British
  • 22% are self referring

In addition, male victims are more likely to:

  • Have a vulnerability used against them, such as disability or deafness
  • Be in work and earning
  • Still live with their abusive partner rather than be separated
  • Remain in an abusive relationship, especially if they have children
  • Develop drugs and alcohol issues

 

Family law services for all

At LGFL, we have dealt with multiple cases of separation and divorces involving domestic violence, abuse and coercive control. Our approach is to same regardless of age and gender, married or cohabiting. We listen with empathy and give pragmatic advice to help you remove (extract?) yourself from that abusive relationship and situation.

We encourage any man suffering in an abusive relationship to take the first step and call us for a review of your situation. We offer a free 30-minute consultation for qualifying clients in our discreet offices either in Reading or Swallowfield. We have purposely based ourselves in high-end business centres, so nobody knows which company you are visiting when you arrive. Our countryside premises in Swallowfield even has a hidden back entrance should you require it.