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Latest Domestic violence figures – male victims soar

22 January 2010 273 views One Comment

New Government research explodes the myth that domestic abuse victims are overwhelmingly women. In Scotland the number of male victims of domestic abuse in the last 12 months is far higher than previously thought. In fact there are as many male as female victims.

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2008-09 published its results on 15th December 2009. Scotland’s chief statistician reveals that in the last 12 months as many men as women were victims of partner abuse, and perpetrators of abuse were also in almost equal proportions (48% men, 45% women).

The results of this survey are irrefutable. With a sample size of 16,000, this is the largest study of its kind ever conducted in Scotland, and there is another key reason why its results are so reliable: it investigated more deeply than is normally the case. As Scottish journalist, John Forsyth put it:

“The research has to be commended for its rigour. When asked whether they had been subject to domestic abuse since the age of 16, only 3% of men and 14% of women said yes. However, when asked to report specific conduct by a partner that falls within the definition of partner abuse, the number for men rose 5 times to 15% and for women by half to 20.9%. This is hardly surprising given the tens of millions that has been spent by successive Scottish administrations on campaigns, support services and organisations targeted at women, encouraging them to recognise and report domestic abuse. In the same period precisely nothing has been spent on efforts to encourage men to recognise and report domestic abuse.”

16,000 interviewees were asked about their experience of physical or psychological partner abuse both since the age of 16 and within the preceding 12 months. The findings included:

• 18% of adults who had had at least one partner since the age of 16 reported having experienced at least one form of partner abuse. The figure for women was 20.9% and for men 15.3%.

However, in the most recent 12 months the figure for both men and women was 5%.

• The data for the last 12 months showed that young men aged 16-24 experienced physical and/or psychological abuse more often than young women and more often than any other demographic group.

• For persons experiencing partner abuse in the last 12 months, 48% of the perpetrators were male and 45% were female.

• Police came to know about 35% of incidents of partner abuse reported by women in the preceding 12 months but only 8% of incidents in which a man was on the receiving end. 40% of men told no-one compared to 21% of women.

Our thanks to Australian Senior Researcher, Greg Andreson, for bringing this to our attention.

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