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Male victims of abuse soar

7 October 2011 323 views No comments


Statistics from the 8 Scottish police forces show an increase of 11.24% in the number of incidents that they recorded as domestic abuse or violence with a man as the victim in 2010-11 compared to 2009-10 (Table 1).

The increase to 9,648 is the 11th successive year the figure has risen.

The statistics published by AMIS (Abused Men in Scotland) show that over the last two reporting years, 2008-9 to 2010-11, the number of men recorded by police as victim in incidents of domestic abuse has risen by 22% (Table 2).

Within the acknowledged limitations of police statistics* more than one in six of recorded victims was male yet the reality remains that after 11 years of the Scottish Parliament there are virtually no support services in Scotland designed to help men and their children affected by domestic abuse or violence.

There are variations between police forces in the proportion of male victims. The lowest is Dumfries and Galloway at 12.02%. The highest is Strathclyde at 20.59% (more than one on five) and Tayside at 18.67% (Table 3).

At the most serious end of domestic violence – homicide, attempted murder and serious assault the proportion of male victims tends to be higher.
The number of homicides in 2010-11 is likely to be 11 but the police have been unable to give a breakdown of perpetrator/victim by sex at this point. More than one in three domestic violence related homicides in Scotland over the preceding ten years has had a male victim.
AMIS Secretary, Alison Waugh, says, “Government spokespeople repeatedly state that they take all domestic abuse seriously but that is hard to square with the reality that in 11 successive years in which the number of male victims has increased there has still not been a single campaign specifically directed at men and their children giving them confidence to report and standing unequivocally with them.

Bare statistics show an unbroken upward trend since 2000 but these are real people who are in real pain and distress.

We are pleased to see that awareness is increasing at Scottish Parliament level. Over 50 MSPs from all parties have signed a motion*** acknowledging the importance of the issue and the contribution AMIS has made to support men, often in a desperate predicament. It is long past the point where the need for men on the receiving end of domestic abuse to receive recognition and support should be diverted into an artificial competition between classes of victim.”

Christine Grahame MSP who tabled the motion said she was pleased with the number of signatories. “I think the heartening support from members of all parties demonstrates a shift away from the view that domestic violence is only perpetrated by men against women to awareness that domestic violence knows no gender boundaries. This should be reflected in Government supported public information campaigns.”

The Scottish Government publishes its domestic abuse statistics in November each year. The statistics gathered by AMIS show six of the eight forces (Central, Fife, Northern, Dumfries and Galloway, Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders and Tayside) recorded an increase in male victims in 2010-11 (Table 1). The apparent dramatic increase in Northern is explained by a change in their internal recording system.

Between 2008-9 and 2010-11 (Table 2) only Dumfries and Galloway showed a very small decrease – down by 10.

AMIS aims to be an inclusive organisation, supporting male victims regardless of sexual orientation. The figures in Tables 1, 2 and 3 include men recorded by police as victims of domestic abuse from heterosexual and same sex relationships.

Alison Waugh says, “ Some people will say the figures are going up because more men are coming forward to report. Others, that more women are being violent and abusive. No one really knows. Whatever lies behind the figures we know that many public services are uncomfortable when they encounter men who suffer domestic abuse. We can help them take into account the whole picture.”


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