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New figures show welcome rise in men reporting domestic abuse to the police: ManKind Initiative

Reporting of incidents has doubled in five years

Figures obtained from 41 police forces across England and Wales by the ManKind Initiative, the charity which supports male victims of domestic abuse, showed that 158,974 men reported to them as being victims of domestic abuse in 2017 – one in four of all victims (24.8 per cent) where the gender of the victim was recorded. A further 9,842 men reported the same in Scotland.

Of the 43 police authorities in England and Wales which were sent the Freedom of Information request by the charity, 37 provided figures for 2012 and last year. On that like for like basis, the figures rose from 72,157 in 2012 to 149,248 in 2017 – more than double in five years.

Mark Brooks, Chair of the ManKind Initiative, said:

"These figures are both shocking yet welcome. They show the level of domestic abuse against men and the growing confidence they have in coming forward. Friends, family and work colleagues are also playing a key part in supporting them and many police forces are actively encouraging men to report.

"These figures should act as a spur for even more men to reach out as many feel they are the only man in the world this has ever happened to and they suffer in silence behind their front door. They now know they are not alone.

"Society as a whole is taking a more modern and inclusive view of domestic abuse – increasingly realising that it is a crime against women and men in heterosexual and same-sex relationships. More always needs to be done to challenge stereotypes as we still see some people not taking domestic abuse as seriously as they should when a man is a victim but we are moving in the right direction.

"A key challenge remains in ensuring there are male-victim friendly services in every county and city that men are aware of and where professionals know and do refer them to. Failure to ensure a basic level of support across the country will fail those men and of course, fail their children where they are involved. At the moment there are low numbers of men actually accessing domestic abuse services so whilst more are going to the police we need to encourage better take up of local services that are available to them."

Overall figures for female victims for the 41 police forces across England and Wales showed that 482,157 women reported to them as being victims of domestic abuse in 2017. A further 44,216 women reported the same in Scotland. The figures on the like for like basis show that the number of women who police recorded as victims has increased by almost 50 per cent from 306,411 in 2012 to 447,568 last year.

The charity emphasises that it welcomes improvements in female reporting rates and that there needs to be more funding and support for female victims, as well as more funding and support for male victims too.

For the full spreadsheet of statistics, click here.