Male domestic abuse stigma is being shattered

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Reports of domestic abuse involving men almost doubled last year, Jersey police have revealed - with 90 allegations of abuse involving 75 individual victims.

However, considering the stigma attached to it, the reality is that the real number of men suffering behind closed doors is likely to be much higher.

According to UK statistics one in four women will be the subject of domestic abuse in their lifetime. While abuse of women is a much-publicised crime, the male domestic abuse victim is often a silent sufferer, hiding the statistic that one in six men too will be abused at home at some point in their life.

Last year Jersey Police received more than 90 allegations of domestic abuse involving men, some of these being repeats, but still amounting to the identification of 75 individual victims. In 2009 there were 43.

Victim Support say they have been seeing more men than in previous years.

Hazel Jury from Victim Support said: "We're seeing more and more people coming forward, now whether that's because there is more male domestic abuse going on or whether it's that we're making it a safer place to come forward into, but we have seen an increase, and of course we all know what domestic abuse is, it's power and control, and women are just as good at doing this as men are."

For the last few weeks there has been another haven for victims of male domestic abuse - the Men's Refuge. Since opening just three weeks ago, they have been full to the brim with a waiting list that appears to be endless.

Colin Taylor set up the refuge having experienced domestic abuse first-hand. Having first lost his mother and then his business, his relationship too became ever more antagonistic and it is the emotional abuse, he says, that people often do not recognise as abuse.

He explained: "A great number of the people that are staying with us are maybe not directly being physically abused and battered, but have gone through a situation where it's ended up with the anger between the parties that he's had to go and that stress and whatever, so we have quite a few on that."

With both Victim Support and The Men's Refuge helping to crush the stigma associated with male domestic abuse, the hope is that the reported rate will be brought more into line with the real number of men suffering in silence.



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ITV channel Television Logo  24/05/2011


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