Domestic violence is once again in the news with the government reducing the funding available for the running and administration of refuges for victims around the country. There have been many articles written about this in the news covering the potential damage this will cause for women in all areas of the UK. A quick search on google shows that there are many resources for women to seek help, guidance and refuge with regards to an abusive partner. However there is little if no consideration given to the male victims of domestic abuse and as yet i am not seeing anyone campaigning for more money for their support.
Annually there are around 500,000 male victims of domestic abuse each year, admittedly this figure includes some repeat victims. For these victims there are 19 organisations covering the whole country that allow men to take refuge in their services. This is a total of 78 places, of these only 20 of these are dedicated for men only, with the rest being available to ‘either gender’.
Even when looking through the ‘Refuge’ website, one of the largest for both victims and abusers in the case of domestic violence, gives little mind to men in domestic violence situations. While there are numerous options for refuge for women and children, men are simply given a helpline number with someone to speak to on the other end. There is no mention of any safe place for them to leave to. Instead they are stuck in an abusive environment with little or no help.
There are many more female victims of domestic abuse each year than there are men, there is no denying that, however the care and support available for victims is not proportional and once again men are being left to suffer at the hands of an abuser. This can only be because of a society wide sense that men cannot be victims, or as we see in so many videos, that if a man is physically attacked, then he must have done something to deserve it. There are many examples of such videos on Youtube where people have run an experiment of a female victim of male violence and a male victim of female violence. The fact that one side of this is socially acceptable is abundantly clear.
The question is: How far do things have to go before domestic violence is treated seriously for both genders? Perhaps with Gay marriage now legal in the UK we will see more help for men in these situations, unfortunately that means that men in the mean time will have to carry on suffering and most likely there will need to be a great deal more victims before anything is done.