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Domestic abuse, was once seen as a gender-specific offence committed by males towards females. From as early as the mid 1800’s, the law deemed it a husband’s acceptable right to exert control over his wife, through the use of physical abuse.
However, in 1878, the UK Matrimonial Causes Act made it possible for women to seek legal advice on separation from a physically abusive husband.
The term “Domestic Violence” was first used by Jack Ashley when he addressed Parliament in 1973. However, more recently this term has declined in popularity, being replaced with the term “Domestic Abuse”.This is mainly due to the efforts of numerous organisations and Parliament who have included various other forms of abusive behaviours and encouraged the inclusivity of abuse in all relationships, including same-sex relationships and female perpetrators.
The Mankind initiative who support male victims of domestic abuse , sent all 43 Police forces in England and Wales a Freedom of Information request for data in the year’s 2012 and 2017. The data received shows that the figures doubled in the five year period from 72,157 in 2012 to 149,248 in 2017.
The Mankind Initiative state that in 2017, 158,974 males had reported they had been victims of domestic abuse. This figure identifies that 1 in 4 of all reported victims, where the gender of a victim is recorded, are men.
The Chair of the ManKind Initiative, Mark Brooks said:
"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.”
"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.”
Unfortunately, Domestic Abuse happens across all society and to all genders, therefore, every person suffering domestic abuse should be able to access support and Legal advice to end this devastating and debilitating exploitation.
Call our family helpline on 08000 147720, send us an email or text LAW to 67777 to book a free information session at any of our offices. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our office