Domestic violence against men in Somerset soars to record levels

There are fewer than 100 beds in 20 refuges or safe houses for male victims in the UK, compared with 7,500 for women

Domestic violence against men in Avon and Somerset has soared since 2012, shocking official figures reveal.

A record 3,085 men reported being the victims of domestic abuse in 2016, compared to 1,145 in 2012.

But despite the spike in men reporting the abuse they are suffering, charges against the women perpetrating it remain low.

In 2016 – the last year that the figures are available for – of the 3,085 cases of domestic violence with a male victim, 1,155 of those cases had a woman as the perpetrator of the violence.

But charges were only bought against 202 of those women, the figures show.

The full figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, are in the table below:


Male victims of Domestic Abuse

Male victims of Domestic Abuse with a female perpetrator

Females Charged for Domestic Abuse related crimes





















It is feared the numbers reported are only the tip of the iceberg, as in many incidents of domestic abuse, male victims are often too ashamed to talk about their experiences.

Taunton-based Male domestic violence charity The ManKind Initiative say that for every three victims of partner abuse, two will be female and one will be male. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2.8 per cent of men – 500,000 individuals – suffered partner abuse in 2014/15.

While it’s important to state that more women than men suffer domestic abuse in Britain (4.5m women versus 2.2m men over the age of 16, according to the ONS), there remains a theory that men under report their experiences due to a culture of masculine expectations.

And for those who do report it, it can be hard to find help – there are fewer than 100 beds in 20 refuges or safe houses for male victims in the UK, compared with 7,500 for women.

Mark Brooks, Chairman of the ManKind Initiative, a national charity supporting male victims of domestic abuse, said: “The number of men coming forward to the police sends a clear reminder to those supporting victims of domestic abuse across England and Wales that they must provide the same support and look for the same signs as they quite rightly do for female victims.

“This means making sure male victims and any children they have receive the support they need. This includes adequate emergency housing provision such as a refuge or safe house, running awareness campaigns and ensuring there is specific support for males. This also includes making sure relevant staff are trained to recognise and support the needs of male victims.

“These figures show more and more male victims are finding the courage to get help and find a way of escaping from an abusive relationship. This is good news. We also know more members of the public realise men are victims of domestic abuse too and are lending a hand.

“The police in Avon and Somerset have really changed their approach over the last few years and believe men when they come forward. The figures on the lack of charges are a concern though and the reasons for this do need to be explained.

We urge any man to contact us on 01823 334244 or visit our website. We also a drop in service on a Monday on Taunton. If someone is in immediate danger they must call 999.”

Getting help and support for domestic violence

You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help. If domestic abuse is happening to you, it’s important to tell someone and remember you’re not alone.

You can:

  • talk to your doctor, health visitor or midwife
  • men can call the Men’s Advice Line free on 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or ManKind on 01823 334 244
  • in an emergency, call 999
  • women can call 0808 2000 247, the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge

Men can also email [email protected], which can refer men to local places that can help, such as health services and voluntary organisations.