After the tragic case of Alex Skeel came to light, we reveal the numbers of men who are also affected by violence and abuse in the home.
DOMESTIC abuse affects an estimated 1.9million adults aged 16 to 59 every year, but only 700,000 of the victims are thought to be male.
With the first ever conviction of domestic abuse made against a woman, we lay out the tragic facts and figures of male domestic abuse.
What is male domestic abuse?
Domestic violence against men deals with the abuse experienced by men and boys, aged 16 or over, in a relationship such as marriage, cohabitation or even within a family.
It can be both mental and physical, including psychological, sexual, financial and emotional.
Domestic abuse comes in many different forms, and can include controlling and coercive behaviour through intimidation, isolation and threats of violence.
Some cases can escalate to becoming physical, with sexual abuse and physical or sexual violence as common as emotional torment.
How many men are affected?
According to research by the ManKind Initiative, 15 per cent of men aged 16 to 59 have experienced some sort of domestic abuse in their life – equivalent to 2.4million men.
Though for every three victims of domestic abuse, only one of them will be male.
Mankind revealed that 4.3 per cent of men had experienced domestic abuse in 2016 to 2017, an estimated 713,000 men compared with 1.2million women.
Less than one per cent of men had experienced physical violence from their partner, and an even smaller number believed they had been sexually abused.
In 2016 to 2017, 13 men are thought to have died at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.
Sadly, male victims are over three times as likely as women to keep their abuse a secret, or refuse to tell the police or medical professional.
How can you spot the signs of a victim?
Sometimes it can be hard to tell what goes on behind closed doors, but many victims of abuse show tell-tale signs that could be vital in saving their lives.
The main warning signs fall into four categories: behaviour, appearance, contact and work.
Some of the signs of abuse include:
- Appearing afraid or anxious to please a partner
- Checking in often with their partner on their whereabouts or who they are with
- Feeling threatened that his children might turn against him or be taken away from him
- Talking frequently about a partner’s jealous or angry behaviour
- Having very low self esteem and feeling anxious or depressed
- Showing major personality changes or withdrawing from people
- Having frequent injuries with the excuse of an “accident”
- Dressing in particular clothing to hide scars or marks
- Having no access to social media and little access to money
What can a victim do?
If a victim is in immediate danger, they should call 999 and alert the authorities of the abuse.
Otherwise, men can talk to the police, their GP, a local hospital or a specialist helpline such as ManKind Initiative to get help leaving the relationship.
Keeping documents and logs in a diary which details the abuse in a safe place could later help tell others of the abuse.