Domestic violence on men increase
REPORTED domestic violence incidents against men have soared since 2007 but a former police officer puts the increase down to more victims having the confidence to get help.
A freedom of information request to Cheshire Police revealed that 1,020 incidents of domestic abuse involving male victims were reported across Cheshire in 2009.
The figure shows an increase of nine per cent since 2008 and 36 per cent on the 2007 statistic.
Alison McCausland, a former police officer and co-founder of The Relationships Centre, said: “I think men are much more confident about reporting such crimes to the police.
“The police realise the victim doesn’t have to be a woman.”
She said that more men coming forward to seek justice is a good reflection of police work to encourage victims to speak out.
Steven Leach, team leader at The Relationships Centre, based at the Gateway, said that around five per cent of abused men referred to the charity annually take up the offer of support.
He said: “There is no shame in coming forward. If you are the victim of domestic violence that is a crime, the other person needs to be stopped rather than just ending the relationship as the perpetrator might go on to affect other people’s lives.
“It is important that those affected find the strength and the courage to come forward and put an end to it.”
He added that since working for the charity he has worked with two male clients who were arrested at the scene of the incident because police believed they were the perpetrators of violence.
He said the victims’ protests of innocence were interpreted as aggression.
“Sometimes victims of domestic violence go into the perpetrator role willingly or unwillingly. When they enter the relationship their approach is completely different. It is a survival mechanism,” he said.
Steve said help is available from the charity including support for victims during a court case, making their home more safe by installing locks and alarms, counselling and advice from housing associations.
Rachel Zammit, domestic violence strategic co-ordinator for the Warrington Domestic Abuse Forum (WDAF), advised people not to suffer in silence as the WDAF is a multi-agency partnership working to help Warrington residents of any age, gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity or lifestyle.
She said the forum recognises that domestic abuse is a problem which should not be ignored.
For more information visit warrington.gov.uk/domesticabuse or call the Relationships Centre on 246910.