But what about us men?
Yes, men do experience domestic abuse with gay and transgender men being especially vulnerable. However, research consistently shows that when men are involved in domestic abuse, it is as perpetrators rather than victims.
In Scotland, in four out of five reported incidents of domestic abuse, women are the victims, and the perpetrators are men.
Furthermore, the evidence shows that women experience domestic abuse in a different way to men. Women are more likely to experience severe and sustained abuse, and experience greater levels of coercive control in the form of psychological and emotional abuse. Women are twice as likely as men to be killed by a partner or ex-partner. Men who are killed by their partners often have a history of perpetrating abuse.
For these reasons, Women’s Aid (which includes Border Women’s Aid) takes a gendered approach. Domestic abuse must be seen within the context of power and control which is usually gender-based. We recognise that domestic abuse is a cause and consequence of women’s inequality. That is why BWA is a women supporting women service, providing women-only safe spaces and support.
Help for men who are being abused
If you’re a man in an abusive relationship, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Abuse of men does happen and takes place within a context of power and control. It happens to men from all cultures and all walks of life, regardless of age or occupation, in both heterosexual and same sex relationships. However, men are often reluctant to report abuse because they feel embarrassed, fear they won’t be believed, or are scared that their partner will take revenge. Domestic abuse against men can take the form of physical violence, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse. Regardless of gender, ending a relationship, even an abusive one, is rarely easy. It becomes even harder if you’ve been isolated from friends and family, threatened, manipulated, and controlled, or physically and emotionally beaten down.
However, whatever your circumstances, you can find help and break free from an abusive relationship.
If you are a man, or worried about a man, who may be experiencing domestic abuse, you will find help here:
- AMIS – Scotland’s leading charity and helpline for male domestic abuse. You can find out more on their website. Phone 03300 949 395
- Respect Men’s Advice Line: Helpline: 0808 8010327 https://mensadviceline.org.uk/
- Mankind: This website has a very helpful checklist of the signs that a man may be experiencing domestic abuse. Helpline: 01823 334244