Statistics on male domestic abuse victims

| 25/01/2017

Would you be able to find out if the police have received any complaints from men, either in 2015 or 2016, about being victims of domestic violence by their female partners and, if so, how many resulted in charges being filed?

Auntie’s answer: Several months ago, I responded to another question about domestic violence targeting men (see Is help available for male victims of domestic abuse?). At the time, I was not able to get any information on actual numbers of reports filed by male victims, but said I would follow up. I am now able to provide a few statistics, courtesy of the RCIPS.

Before I get into the numbers, an RCIPS spokesperson offered a few points to help with understanding how the reports are dealt with.

To start, if the police respond to a call and it is determined to be a domestic incident, the case is referred to the Family Support Unit (FSU) for follow up; it is these referrals that get counted in the statistics that I will be sharing.

The referrals can encompass a wide range of incidents, the official explained, possibly including verbal threats as well as violence, or neither, but nonetheless raise the suspicions or concerns of the responding officers, particularly if children are present in the home. Once the reports go to the FSU, they can be tracked so that if the police get called again to the same address they will be aware of a pattern.

Also important to understand is that the police are not able to make an arrest every time. It often becomes an issue of one person’s word against another without any basis unless, of course, someone is physically injured.

Even when there is not a basis for arrest, the spokesperson said, the police have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on domestic violence, “which means that in any domestic call or incident some action must be taken, even if that action is simply an internal referral to FSU or information provided about available services”, such as those offered by the Family Resource Centre or Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.

In addition, as many people are aware, a report of domestic violence is not limited to between husband and wife (this can mean partners as well, of course, but to keep the explanation simple, I will refer to spouses here). Abuse can be between children and parents, grandparent and grandchild, or among any family members or acquaintances.

And, as mentioned, we are not simply talking about physical harm; the abuse can be verbal/psychological as well.

Now here are the numbers. In 2015, there were 451 referrals to the FSU after police responded to a domestic call. Of that total, 88 (about 20%) were male victims complaining about abuse of whatever kind, whether verbal or physical. Most of the complaints were against partners but could include other family situations where abuse is alleged to be taking place.

For 2016, out of 745 referrals, 173 (about 23%) were male victims, with the complaints received fitting into the same parameters as mentioned for the previous year.

Clearly the numbers have risen significantly over those two years, but it would be difficult to know whether that is a result of increased awareness of the issue and a greater willingness to come forward to report abuse or, more worrying, because domestic violence is a worsening problem.

Either way, it is important to keep this issue a part of the public conversation for the sake of both male and female victims.

One other thing: the police spokesperson explained that your question on the number if charges being filed would require a significant amount of follow-up on each referral and, in addition, these are fairly recent cases that would still be going through the court process. Therefore, since the RCIPS had already been enormously helpful, I did not feel I could ask for more hours in the day to be spent on this exercise.


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t it be the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine if charges were filed?

    We wouldn’t need to see how the cases are proceeding through the courts, only whether the cases against the women had actually proceeded to court. Meaning, were these women actually charged with a criminal offense? A referral to FSU meant the attending RCIPS officer would have had to believe an incident had taken place.

    Therefore, how many of the cases against the women that were referred to FSU actually resulted in Criminal Charges.

    The belief in the community is that the DPP does not pursue charges against women who abuse men. If that is the case, then they are deliberately discriminating and male victims are being refused justice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately the combination of this section and the previous segment on what help is available for male victims, is well summed up by saying that

    “Men, you are worthless. Men you are not worthy of any assistance if you are a victim. Please learn how to block a punch, dodge thrown objects and jump out of the way of a moving vehicle. And under no circumstance are you to ever defend yourself, or we will make sure you face the full wrath of criminal charges”.

    LOL – Did you see the FRC is doing yet ANOTHER, session on violence against women and refusing to do anything for male victims. What a shocker ! Unfortunately, these sessions will simply empower female abusers to continue their behaviour and more innocent men and children will face greater abuse. Well Done FRC !

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why would the RCIPS be referring men to either the Family Resource Centre or Crisis Centre, when neither of these groups assist male victims?

  4. Anonymous says:

    What is unfortunate about this, is that it is well known (I myself am a male victim or repeated abuse), and despite all of the calls and reports to the police, they have never referred the matter to FSU.

    This is extremely disturbing. How many other male victims have called and their case not been reported to FSU? This statistic could easily be way off the charts.

    Men already have no place to go if they are a victim.
    Men are already afraid of repercussions if they call the police,
    and the RCIPS are failing to refer cases to FSU.