New figures reveal one in four people who report domestic abuse in Norfolk are men
PUBLISHED: 07:34 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:34 27 September 2018
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One in four people who report domestic abuse in Norfolk are men, new figures show.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed that the number of men who reported being a victim of domestic abuse to Norfolk Constabulary has more than trebled in just five years.
The request, submitted by domestic abuse charity the ManKind Initiative, showed that 1,911 men reported being a victim of domestic abuse to Norfolk Constabulary in 2017.
In total, 8,072 domestic abuse cases were reported to police, with 24pc of them men.
It is more than treble the number of men who reported as victims of domestic abuse in 2012, when they represented 19pc of cases.
The figures have been described as “shocking but welcome” by the charity which says they show that men feel increasingly able to report abuse.
That has been echoed by Mandy Proctor, chief executive officer of Norfolk-based domestic abuse charity Leeway.
She said: “The increases show just how important it is to have services in place for men experiencing domestic abuse. Whilst more needs to be done to continue to raise awareness of domestic abuse, the increases in the number of men coming forward suggests that the message is reaching more people. Those experiencing domestic abuse, both men and women, often fear coming forward for many different reasons, so it is reassuring to see that there is a growing confidence when it comes to accessing support.”
She added: “We currently have a dedicated service for men offering confidential and non-judgemental advice and support, as well as providing emergency short-term accommodation, where we will support them to find long-term accommodation at a male refuge.”
While domestic abuse can be violent, the definition can include any controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour and includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.
Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind Initiative, said: “These figures are both shocking yet welcome. They show the level of domestic abuse against men and the growing confidence they have in coming forward.”
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An under-reported crime
Domestic abuse of men is still an under-reported crime despite a rise in the number of cases dealt with by police.
That is the view of Temporary Detective Superintendent Andy Coller who said: “We understand this is an under-reported crime, particularly among male victims; however the constabulary has a dedicated team of domestic abuse specialists who are trained in this sensitive area of crime.”
He added: “The increase does not necessarily mean more crime is happening rather there are a greater number of victims who are having the courage and the confidence to report these crimes in the knowledge their allegations will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
“The publicity that we have seen locally and nationally around domestic abuse has also had a positive effect in raising awareness, especially with traditionally hard to reach victims of domestic abuse such as men and the LGBT community.”