During 2011/12, 1.3% of men and 1.3% of women were victims of severe force at the hands of their partners (Source: Office for National Statistics, Crime Survey – Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2011/12, Table 4.01).
From yesterday’s Guardian, a piece by a female journalist (as usual):
The article starts:
More than 10,000 women and children are at high risk of being murdered or seriously injured by current or former partners, according to police assessments obtained by the Guardian.
In a stark illustration of the levels of domestic violence across the country, data from 34 out of the 44 police forces in England, Wales and Scotland reveals that at least 10,952 individuals, most of whom are women, were deemed to be at high risk of violent death in the home, or of suffering serious violence, in the year to November.
But the figures obtained are likely to be an underestimate as domestic violence is heavily under-reported and police forces appear to gather and collate the information in several different ways, despite demands for a national protocol on assessing the risk to victims. The snapshot obtained by the Guardian reveals the acute nature of the threat of domestic violence for thousands of women and children.
The phrase ‘most of whom are women’ is the only indication in this article that male victims of severe domestic violence even exist. The average reader might reasonably have assumed that the overwhelming majority of victims are women. In the article every example of victims relate to women, every example of perpetrators (including murderers) relate to men. There isn’t even one instance of concern shown for men who are victims of severe force at the hands of their partners. Later in the article:
Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said domestic violence was a problem of systemic proportions. She said women and children deemed to be at the highest risk must be given proper protection and the police must not use risk assessment as a “tick box” exercise.
“There is no point in doing a risk assessment if the knowledge gained does not lead to proactive safety planning measures that keep women and children safe from violent men.
“I am deeply concerned that in too many cases this does not happen,” she said.
It’s little wonder the general public is so ill-informed about domestic violence. If Mark Brooks of Mankind Initiative had been approached for a comment, he might reasonably have replaced the word ‘women’ with ‘men’, and the word ‘men’ with ‘women’, and the section would still have made perfect sense.