5 thoughts on “BBC1 documentary next Monday on domestic violence, ‘Behind Closed Doors’

  1. Thanks Lucy. The answers to your questions – why do men under-report, why aren’t they taken seriously when they do, why are there so few dedicated refuge places? – have been known for decades. Radical feminists took over the nascent DV industry in the early 1970s (read the Erin Pizzey story). The BBC and the rest of the mainstream media virtually never report the truth about the non-gendered nature of DV, so public understanding of DV is poor, so while we have programmes like this BBC one focusing only on female victims and male perpetrators, public understanding won’t improve.

    There was a long-running female-on-male abuse storyline (the abuse of ‘Tyrone’) on Coronation Street, creating quite a buzz, but increased awareness made not the slightest difference with respect to support available for abused men. Our blog piece including the Tyrone story:


    In our 2015 general election manifesto (link below) we covered DV on pp.26-30:


  2. Good question! We could start with a specific documentary on why men under-report, why they tend not to be taken seriously when they DO report, why there are only 17 (Seventeen! It’s so ridiculous that you have to type it twice to make it clear that it’s not a mistake) dedicated refuge places for men nationwide. We could also do with featuring a female-on-male abuse storyline on one of the soaps — ideally EastEnders or Coronation Street, but I’d settle for Hollyoaks…

    If in even a year’s time we are at the point where our #1 concern is “the lenient sentencing of women who abuse their male partners” I would be delighted. But there are SO MANY concerns to overcome before we get to that point that “not being represented in a documentary on lenient sentences” (which is what this one is) is barely on the radar. Female-on-male abuse doesn’t typically GET to the hurdle of worrying about lenient sentences because it’s typically fallen at one of the half-dozen hurdles before that.

  3. Good question! There should be a specific documentary about the social pressure not to report, the extent to which reports are taken seriously, and in particular the shocking lack of refuge places for men (only 17 dedicated places nationwide! Seventeen. It’s so ridiculous that you have to type it out twice to make it clear there’s no mistake).

    If we ever got to the position where what we were talking about, and making documentaries about, was “the shockingly low sentences that women who abuse their male partners get when their cases are fully investigated and prosecuted through the court system” then we would be light years ahead of where we are right now.

    Let’s target why men under-report. Let’s target why they aren’t taken seriously when they do. Let’s target why they don’t have proper places of safety to go to. Those are my notion of “the right target” for now. I would LOVE if this time next year we were able to say “Yeah, we’ve got all those sorted, now let’s talk about sentencing…”

    Would be good to see a female-on-male abuse storyline on EastEnders or Corrie, for example.

  4. You cannot be serious. Well over 300 scholarly investigations show us women are at least as physically aggressive as men towards opposite-sex intimate partners:


    The BBC has an outrageous history of ignoring the fact that a substantial proportion of victims of DV are men, and you’re defending the fact that not even one of the three victims in this documentary is a man? One of the reasons male victims of DV don’t tend to report DV to police is that they believe they’re rarities – the mainstream media almost never portray real-life male victims of DV, and you’re condoning that very problem. What on earth is your notion of ‘the right target’?

  5. When domestic abuse against men is under-reported to police, a documentary that’s specifically about what happens after abuse IS reported to the police as cases move through the court system is relatively unlikely to feature male victims, just on grounds of basic statistics. I think you’re picking on the wrong target here.

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