In this article posted by the BBC, it is reported that calls to the Domestic Violence charity Refuge has risen ten-fold in the past few weeks. However, of course the BBC does not tell you the whole story.
In this submission to the BMJ written by a concerned medical professional, it states that calls to the ManKind Initiative, the domestic violence charity catering to male victims, have also increased 35% and the number of visits to their website have tripled during the lockdown. This information is not included in the BBC article, not even in passing, neither is there any mention of male victims despite the fact that men make up a significant percentage of these victims.
However, that’s not the only problem. If you read the article carefully it actually admits that the actual picture of DV is more complicated whereby some police forces have recorded more calls, and others less. For example, the article says:
Data from 41 UK police forces, released to the BBC under freedom of information laws, shows 19 recorded more calls about domestic abuse in March 2020 compared with the same month last year, while 22 recorded a fall.
The figure only includes the first full week of the lockdown, announced on 23 March.
Nottinghamshire Police saw the largest proportional year-on-year drop of with 1,824 calls in March 2019 and 1,161 in the corresponding month in 2020, a fall of 36%.
So, doesn’t this article do its audience a disservice? If the BBC cared about balance, it would have included the statistics about male victims too, and would have used a headline that was more in keeping with the actual content of the article.
But, of course, it didn’t.
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