I'm sure by the title you're already thinking that it's because it hardly ever happens...
You're not alone - it's what most people think.
Sadly this isn't true...
In 2014 there were 18,887 cases of domestic abuse in the UK and 45% of those were against men (Flatley, 2016).
45% - that's a lot...
That's far more than I thought. I knew it was prevalent but didn't realise it was that high...
When you look more into the stats you find out some things which can be quite shocking and some things I'm sure you would never, ever have thought true.
Adapted from: Flatley J. (2016, Table 4.07)
But these are just headline stats. They don't really mean anything...
It's not like it's happening around the corner...
How about these stats then - stats based on the percentage of victims dependent on their household income because we all know that 'posh' people don't do this sort of thing...
Adapted from: Flatley, J (2016, Table 4.11)
(I've added women into here just so you can see the differences)
Yes, it is clear from these stats that low household incomes do have the highest rate of domestic abuse but the shocker for most people I'm sure is the increase for those who are 'middle-class'.
The other thing that shocked me...
The reasons why people believed it's OK to abuse their partners:
Adapted from: Flatley, J (2016, Table 4.37)
So looking at those stats what shocked you the most?
How about that 0.6% of women aged 45-54 genuinely think it's OK to hit/slap their partner for nagging...
Or that 1.8% of 25-34 year old women believe its OK to hit/slap their partner for flirting?
Or even that 3.1% of the same age group (25-34) believe its OK to hit/slap their partner for cheating?
One thing these stats show us that it's all ages, it's all 'classes', and its both men and women who think it's a reasonable thing to do - even for nagging...
But why am I talking about this?
Well yesterday I spoke about suicide and how men traditionally don't talk about what's going on.
Today, I'm giving you a reason for why a man might do this.
There are plenty more.
This is only one reason but it's one which we tend to ignore.
There is always a 'why' behind every action.
But even if victims of domestic abuse don't commit suicide there's long lasting and far reaching harm done.
Men who are victims of intimate partner violence, especially 'intimate terrorism' (sustained, frequent and sever physical and/or behavioural abuse), are far more likely to turn to drink and drugs to cope (Hines & Douglass, 2012).
We know that increased use of alcohol is also a risk factor for developing certain mental health difficulties such as depression (and yes constantly abused also increases the likelihood of developing a mental health difficulty). We also know that having a mental health difficulty significantly increases the likelihood of suicide (Hoertel, et al., 2015).
It seems strange to me that for some reason that this is not explored...
But then female on male domestic violence is still something which is possibly not 'research worthy' when it comes to psychology ...
The above picture shows the full listings of 'domestic violence against men' in the BPS research database...
It may be that there are far more articles, studies or interest from other parties and psychology is just lagging behind
I mean it's not like workplace stress (another subject I talk about) is particularly well researched...
OK so maybe no one is talking about workplace stress and suicide?
not really sure of what to say...
COME ON PEOPLE! Lets get our priorities straight here!
Male suicide is a massive problem.
Men being victims of domestic abuse is a massive problem.
Men not talking about their mental health difficulties is a massive problem.
So why are we not conducting real research into things which are going to make a huge impact on the number of people taking their own lives each year?
Oh wait it's because...
...understanding the effects of 'video games' on us is far more important...
OK so I've got a little sidetracked by pressing the print screen button - but I hope you get the picture.
Please understand I am not saying one gender should take precedence over the other when it comes to research, funding, investigations, support... Instead lets actually start treating men and women the same.
Women fought for equal rights (and pay... don't get me started on this), and while we hear about women being oppressed a lot - why do we not hear about all the disparities in our 'equal' society when men are being ignored, devalued and underrepresented?
If male suicide is such a concern in our society (and it absolutely is) then why are we not looking into what's really going on?
So in order to counteract this I'm conducting a little bit of research myself.
This is purely off the cuff and because of my sadness at the lack of current research or usable data into male domestic violence, and suicide.
This is not my primary interest - but I have a lot of influence and a large social reach so I am hoping I will be able to generate some useful data and try to get people invested in this subject.
And I mean truly invested - not just spouting the stats we have, saying 'there's more work to do' (the politician phrase which makes me want to throw my cup of coffee at the TV), or developing 'focus groups' which never amount to anything tangible.
So here's my little request for anyone reading this - please take the mini questionnaire:
In summary - I really don't mind where you come from, what you look like, or who you are I would just like you to tick a few boxes completely anonymously.
Please be honest.
Please do not just make things up
I am doing this to get the world talking and to get the world to take some serious consideration into the worth of this subject.
It would also be great if you shared this around friends, colleagues, family members... anyone you know.
I'm going to keep the questionnaire open for two weeks and then get back to you with what I've found.
I need to do it quickly, I need to 'strike while the iron's hot'.
Your support is very much appreciated.
Click the button below to tick some boxes and to get the world listening...
(it will take no more than 2 mins)
Thank you so much for this! If you need anything just give me a shout!
Have an awesome weekend - Katie.
Flatley, J. (2016, February). Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences data. Retrieved from Office For National Statistics: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/compendium/focusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffences/yearendingmarch2015/bulletintablesfocusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffencesyearendingmarch2015
Hines, D. A., & Douglass, E. M. (2012). Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Men Who Sustain Intimate Partner Violence. Aggressive Behaviour, 31-46.
Hoertel, N., Franco, S., Oquendo, M., Kerridge, B., Limosin, F., & Blanco, C. (2015). Mental disorders and risk of suicide attempt: a national prospective study. Molecular Psychiatry, 718-726.