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More needs to be done for male victims of DV says academic

Male victims of domestic violence frequently avoid reporting their experiences because they fear false accusations, an academic has claimed.

Speaking at a recent series of public lectures called A Spoonful of Knowledge, Dr Jessica McCarrick discussed her research into the experiences of male victims.

Interviews with men who have subjected to violent behaviour by wives and girlfriends, she reported, reveal that many have been treated dismissively by the Police after reporting their experiences, or treated like the perpetrator after their partner made false accusations.

She described the topic as an “important and sensitive” one. She highlighted the “shame and emasculation” still widely associated with female-on-male violence.

Dr McCarrick explained:

“To find the courage to speak out, only to be accused of violence themselves, is incredibly disheartening and ultimately prevents countless men from reporting intimate partner violence. Promoting awareness of the plight of male survivors may encourage men to report abuse and feel assured that they will be taken seriously.”

Dr Jessica McCarrick is Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology at Teesside University in Middlesbrough.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Paul Apreda says:

    Excellent research once more by Dr.Carrick. The problem lies in challenging the ‘matriachy’ – the systemic prioritisation and favouring of women in areas such as DV, child support and contact, as well as increasingly in employment to the detriment of men.
    Reports and academic papers are an important part in building the evidence base but until there is a fundamental change to the current sexist approach little will change.
    Men need to be more aware of the pattern of DV they often face. We deal with many men who despite being denied contact with their children, blackmailed for any child contact, or being physically abused – still answer our initial questionnaire as NOT being a victim of domestic violence and abuse.
    In Wales – and I believe also in England – DV services ‘call screen’ male callers only to determine whether they believe them to be genuine. This process is NOT employed when dealing with female callers. That fact is well known to those in the ‘industry’ yet no-one challenges it. I fail to see how such a practice is anything other than overt discrimination on the grounds of gender and surely unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.
    Well done Dr.McCarrrick – but i doubt whether her words will be heeded.

  2. Challenging Preconceptions: When Men Experience Domestic Violence « CauseHub says:

    […] the extent to which men who report violence are still treated with suspicion by the police and are very vulnerable to false accusations by their […]

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