Male victims of domestic abuse fear counter-accusations and arrest

By Lenore Rice

A new study suggests that male victims of domestic abuse are not making reports to the police because their vpartners have threatened to counter-accuse them of violence.

Senior lecturer in Counselling Psychology at Teeside University, Dr Jessica McCarrick, says male victims of domestic violence are treated with suspicion by the police and the courts, and that there is a serious problem of under-reporting of domestic abuse by males because many are threatened with counter-accusations. There were 3,735 convictions of women on domestic abuse related charges in 2013/14, but the research suggests that the figure is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to violence against males. It is believed that embarrassment of the stigma of being a domestic violence victim is another factor resulting in under-reporting.

Mark Brooks of the Mankind Initiative says they have received an increasing number of queries from men who have themselves been falsely accused of violence by partners. One male victim who was involved in the study said he had been arrested on three separate occasions following false accusations from his partner.

Dr McCarrick says that the progress made in recent years for female victims of domestic abuse must now be started for males.

If you require legal advice from a solicitor specialising in domestic abuse issues in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 1363.