This article tells us that there’s a new non-profit organization in Scotland that’s going to bat for male victims of domestic violence. It’s called AMIS and its most recent endeavor has been to use Freedom of Information requests to find out how many men have reported domestic violence victimization in the previous year. According to AMIS, the figures for male victimization rose over 9% last year and fell about 6% for women.
Of course that still leaves only about 17% of those reporting domestic violence victimization being male. But, as I’ve reported before, there’s a study by the Scottish government completed last December that shows that men are only about a sixth as likely as women to view an act of domestic violence as criminal. So it’s no wonder they don’t go to the police to report an act that they don’t themselves view as criminal.
But AMIS reports that that’s not the only reason the police aren’t getting more reports from male victims. After all, the same report by the government showed that equal numbers of men and women reported being victims of DV in the previous 12 months.
AMIS says that the other major factor is that there’s essentially nothing in the way of services for male DV victims in Scotland. So, as with the perceptual differences between men and women, men accurately conclude that going to the police or indeed to anyone else is fruitless. No services, no reports; why would there be?
[T]he reality remains that after 10 years of the Scottish Parliament there are virtually no support services in Scotland designed to help men and their children affected by domestic abuse or violence.
Co-founder of AMIS, Alison Waugh, says, “Unfortunately there is still a culture of denial among many politicians and providers of services who do not want to acknowledge the evidence in front of their eyes that thousands of men every year in Scotland are victims of domestic abuse. They are abused first by their partner or ex partner and then again by the public narrative that does not want to know about the damage they and their children experience.’
The same applies to the children of the women who commit domestic violence. Studies of DV show that children who observe domestic violence between their parents can be seriously effected by it and have a greater tendency to commit DV as adults than children who grow up in non-violent homes. So the wholesale failure to provide services for male DV victims affects children – even those who never get hit themselves.
And the failure to provide shelters and other services to men harms women too. If abused men aren’t acknowledged, neither are their abusers, with the predictable result that women who commit domestic violence get no opportunity to change and no help in doing so.
Co-founder of AMIS, Jackie Walls says, “The statistics don”t lie. Some people will say it”s because more men are coming forward to report. Others, that more women are being violent and abusive. Others, that public awareness of the reality out there is running ahead of the politicians. No one really knows. Whatever lies behind the figures we know that many public services look the other way when it comes to men who suffer domestic abuse. We have had enough of that one-sided approach.’
AMIS intends to open a hotline for male DV victims and work with other organizations to provide services for men. Unlike most services for women, AMIS intends to serve both sexes and their children. One of the many bizarre policies of many women’s shelters is to exclude women with male offspring over a certain age. It’s part of the political ideology that has, from the beginning, driven those who see women only as victims and never as perpetrators of DV.
AMIS will also offer awareness training to organisations that have contact with victims and will seek to work in collaboration with other agencies that wish to develop support services for men on the receiving end of abuse and their children. AMIS will take an inclusive approach to male victims of domestic abuse – including female partners and ex partners and same sex partners and ex partners.