There is no doubt that awareness must be raised about the rise in domestic violence reports made in the UK, but it is often forgotten that it is not only women that are affected by this traumatic experience.
In a recent report released by the “Office for National Statistics”, it has become apparent that there has been an 80% increase in the number of domestic violence reports made by male victims to the Metropolitan police. In 2012 there were 9,425 reported cases of male domestic abuse, with a further 16,681 reported in 2015. It has been estimated that approximately 74,000 male victims reported domestic violence between 2013-2016.
There are currently 18 organisations that provide refuge for both men and women in England and Wales. However the closest refuges for men living in London are based in Leicester, Poole and Worcestershire, highlighting a need for London to establish its first male refuge for domestic violence and equality amongst victims.
Whilst the concept of male domestic abuse is often considered taboo or a myth, the UK charity “Mankind Initiative” reports that the range of males contacting their advice line vary between a number of professions, ages, sexual orientations and areas of the UK. However it is estimated that men are three times as likely to hide domestic violence as women.
With limited options for housing in London and the need to flee violence, it is unsurprising that men are being forced to sofa surf or make homeless applications in order to avoid serious risk to health and well-being. With a steady increase in homeless applications year by year, there is a strong correlation between these applications and reports of male domestic violence.
As a prominent cause of homelessness, it is clear that the future of domestic violence will need to be addressed by local authorities forming a long-term solution to support victims and prevent homelessness.