South Yorkshire men urged to report domestic abuse as shocking figures show they are not alone
South Yorkshire men are being urged to report domestic abuse as new figures show they are not alone.
Data released by South Yorkshire Police under the Freedom of Information Act reveals 5,128 men told the force they were victims of domestic abuse during 2020.
The figure was a 144 per cent increase on the year before, when 2,100 men reported abuse.
Domestic abuse survivor Ian McNicholl, an ambassador for the charity Men Reaching Out, requested the figures to encourage more men to come forward by realising they are not alone.
He also wants the figures to show domestic abuse professionals across the South Yorkshire, working for councils, the police and health service, how men as well as women suffer from domestic abuse and to ensure services are accessible regardless of gender.
Mr McNicholl’s ex partner was jailed for seven years in 2009 for a series of attacks over a two-year period.
She sprayed bleach into his eyes, burnt him with an iron and boiling water and fractured his skull, cheekbones, nose and ribs in attacks.
He said: “These figures show that domestic abuse has no prejudice as there are males right across the
South Yorkshire who have come forward and told the police.
“If you are experiencing domestic abuse or suffering from the symptoms of domestic abuse, please call the police or speak with friends or family and get the help you need. I can assure you that the action you take today will be life changing, if could even be lifesaving.”
Detective Superintendent David Cowley, force lead for domestic abuse, said: “Domestic abuse affects everyone, including men, though we know that for many men who are suffering, there has been some stigma around coming forward and reporting this.
“While we never want to see an increase in reports of domestic abuse, I believe what this data reflects is a truer picture of the number of male victims of this crime.
“We know males as well as females are being subjected to awful abuse and we want everyone to report this, so we can take action to safeguard the victims. The increase in reports demonstrates that men and boys now feel more confident and able to come forward to report what is happening to them.
“Domestic abuse knows no boundaries and can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or age. There is no shame in reporting domestic abuse – it can take many forms, not just physical abuse – so please, if you are suffering, tell someone.
“We are continuously working to improve our response to victims of domestic abuse, particularly in light of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic where victims could be spending more time at home with their abuser(s).
“I really hope that any victim of domestic abuse in South Yorkshire feels they can talk to us, knowing they will be treated with respect and dignity, and that our officers in partnership with a range of support agencies, will do all we can to ensure you are protected from further harm.”
Contact the Men Standing Up Helpline on 0300 303 0167.