One in three victims of domestic violence in Australia is male, according to a new report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The ABS Personal Safety Survey 2012 collected information from men and women aged 18 years and over about their experience of violence since the age of 15.
“The survey found that one in three victims of current partner violence during the last 12 months (33.3 per cent) and since the age of 15 (33.5 per cent) were male,” said Greg Andresen, Senior Researcher with the One in Three Campaign, established in 2009 to raise public awareness of the existence and needs of male victims of family violence and abuse.
This survey was the first to collect detailed data about the experience of partner emotional abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when a person is subjected to certain behaviours or actions that are aimed at preventing or controlling their behaviour with the intent to cause them emotional harm or fear. These behaviours are characterised in nature by their intent to manipulate, control, isolate or intimidate the person they are aimed at. They are generally repeated behaviours and include psychological, social, economic and verbal abuse.
Mr Andresen said, “This survey demonstrates that not only do males make up a substantial proportion of victims of physical assault in the home, but emotional abuse as well. More than one in three victims of emotional abuse by a partner during the last 12 months (37.1 per cent) and since the age of 15 (36.3 per cent) were male. Around half of these men experienced anxiety or fear due to the abuse.”
The survey found that males also made up a substantial proportion of victims of dating violence. Around one in three (32.1 per cent) victims of physical violence by a boyfriend/girlfriend or date since the age of 15 were male.
“Regrettably, a significant proportion of victims of domestic violence is currently excluded from the Federal Government’s domestic violence strategy simply on the basis of their gender. These men lack many of the programs and services available to other victims,” said Mr Andresen.
The One in Three Campaign is calling on the Federal Government to include male victims of violence in the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022, and to heed the findings of the NSW Government Standing Committee on Social Issues‘ recent report on domestic violence. The report found there is a “gap in services for male victims and the government [should] examine how services can most appropriately be provided to male victims of domestic violence.”
Mr Andresen said, “We hope these interviews will shed more light upon the issues and struggles that men go through when faced with domestic abuse and encourage more men to come forward and disclose what is happening to them behind closed doors.”
Greg Andresen, Senior Researcher, One in Three Campaign, 0403 813 925 or firstname.lastname@example.org