Daily Record and Sunday Mail

Friday, January 22, 1999


Daily Record and Sunday Mail

Just as many men are victims of domestic violence as women, according to a report yesterday. The findings claimed attacks on men in the home were under- estimated.

Based on the 1996 British Crime Survey, the report says 4.2 per cent of both men and women reported being assaulted by their partner in the past 12 months.

But women were more likely to be repeat victims, suffer injuries and seek medical help.

And 47 per cent of women attacked were injured, compared with 31 per cent of men.

Up to 60 per cent of women said their last attack had left them frightened, compared with just five per cent of men.

The findings also showed that in nearly one in 10 assaults against women the victim was choked, strangled or suffocated.

The report said: "Domestic violence is the largest single type of violence against women.

"Every week two women are murdered by a current or former partner."

But last night George McAulay, Scottish chairman of the UK Men's Movement, said: "We have information from hospitals all over the country stating that men are more likely to suffer serious injury.

"We need to have clear and rational discussions about the subject of domestic violence."

Scottish Women's Aid said although the report states there is violence against men, it is women who predominately need the help.

Spokeswoman Lesley Irving said: "All research we are aware of shows overwhelmingly that it is mainly women who are abused. You have to be very careful with this kind of survey.

"If you ask if people have been assaulted a man may reply 'yes', but it could have been his partner hit him once during an argument.

"However, a woman could answer 'yes' and been assaulted continuously for 20 years."

Ms Irving said the focus of campaigns should still centre on women.

She added: "It is still women who we should be concerned about and I think that is reflected in the fact there is no equivalent centres for men."

The report comes as the Government launches a new campaign against domestic violence aimed at making it as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.

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