BBC London, Inside Out reports on men who are fighting for equal treatment when it comes to domestic violence

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Inside Out reports - Domestic Violence
George Rolph
George: taking men's rights into the 21st Century
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Men shout out about domestic violence...

 

George Rolph is 6ft 4in. He weighs in at 14 stone and is a trained karate instructor.

But now he is directing his energies towards fighting for men who suffer domestic abuse.

George Rolph
George is on a mission

Recent research indicates that men are as just as likely to be on the receiving end of domestic abuse as women.

George says: "One young man, who'd been married two weeks, had hot fat poured on his lap for changing the channel."

Despite his size and martial arts expertise, George was also a victim of domestic abuse.

George says: "She came upstairs carrying this large square of half inch ply wood. She brought the edge of it down on my head."

George was physically and verbally abused. Unfortunately, he is not alone.

Many men don’t fight back, physically or legally, due to a lack of knowledge about what can be done and because they fear the kind if response they will provoke.

George says: "Men dismiss you if you say a woman is beating you up. For a start they look at you with contempt a lot of the time."

George is trying to encourage men who live with domestic abuse to come forward and admit the problem. This is the first step in any case of domestic violence.

He has started a UK based website, Man2Man, where men come to talk about their ordeal with others.

Despite this, the help for abused men is still decades behind the women's movement.

In 1971 Erin Pizzey opened the world’s first refuge for battered women in London.

Eron Pizzey
Erin fought for men

Even then she struggled to bring the issue of battered men to the fore.

Erin says: "As soon as I opened the first refuge for women in Chiswick I said I need a home for men. But I couldn’t raise a penny for men."


George and others who have suffered are on a mission to publicise the problem.

One victim says: "My wife attempted to kill me by smashing my head in front of my children. All she got was a caution."

Campaigner
Victims take a stand

George is sure that things won’t change until the government highlight the problem and back action to prevent it.

He decides it’s time the campaign is taken to the top. He heads straight for City Hall and the London Mayor, Ken Livingstone.

Find out how Ken Livingstone reacts when George challenges him to finally address the issue of domestic violence against men.

Domestic Violence: The facts

Around 15% of men say they have been physically assaulted by a partner at some time in their lives.

At least 5% of men had been assaulted on three or more occasions. These are termed as chronic cases.

Of the incidents where men were the victims, 95% were assaulted by women.

The men most likely to be attacked are in their early 30s, unmarried and living with their partners.

Of the 6.6 million incidents of assault in the home each year, women are thought to be the abusers in just under half of the cases.

London has one of the lowest rates for domestic abuse in England.