Domestic violence. It works both ways.

Women's convictions for domestic violence 'double'

The number of women convicted of domestic violence in England and Wales has more than doubled in the past five years, an investigation by BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast has found.
Figures obtained from the Crown Prosecution Service showed that almost 4,000 women were successfully prosecuted in the past year, compared with 1,500 women in 2005, a 169% increase.

I blogged a couple of weeks ago about Lancashire Police and their desire to fit CCTV in the homes of people subject to domestic violence. I won't go back over the reasons why the scheme is wrong in so many ways, but at the time I did point out that men as well as women can be abused by their spouses. It may not be nearly as common but it happens with regularity and receives very little media attention.
Some experts say it is a worrying sign of the growing culture of violence among women, while others believe that men are now more likely to report that they have been beaten up by their wives and girlfriends than in previous years.

I would be willing to believe either of those theories. We are seeing an increasing culture of violence since Labour took away everybodys responsibility for their actions.

We are also seeing a change in social attitudes that may encourage men to report these instances rather than just sit on them.

I asked the question in my last post, what makes a woman stay with an abusive partner long enough that CCTV in the home to protect them becomes necessary.
I suggested that these women who refuse to do anything to help themselves by getting out of these relationships are beyond the help of the state.

Constant police attention and investigation takes time and money that could be spent detecting and preventing crime. I know domestic violence is a crime and a serious one at that, but it is not the remit of the police to babysit a person who insists on living with an abusive partner.

It seems it works the same for men:

Peter says he was physically and emotionally abused by his wife for almost a year.
But after finally calling the police, he could not bring himself to press charges.
He had to sleep for months lying in the same position, on his back. If he turned his back his wife would punch and kick him.
Peter says the first incident of violence took him completely by surprise.
"I wasn't expecting the punch on the face. I wasn't expecting somebody hitting me so fast.
"You know when you love someone so much and you just believe they can just change? I was hoping she would change," he says.

And that begs a question. Where do we go now?

It is unclear why the conviction rates for women committing domestic violence are increasing, but organisations that offer help to male victims are sparse.
One charity that does is Mankind, which says there are just over 70 bed spaces in 20 refuges or safe houses for male victims in the UK, compared with 7,500 for women.

There exists a very large infrastructure centered on helping female victims of domestic abuse.
In the interests of equality, should we now ensure that the same service is provided for men? Men who refuse to leave their partners, men who refuse to press charges when they have been violently assaulted by a woman.

Or should the whole thing be scaled back? Should there be clear parameters for dealing with domestic violence such as leaving an abusive partner and pressing charges before the weight of the tax payer funded  charity and support service comes to bear in your defence.

I am glad that more men are reporting abuse. I am apprehensive about what we intend to do with that.


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