Domestic abuse victims’ charity ManKind has revealed that less than 1% of refuge beds in the UK are available to men – and reported cases of domestic abuse towards men from their spouse has risen sharply over the past seven years.
Double the Number of Cases
According to a report by the BBC, Police in England and Wales recorded 149,248 incidents of domestic abuse towards men in 2017 – more than double the number reported in 2012. A headline news story has thrown this shocking statistic into sharp
In the BBC’s report, Senior psychology lecturer at Cumbria University Elizabeth Bates said that there are many reasons why men are less likely to ask for help if they are being abused. These can include feelings of confusion or even shame, and a sense that support services are not aimed at men but rather target women first and foremost.
Another strong reason why many men say they cannot or would not seek support or help in order to leave an abusive spouse is due to custodial arrangements for their children.
There is an incorrect but widely-held belief that by leaving his spouse, a man has given up his right to take care of his children. This is absolutely not so. Legally, as a father, a man has just as much of a right to see his children as their mother. Should the mother be deemed unfit to care for her children – as many abusive spouses are – as the childrens’ closest parent a father will usually even be given custody of his children (depending on life situation, suitability and other factors.)
In other words, feeling committed to stay in an abusive relationship simply to see your children is not wise and could leave you in danger that you could avoid. Leaving an abusive relationship does not mean choosing between your children and your personal quality of life and happiness.
Reasons men feel they have to stay with an abusive partner:
- Fear of violence
- Fear of losing access to their children
- Lack of support network and/or services
Spousal abuse is punishable by law and can lead to custodial sentences, and our family lawyers can help to support you throughout the legal process from start to finish.
How DRN Can Help
At DRN, our family solicitors are friendly, approachable and have many years’ experience in dealing sensitively with cases such as domestic violence, emotional abuse and difficult separations. We can help you pursue a custody case, and even put you in touch with local services to help take you out of the situation and support you on your road to a new life.
We are here to help and support you, with the top legal guidance you need to find your way. If you would like to talk to one of our empathetic solicitors in complete confidence, please call 01282 433 241 or email us using the contact form. We deal with all enquiries personally and in total confidentiality.