Dads’ FAQs: Domestic violence

21 May 2013


Questions we have been asked include:

‘Do you know of any helplines for domestic violence support for men?’

‘Anything about violence against men?’

‘I have trouble with my temper and would like to do something about it’

The vast majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men on women. But men can also be victims: one man dies every three weeks because of domestic violence and one in six men will experience domestic violence in their life. Due to shame and embarrassment, some men don’t report the crime, let alone leave an abusive relationship. But non-judgmental, practical help is available, as outlined below.

If you are in immediate danger, phone the police on 999 and be assured that they will take you seriously.

The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) offers a free service to everybody. It specialises in ‘providing free, fast and effective legal support to survivors of domestic violence, usually by helping individuals obtain injunctions from their local county court. This free service is provided to everybody, regardless of their financial circumstances, sexual orientation, race, gender, age, or political or religious belief or otherwise’. You can phone NCDV on 0844 8044 999 or text ‘NCDV’ to 60777 and they’ll call you back. Or visit their website.

Men’s Advice Line (check out their website here ) offers unhurried emotional and practical support to male victims of domestic violence and can point you towards a wide range of further assistance on child contact, parenting, housing, mental health and housing, among other issues. Call free (from landlines and mobiles) on 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm). If lines are busy, leave a message with a safe number and you’ll receive a call back within two working days. Men’s Advice Line has produced a booklet ‘Talk it Over’, which they can send to you or you can download here.

ManKind Initiative (find out more on their website) supports male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence. It operates a confidential telephone helpline 01823 334244 (Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm and 7pm – 9pm). Helpline services for the deaf are provided through Text Relay.

Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS) is a national organisation dedicated to supporting men who are experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic abuse. AMIS works with any man over 16 concerned about domestic abuse, regardless of sexuality, disability or ethnic origin. AMIS provides an opportunity to talk things through with someone who understands many of the difficulties men on the receiving end of domestic abuse can face. AMIS also offers support and information and helps callers find further information or services if needed. The AMIS helpline is free to call from landlines, most UK mobiles and BT payphones and is open from 7pm – 10pm seven nights a week on 0808 800 0024. Read the AMIS User Guide, and here is the AMIS Service Provider Guide.

Do you have anger issues? While anger is a natural emotion that can be caused by various factors, when it is gets out of hand – or you fear it will – it can lead to feelings of being out of control, where you can’t think straight and may do something you later regret. It can affect your relationships, work and dealings with the law. There are self-help tips for anger management – see the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Cool Down’ booklet, which is £1.50 if posted or free to download here. If you feel self-help techniques are insufficient, you could consider attending an anger management course, where you’ll have sessions with a counsellor or therapist, and possibly group work with others who have anger management issues. Contact your GP to see if there are any NHS-funded or free, voluntary-run courses near you. If not, you may have to pay privately for help – if so, ensure that the therapist is registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (see their website here).

Mind has lots of useful information about anger on its website, including links to resources and reading material that covers stress, relaxation and the importance of looking after yourself.  If you wish to speak to someone, call the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393.

Find links to other Dads’ FAQs articles here.

Last updated 21 May 2013

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  • andrew says:

    I think this information is factually incorrect. The vast majority of domestic violence is committed by women on children. This is one of social services best kept secrets. When mothers are violent it’s called implacable hostility, but when a man is violent it’s called abuse or domestic violence. All a matter of classification.
    Recently I was watching a programme on TV about how the Police cope with violent young women out on the binge in Blackpool. Her favoured weapon is a knife, though given the chance she is likely to kick your head in or simply swear and curse at you. Women attacking women will scratch and tear indiscriminantly and yank each others hair. The fuel of this violence is often rivalry over a man, and it’s frequently exacerbated by copious amounts of alcohol.

    Violence as you say is one way in which anger is expressed. ANGER IS NOT GENDER SPECIFIC. Anger can be seen in animals who feel threatened and represents a challenge to what is perceived as a threat. Anger is a mood which when transferred into action can be channelled into fighting for food and self-preservation.

    If a woman chooses violence against a man she is more likely to poison him. She will prevent the father from seeing his children (a desperately cruel act) sometimes leading to his suicide, attacks on herself by him because he sees her as the reason he can’t be with his children, or occasionally the death of the Father and children at the hands of the father because he couldn’t bear the thought of life without his children.

    The woman who started the safe havens for women in Britain, Erin Prizey recognised that women were just as proned to violence as men. (ref:Comparative study of Battered Women and Violence-prone women).

    Yet we still hear women successfully convincing our Agencies that the Father can’t see his children because it is he who poses the threat of violence.

    There is no doubt in my mind that too much time is taken up trying to pin the blame on who is responsible for violent behaviour when time would be better spent on dealing with anger and hurt feelings in both parties which result from domestic disagreement/separation. A collaborative approach that doesn’t automatically assume the father is the threat nor the sole instigator, would be a huge step forward.

    If you call a domestic violence unit and tell them you are worried about your child being abused by their mother you won’t get any help. You will be expected to deal with it yourself. All agencies, if they think a child is at risk, will refer the matter to Social Services…………..the buck stops with them. Good luck.

    Kind regards


  • David Eggins says:

    “The vast majority of violence is from men to women”. About 100 women per year are killed by a partner or former partner. About 60 children are killed and about 30 men. A child (0-16)is therefore much more at lethal risk than a woman (16-80). NSPCC statistics demonstrate children are more at risk of abuse by women. Girls are very much more at risk of abuse by their mother than by their father and boys are rather more at risk of abuse by their father than by their mother.
    In terms of violence, serial domestic violence, ACPO estimated the national number of “intimate terrorists” as 25,321. The paper was called “Preventing violence to women and girls”, it omitted any mention of female serial abusers, which extrapolated from Prof Michael P Johnson’s figures would have been 18,022. Notice the wording of the paper and the total omission of women as abusers!
    Now compare the Northamptonshire police call out numbers for “domestics” from 2006: called to a male victim 4,643 times – called to a female victim 6,916. That looks to me like a “2 male victims to 3 female victims” i.e 2 out of 5 victims are men (who are generally very reluctant to acknowledge “problems” and involve the police, and women who are much more willing to “name a problem” and call the police.) Non-selective, community based high quality research, E.g Archer and Graham-Kevan: Johnson) indicates women are more responsible for lower levels of violence, i.e women tend to “start it” but they also tend to get hurt much more as a man “finishes it”.
    Qui Bono? Check out the Women’s Aid network and REFUGE. Ask yourself why young men are separated from their mother when the latter choose to go into a refuge, particularly when statistics say they would be safer with their mother, and then ask yourself why girls are kept with their mother, when statistically they are much more at risk of abuse by their mother than by their father. Then check out for yourself on the charity commission website the income levels of those charities and ask if £170,001 – to £180,00 p.a is a reasonable income for a CEO of a £10.7m charity. Google up the top 20 charities and compare the salaries of their CEOs: a small selection is below – but who would have a problem with these?
    The British Council Income £738.5m
    (d) The Chief Executive’s total plus pension was £228,043 (2010–11: £230,318) a salary of £186,883 (2010–11: £189,158), a bonus of £17,500 (2010–11: £19,775), pension contributions of £41,160 (2010–11:
    Save the children income £333m
    (c) The highest paid employee received e£162,220 in the year to 31 December 2011 (2010: £133,744) For a safer society, particularly the safety of children, both male and female abusers need to be worked with and supported, early, effectively and quickly David Eggins

  • Clare says:

    No, you’re right guys. Domestic abuse as a gendered issue is a big conspiracy by the MEN in charge of government, the MEN in charge of the Police Force, the MEN in charge of academic institutions, the MEN in charge of local governments and the MEN in charge of the media to make themselves look bad. Yeah.

    The reason, Andrew, that we don’t talk about child abuse when we talk about domestic violence is because domestic violence is something which – be definition – happens between adults. Because some women abuse thier children (and should be dealt with in the harshest way) does not mean some other women do not suffer abuse at the hands of other adults. This just clouds the issue.

    Comments like both of yours just seek to derail the issue – if you want to provide support for male victims why don’t you focus your efforts on that rather than trying to remove support for female victims?

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