Male abuse

Here is my latest column for the Ham & High

 Men who are sexually abused as youngsters may not speak for twenty or more years of what happened. Sometimes their stories are never told.

In my role as Minister responsible for tackling violence against women and girls, I have seen the evidence that the overwhelming volume of domestic and sexual violence is perpetrated against women and girls. One in four women experience domestic violence during their lifetime. It has more repeat victims than any other crime (repeat victimisation accounts for 76% of all incidents of domestic violence) and in 2009/10, 21 men and 94 women were killed by a partner, ex-partner or lover.

These are shocking statistics.

The prevalence of domestic and sexual violence against women means, quite rightly, that the majority of services and funding is directed to eradicating this appalling crime. But men are also victims. Having talked to a survivor of male abuse recently, it is clear to me that because of male reticence over speaking out about their experiences – we may not know the numbers of men and boys who are victims of rape and sexual abuse.

He spoke of the possible link between male suicide in the fifty year age group and abuse during childhood. He spoke also about the connection between drugs and those referred to male help organisations. He spoke about the pain, buried for years, finding coping mechanisms – like blotting out the past through drugs or alcohol – which ultimately never truly ease that pain. He spoke of the difficulty of most of the advisers in this field being women and the difficulty men have, therefore, in bringing their situation into the light. He pointed out that the vast majority of health service workers being women. The inference was that men would not and could not talk to a woman. And that the fear of a woman’s potential view that any male who had suffered such abuse was somehow less of a man. And in our society expectations and stereotypes run very, very deep.

Most of male sexual abuse and violence is, according to my witness, perpetrated by men on boys. But he also referred to the percentage that raise what he called ‘the last taboo’ – women (yes mothers) who abuse their sons. How impossible it must be to bring that into the light.

He also pointed to the common view that this is a ‘gay’ issue. No it is not. Any boy who is sexually abused is the victim of a crime. Sexual orientation is no part of this and no excuse whatsoever.

The Home Office has ringfenced £28million of stable funding to provide local services such as Independent Sexual Violence Adviser posts, Independent Domestic Violence Advisers and MARAC coordinator posts. We have provided £900,000 to sustain national helplines. One of these helplines is the Mens Advice line which provides advice and support to male victims of domestic violence. Over £10million is being provided by the Ministry of Justice for Rape Support Centres throughout the UK over the next three years. Some of these services provide help for men too.

I feel that the gendered pattern of violence against women and girls also needs to be better understood and acknowledged. We recognise that men and boys can be victims of violence and that it can affect whole families, including children. Men also have a key role in challenging violence and helping to change the attitudes and actions of their peers. We want to work with them to achieve this and I will raise these issues at the next Inter-Ministerial Group on Violence Against Women and Girls.

There are a number of places where male survivors of sexual abuse can get help – amongst which these three (amongst others) are in receipt of funding from the Government: First Step (Leicester area), helpline 0116 254 8535; Survivors UK on 0845 122 1201 and Mankind 01823 334244. Male victims of domestic violence can get advice and support from the Mens Advice Line 0808 801 0327.

0 thoughts on “Male abuse

  1. I find it sad that for whatever reasons, the Home Office refused us funding, despite having had funding previously!

    The said, amongst other things, that we could not evidence a need, but we see hundreds of men a year, face to face and take hundreds of calls a year. We alos run sustained support groups for male survivors, yet they say we dont match a need???

  2. “One in four women experience domestic violence during their lifetime.”.

    This comment is an outrageous feminist mantra which has absolutely no grounds in truth or any non-biased non-feminist study. It’s a downright lie and complete misinformation and a complete fallacy.
    Please show me where I can find any real statistics or study that can verify this outrageous claim..

  3. Quite frankly Lynne spent so much of the start of this piece talking about violence against women that I lost interest.

    I find it incredible that an article supposedly about male vicitms of abuse quotes statics about 1 in 4 women being victims but fails to mention that the very same studies show one in six men as vicitms. A blatant case of covering up the extent of abuse of males..

    What journalistic delights are you going to contribute to the newspaper next week Lynne?, how about an article on prostate cancer solely mentioning the impact on females?

    “Male victims of domestic violence can get advice and support from the Mens Advice Line 0808 801 0327.”

    Yes, really terrible advice and “support” which mostly consists of trying to prove that the male vicitms is in fact the abuser and then using that “information” to try to deny resources to male vicitms in future. The Men’s Advice line is nothing more than a front for man hating feminists, only really concerned with female vicitms.

    They’re so reluctant to believe male vicitms that they even screen the callers for people they think they are lying. Since when was it the job of a helpline to be skeptical about people calling for help? They are a really disgusting organisation, the complete opposite of the Mankind Initiative.

  4. It really troubles me that taxpayer money goes to the Men’s Advice Line. It really is a national scandal.

  5. Thanks to Lynne Featherstone for openly speaking about an issue that many MPs have failed to do so and for commiting to taking the issue of the sexual abuse and rape of boys and men to the Inter-Ministerial Group on Violence Against Women and Girls. The impact of sexual abuse and rape needs to be understood and its with support from decision makers like Lynne that make times change.

    On a personal note, I would like to publically thank Lynne for really listening to me on this day and taking real interest in the issues we discussed. I felt and know I had been heard and as all survivors know (both male and female), thats important to us all.

    Thank you

    Duncan Craig
    Service Director
    Survivors Manchester

  6. I think services providers like Steve deserve to have a detailed and transparent explanation as to why their grant application was rejected .. especially after 20 years of unfunded delivery – he will have saved 100’s of men’s lives over those years .. it seems to mean nothing to some of those who select the funding winners – who are the people who recommend funding bids to Home Office who state they understand male needs – I suspect there not men?

    I’m also pleased Duncan was able to brief you on the issue .. his recent arrival on the male survivor activist scene is very positive – both his education, gay and drugs perspective can only help give you insight into adult male rape for example .. However, the research clearly evidences its important to speak to the range of perspectives in the community of male survivors, for example care leavers who have experienced sexual abuse as children .. otherwise there are risks around consensus.

    I have recently launched an e – petition with the hope of raising these issues professionally in a full debate in the House. Currently a small group of people decide who gets funded in male services and there is always the danger of basis playing out under those circumstances? And no where do I see survivors themselves involved .. I can’t think of any other group who share a community of interest being excluded from deciding their own needs?
    Here’s the petition .. I’m not sure Minister’s can sign these things ? But I hope you will call a national consultation meeting to scope what male survivors need and who should be speaking for them ..

    Specialist Support Services for Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Crimes

    Responsible department: Ministry of Justice

    Calling on the British Parliament to urge the British Government to (a) recognise the needs of male victims/survivors of sexual violence and abuse across the lifespan (b) recognise the need for specialised male services in England as male victims/survivors experience different issues to females (c) formulate an evidenced English male victim/survivor strategy inline with Scotland’s, Northern Irelands and Wales (d) identify gaps in research and service provision (e) reinforce current best practice in meeting male victim/survivor needs in both current and future service provision (f) involve male victims/survivors directly in the development of the above – acknowledging their human right to shape the services which meet their recovery/resolution objectives.

    Kind regards
    Founder Survivors West Yorkshire

  7. People interested in the human rights of boys and men – they fight and die for our freedom – we are told! However, only about £150,000 a year is spent by Govt on specialist services for their needs as victims of sexual crimes a funding process which is influenced by negative whispers and well poisoning from select groupings/individuals? .. if you want to see the real story of male victims and survivors recovery .. then watch the following conference held at the University of Bradford Invisible Boys and Men …. it might open your eyes if your open to that?

    If your had the courage to watch and break the silence vote for a House Of Commons debate on the issues raised at

    In the end if we are good to die for our country we are good enough to be supported by it as victims of sexual crimes … increasingly Ministers will be publicly challenged about the states hypocrisy in relation to men’s well being needs – not just sexual violence.

  8. Bob – Lynne doesn’t’ regard equality for men as part of her job. To quote from her total politics interview:

    Q. So, how do you define your remit?

    A. “I have women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.”

    Men are invisible to Lynne also. Someone who refuses to acknowledge equality for men as part of their job is never going to be of any use in this area.

    She will help gay men at least, just never heterosexual ones.

  9. To paraphrase the daughter of Marcus Aurelius, the lady Lucillia, from the film Gladiator:

    Once there was a dream called Liberalism .. honour it Minister ..

    As for not noting men .. perhaps the minister should note the wisdom of a human being:

    “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
    — Nelson Mandela

    Kind regards …

  10. As you can witness, Lynne and Co. has the same empathy the Nazi demonstrated against the Jews. At least they had a chance to escape. Men have nowhere to go but to be slaughtered while bias and feminism’s hate message is propagated daily in Schools, Judiciary and as you can see, in Parliament. The obvious level of anti-male sexism is astounding..
    Consider that the next time you vote..

  11. Nazi .. not a word I’d use even for silencers! Perhaps Ministers should heed the wisdom of man who saw where arrogance of the Nazism leads ..

    “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.”
    — Elie Wiesel)

  12. Christian although most of your words are spot-on, I don’t think Nazi comparisons are at all helpful here. Whilst it’s obvious that Lynne isn’t at all fit to hold any sort of equality position, an attack like that is unfair and insensitive and whoever appointed her is as much to blame.

    Many feminists are significantly worse and more sexist than Lynne so save those insults for those who truly deserve it.

  13. Also lets please not pretend Lynne’s views are representative of the Lib Dems and tar everyone in that party with the smae brush. Her approach is far more in tune with the Labour Party – most Lib Dems I know of are actually far more forward thinking when it comes to equality issues.

    You’ll especially see this as grassroots level, as shown by the insistence of their conference for anonymity for vicitms of false rape accusations

  14. “You are either for us or against us, but get out of the way” Ted Turner..

    The Men’s Rights Movement tried being polite and sensitive and found that it just does not work and were promptly ignored by recalcitrant pro-feminist politicians just like this one. While they continue to pay lip service but in reality do absolutely nothing to change the status quo without feminist permission, which is way past pathetic and just confirms their abeyance to the Shrine of “Woman” and all men can basically go to hell and back..

    Women (99.9%) have clearly demonstrated in the past that they do not give a damn about the men or boys in their lives by constantly promoting this blatant bias and sexism and yet, here you are (a male) justifying her action as being noble. Give me a break..

    The theme and thought process behind Nazism can be linked directly to the feminist movement quite comfortably, the comparison is sound. The outcome in the war of the sexes is similar and politicians sit on their hands and count the hours to their next pay check..

    Why don’t you let me know when this politician actually introduces or even states ONE single positive action for Men and I will offer a profound apology but I do not believe that I will live that long..

  15. The women’s movement has only done what it had to do to win its objectives .. and in truth there are lots of difference voices within that movement – they also learnt well from men ‘take no prisoners’ ! My issue isn’t with the women’s movement, they are responsible for their own morality, and in truth do amazing work with abused women and often boys as well as girls – most of whom the justice system never see’s due to its failings . its the indifference of the ruling elites to male well being issues which I find abusive .. again wise words speak of the way forward for men and women boys and girls ..

    “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
    — Nelson Mandela

  16. “abused women face fear fight daily life questions”

    To be honest G Hubbard, I am past caring about how much women suffer as it has been shoved down our throats for the past 40 years. Meanwhile we have white knights in churches demanding that men do better but fail to spread that same message to the privileged princesses. Ever wonder why church attendance has dropped for men, that answer is right there. Women do no wrong and only men are the culprits (better check the stats. on child abuse and murder, divorces, false rape/sexual assault claims). That is straight out the the male hating feminist doctrine and we have religious leaders promoting it and backing it to the hilt for the gutless cowards they are..
    It’s about time you noticed the blatant sexism that churches promote as we are telling men that going to church in it’s current form is just another way of worshipping at the blameless Goddess shrine of victimhood and to opt for no marriage at all until the laws are changed from favouring women only..

  17. I don’t think it is right that you are spending millions of taxpayers money on abuse centres without their consent. In my opinion, progressive means people on low incomes like me taking home as much money I earn as possible and for the government to take away as little as possible.
    Abuse centres and the ‘abuse industry’ may even encourage abuse.

    Think about it. If an abuser knows that if he abuses a woman she can go to an abuse centre then he is more likely to abuse her. However, if he knows that the government provides no support, he would feel more guilty after abusing someone and would have to deal with the consequences more. Ergo he is less likely to abuse.

    So It may be better to not interfere in people’s personal lives and let each couple sort out their own problems, rather than people feeling like certain ministers are snooping into their private lives, looking for problems to solve, so that they can gain the glory and adulation of saving women from the horrible men.

  18. The sad thing about that comment James is that you assume that only men abuse women which ofcourse is just not the case. Women are quickly becoming the major abusers on the home front as they are already tops on the child abuse and child murdering lists as the main culprits. Further studies have already demonstrated that women are responsible for instigating, abusing or striking their partners in 70% of DV cases. But that will be ignored by white knights and manginas alike, better include the feminist denial movement as well as women are worthless to them if they are not victims..

    I am assuming that my assumption is correct James, apologies if not..

  19. “I feel that the gendered pattern of violence against women and girls also needs to be better understood and acknowledged. We recognise that men and boys can be victims of violence and that it can affect whole families, including children.”

    “Gendered pattern?” Are you aware that 40% of domestic violence victims are male? That women actually start more physical fights with their partners than men? That rates of domestic violence in lesbian couples are as high as heterosexuals? If so, why perpetuate the myth that violence is inherently a male problem?

    “Men also have a key role in challenging violence and helping to change the attitudes and actions of their peers.”

    This sounds very much like non-violent men support or condone violence against women, which is false and misandric. Most men abhor domestic violence, and would actually physically intervene if they saw a woman being assaulted in public, while studies have shown women seeing a man assaulted in public will assume ‘he must have done something to deserve it.’ Perhaps it’s women that need educating on this issue?

    “We want to work with them to achieve this and I will raise these issues at the next Inter-Ministerial Group on Violence Against Women and Girls.”

    I googled ‘Inter-Ministerial Group on Violence Against Men and Boys’ but it doesn’t seem to exist. Why not?

    Lib-Dem voter for 20 years btw.

  20. There are 75 000 refuges for women fleeing domestic violence. There are just 60 for men. Considering government figures show 40% (and rising) of domestic violence victims are male, how can you defend this, and as Equality Minister, what do you plan to do about it?

  21. “Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone launched a scathing attack on her male counterparts, insisting the world’s continuing financial crisis was a direct result of men’s failure to make the correct choices.”

    It would appear that Featherstone is way too busy male bashing and blaming men for her own screwed up life. What a feminist, what a male hater..

  22. Unsurprisingly, the BBC did not consider her sexist attack on men a newsworthy item – so I complained. Here is the UK BBC complaint number 03700 100 222. Give them a call and say it was wrong for the BBC to not cover this story when they would if it had been a male politician blaming women for anything. Call now!

  23. Dan “Any chance of responding to any of these points btw?” – of course she won’t comment on them… She has demonstrated clearly through this blog entry that her primary concern is for women and men are just secondary, an after-thought. Even in that case, she focuses so much of the blog entry’s attention to female victims with inflated stats to portray men as bad and women as eternal victims.

  24. Not only a sexist female blaming all men for her own shortcomings but male bashing all men when women are supposed to be the ones who control over 60% of the world’s wealth..
    Figger that one out. Not just a hypocrite, male basher but a liar as well..

    Then again, what else would you expect from a feminist..

  25. How about the ongoing systematic abuse of fathers in secretive family courts?

    When is this going to be tackled?

    The 1 in 4 statistic has already been debunked as mentioned above. The police are instructed to arrest or remove the most dominant agressor i.e. man in most domestic violence incidents irrespective of instigator and provocation and statements.

    Additionally women are attracted to violent men and CHOOSE to be with them. Otherwise how do you explain the women who write to and marry already convicted violent murderous men in prison?

    Just how much are normal hard working people expected to fund womens bad choices?

    How long before ordinary working women and men start questioning the ever increasing cost as well as the reasons for this institutionalised chivalry?

  26. Lynne on the 28th you have the opportunity to use your ‘power’ to change the disempowerment of male victims of sexual crimes – especially experienced during childhood … you state:

    ‘I think it is the balance between Liberal Democrat economic competence in making these hard calls (against a backdrop of constant vilification for doing so) and fairness. We retain our social conscience – thank goodness.’

    If have social conscience – prove it and change the lives of countless men – history will note if miss this opportunity whilst men wait for you to do the right thing .. prove women can use power better than we have. Then call a national meeting to scope the issues and hear some of the solutions from the diverse community called male survivors – and it let them select who speaks for their needs .. that may have many positive impacts for our communities .. as a good friend in New Zealand challenges with great insight :

    ‘Some stories are true that never happened.’
    Elie Wiesel


  27. I met with Lynne Featherstone last week to discuss the needs of male victims of domestic and sexual abuse. I have provided a face to face outreach service to male victims in Cornwall for the last 3 years I have worked with 260 male survivors. Of these survivors about 2% were screened to be perpetrators. There are 10 dedicated male refuge beds in the uk and 7,500 for women. There is not equity of service provision.

    The money should follow the need of the victim not the sex of the victim.

    Domestic and sexual abuse is NOT a gender issue.

    My funding is about to run out at the end of the year. I asked if the government would consider funding the project as a pilot for male support. Unfortunately I was informed there is no money.

    I feel Lynne listened to what I had to say and took seriously the issues. I hope that she will keep this on her agenda and at some point invest time and money into addressing the inequality of services for male victims of all forms of abuse.

    Feel free to check out my website and contact me if you can offer support to the service in Cornwall or know of funding streams we can access.

  28. Good to hear Lynne is meeting agencies that deal with the complex range of interpersonal violence issues experienced by males across their lifespans. i have worked with over a 1000 men and most were victims of sexual abuse in childhood, as is the case with the majority of referrals to female rape crisis services. I’ve supported over a 1000 women as well – their pain doesn’t have any difference when you look it in the face. I have recently become aware of the hidden needs of male DV victims also. Barack Obama recently spoke about a great man who dared to speak a truth and how his moral intelligence created a long overdue human rights change. Lynne I dare you to be morally intelligent and better the record of the last Govt and find 2 million pounds for a national emergency fund for specialist male sexual violence and DV services – its about the same price as 2 Hellfire missiles – and we’ve fired a few more than two of those over the last decade .. if men are good enough to be in the front line in the fight on terror – they should have the safe places they need to resolve the sexual terror they experienced as children often. You should also have the moral courage to talk to male victims directly – find out what their needs are – not hear them from the therapists male and female who often claim to know on their behalf ! .. Dr King I’m sure would tell you that would not only be the morally intelligent thing to do .. but more importantly the human thing to do.

    ‘Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.’

    Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.

    There are many members of the coalition and parliament generally who would support you doing what I propose .. Its time these issues where seen in the light of transparent evidencing – I wonder if you will do it Minister .. are women able to do things better than us males – you tell us often you can .. 2 million is relatively little and could do so much good where currently you spend around 200K .. history is watching as they say