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Who suffers domestic abuse

Anyone can experience domestic abuse regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or religious group, class, disability or lifestyle. Domestic abuse also affects children, who are witness to the abuse.

Domestic abuse can take place in heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender relationships. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime

  • Two women a week and 30 men per year are murdered by their ex or current partner in the UK
  • Every minute the police receive a phone call regarding domestic abuse
  • Domestic abuse accounts for between 16% and one quarter of all recorded violent crime
  • Nearly 90% of domestic abuse is witnessed or heard by children
  • Domestic abuse often starts and escalates during pregnancy
  • Someone may endure 35 assaults before they attempt to seek help
  • There are between 5,000 and 8,000 cases of Forced Marriage in England a year
  • 66,000 Britain women are living with the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation
  • 35% of victims supported by an IDVA were aged between 21-30 years of age, however, 27% were aged between 31-40 years of age
  • 7% of victims supported by an IDVA were classed as having either a physical, learning or other form of disability
  • And 1% of victims supported by an IDVA disclosed themselves as being either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender
  • In the Crime Survey for England and Wales [British Crime Survey] 2011/2012, 4.2% of females and 2.7% of males reported experiencing stalking from a current or previous partner

In Lincolnshire, ALL of the domestic abuse services can be accessed by women and men.

Female victims

Women’s Aid have launched a new video called ‘Do You See Her’ a powerful short film, directed by Paul Andrew Williams who directed Murdered By My Boyfriend. This video shows us that domestic abuse happens to all women of all ages and comes with a very useful guide, which can be found at the bottom of this page.

Source: Women's Aid - YouTube

Male Victims

As stated above, anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse. Yet there is still a perception that it only happens to women.

The following video clip produced by Mankind Initiative highlights this:

Source: YouTube/Mankind Initiative

Many of the effects of abuse are the same for men as for women. They are likely to feel deeply shamed, frightened, experience a loss of self-worth and confidence, feel isolated, guilty and confused about the situation. The common image of men is that they are strong, domineering and macho. Boys, even at a young age, are taught that it is unmanly to cry. To many, the idea of a grown man being frightened or vulnerable is a taboo, the idea of a man - usually physically the stronger - of being abused, ludicrous.

Hence many male victims of abuse may feel “less of a man” for suffering abuse, feel as though they are in some way not manly enough and ought to have the ability to prevent the abuse.
The reality though is that even if a man is physically attacked by their wife or partner, many will deliberately ‘take it’ rather than hitting back to defend themselves and risk harming their attacker. If they do ‘hit back’, they are aware that they then risk being accused of being an abuser themselves.

But abuse is not always physical, and a lot of men, face daily emotional, verbal and psychological abuse in silence for years, their self-esteem being slowly eroded away, more and more isolated from those around them.

The following video has been provided by Mankind to raise the awareness of men being victims of domestic abuse as well as women.

Source: Mankind Initiative

If you are a victim of domestic abuse please click here to see who to contact for support.


Domestic abuse in the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community is a significant issue.
Evidence from research in the USA, suggests that the rates of domestic abuse in same gender relationships are as high as domestic abuse against heterosexual women, that is, one in four. However, as with all domestic abuse cases, the issue is unreported. Those involved in same gender relationships may be afraid of revealing their sexual orientation or the nature of their relationship.

Source: UK Home Office and Youtube


  • Same sex domestic abuse: domestic abuse that takes place in relationships between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people. As with other forms of domestic abuse, patterns of behaviour concern power and control.
  • Heterosexism: Beliefs and practices that assume heterosexuality, which silence or discriminate against LGBT people.
  • Homophobia: fear, hatred, contempt and prejudice towards LGBT people.

Galop Image

For support Galop have a freephone helpline number 0800 999 5428 or go to their website

Myths about GBT Domestic Abuse:

Responses to domestic abuse are often unsatisfactory for gay and bisexual men because they tend to rely on explanations that are gender and sexuality specific (e.g. violence occurs between heterosexual couples because the male perpetrator is physically stronger and is aided and abetted by a sexist society). This gives rise to a number of myths around domestic abuse between GBT men.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse please click here to see who to contact for support.


Julie Vu is a Canadian transgender woman, and has recorded a powerful video drawing attention to the issue of domestic violence, focusing particularly on how it affects transgender people.

Source: YouTube

“As domestic violence cannot be wiped away like in my video. I know some of you don’t agree that I did so in the video, but please do not be mistaken. The wiping away of the marks and bruises symbolizes someone who is living in fear and do not know how to escape from it. As she starts again with a fresh face, she is healed for now, not knowing when her partner will strike again. It shows you that domestic violence can happen to anyone, even the girl under the bruises. The following message after the wiping of bruises reads, “#1 FACT: Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.” It made you angry that it didn’t really happen to me right now. But what if I told you that it has happened to me in the past. Does that make a difference? Think before you jump to conclusions.”

Disability and Domestic Abuse

Source: YouTube

Disabled women are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse as non-disabled women. (Women’s Aid 2012).
Disabled men and men with mental health problems are at greater risk of domestic abuse than non-disabled men. (Respect 2014)
Studies show that 80% of disabled women have been sexually abused. (Women’s Aid 2012).
For a disabled person, domestic abuse can take on a unique, complex turn, often specifically related to their disability. (Women’s Aid 2012).
48% of cases involving older adults are those that cannot physically care for themselves. (WA 2012).

Source: YouTube


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Last updated: 1 July 2016

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