Partner Abuse in England and Wales
1995 - 2007
Estimated numbers of incidents and of victims
Government surveys estimate the extent of domestic violence in two main ways, by the numbers of incidents against victims and by the numbers of victims. The first measure, mainly provided by routine British Crime Surveys (BCSs), gives much higher totals of domestic incidents against women than against men, the proportions of total male victims based on these totals ranging from about 19% to 34% during the period 1995 to 2007. The second measure, mainly provided by detailed surveys supplementary to the BCSs of interpersonal violence, gives significantly higher proportions of male victims of non-sexual partner abuse, particularly for the more severe forms of assault, ranging from about 38% to almost 50%. These surveys also give separate estimates for family abuse, sexual abuse, and stalking.
Key results showing the proportions of male victims from both the routine BCSs and the detailed supplementary surveys over the period 1995 to 2007 are given in the table below. Sources are given at the end of this briefing.
Before 2001, the routine BCSs were carried out generally every two years. Since 2001, estimated numbers of domestic incidents have been given in the Home Office Crime in England and Wales annual publications. The estimates are based on people reporting experiences against them perceived by them as crimes. Since not all people regard domestic abuse against them, even if serious, as a crime, particularly young men, and therefore may not report it (or wish to admit it) to crime surveys, these routine Home Office crime estimates are likely to significantly under-estimate the actual extent of domestic abuse incidents, particularly against younger men. The totals for domestic incidents also include all family member incidents and not just those between partners.