Guernsey Press

Citizens Advice sees rise in male domestic abuse victims

Nearly a quarter of domestic abuse victims who approached Citizens Advice for help last year were male, its latest update has revealed.

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Psychological and emotional abuse were the most common types reported.

The service saw 59 cases flagged as domestic abuse during 2023 – more than double the 2015 total of 24 cases.

There has been a general trend in the increase of domestic violence cases in the UK, while Guernsey Police reported nearly 700 domestic incidents in 2022.

From the 59 cases identified by CAG, there were 62 victims.

The vast majority were female – 77%. But 14 were male, of which three were under 16.

‘While our data shows a small increase in proportion of male victims year on year, male victims remain fewer in Guernsey,’ CAG said in its report.

‘It is likely that many people are reluctant to contact us or the police, but the domestic abuse of males may be particularly under-reported in Guernsey.’

Some people suffered more than one type of abuse, but the most common was psychological and emotional, with nearly half of victims affected by this. This is followed by half of the people being affected by coercive and controlling behaviour, with physical abuse coming in third.

‘In 2023, there has been a noticeable increase in the reporting of “hidden” abuse, with psychological/emotional; coercive control, or financial abuse accounting for 63% of types of abuse reported, with physical, harassment or sexual abuse accounting for 37%,’ the report stated.

‘Although caution must be used in interpreting changes given the relatively small number of cases, it suggests that there is growing recognition and reporting of non-physical types of abuse.’

Citizens Advice said it was unlikely to be the first point of contact for victims of domestic violence, who would have already been in touch with another support agency.

A quarter of cases were contacting CAG for help involving housing issues, such as threat of eviction by an abusive family member, or advice on how to terminate a lease in joint names.

A fifth of cases were after advice on divorce or separation, while 14% wanted advice linked to children, such as maintenance payments.

Other issues leading to a contact included financial issues or concern for family members or others, which were potentially triggered by some kind of domestic abuse.

The report said the domestic abuse was costly in human and financial terms.