Number of men claiming domestic abuse by women doubles in decade

The number of men reporting abuse by a woman has more than doubled in less than a decade, new figures revealed today.

The latest statistics showed that overall the number of recorded incidents of domestic abuse recorded by police had fallen by 4 per cent in 2009-10 to 51,926. And the number of women reporting that they had been abused by a man dropped from 44,961 in 2008-09 to 41,927 in 2009-10.

However the number of men coming forward to report domestic abuse by a woman increased to 7,938 last year. That compares with 7,361 in 2008-9 and just 2,696 such cases in 2000-1.

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Over the decade the proportion of all recorded domestic abuse incidents involving a male victim and a female perpetrator has increased from 8 per cent to 15 per cent.

Communities minister Alex Neil said he was pleased that more men were coming forward to report abuse.

Mr Neil said: "Scotland is leading the way in tackling domestic abuse.

"Our hard-hitting campaigns broke taboos, got the message out that this behaviour is totally unacceptable and created awareness of the wide range of help and support for victims.

"It is encouraging to see that reported domestic abuse incidents are now on the decrease and police forces are cracking down on this despicable behaviour."

He added: "We're also pleased that more men are finding the courage to come forward and our confidential Men's Advice Line stands ready to support men experiencing abuse."

Labour's justice spokesman, Richard Baker, said the domestic abuse figures were "still worryingly high".

And he said the statistics "stand as a yet another reminder that there must be no room for complacency on domestic abuse".

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Mr Baker also hit out at the presumption against sentences of less than three months, saying this measure from the Scottish Government would mean "more perpetrators of this despicable crime skip jail".

Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Robert Brown said: "The extent of domestic abuse in Scotland is still too high.

"The damage caused by domestic abuse can be lifelong. I want to see a zero-tolerance approach to domestic abuse for both men and women."

Almost two thirds of the 51,926 recorded incidents of domestic abuse in 2009-10 led to police reporting a crime or offence, and 21,660 cases where reported to the procurator fiscal.

The incidents last year included 16 homicides, 349 serious assaults and 165 crimes of indecency, as well as 13,740 crimes of minor assault and 10,489 breaches of the peace. A total of 25,602 cases involved a victim who had previously been recorded as being a victim of domestic abuse.