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  1. ITV Report

Domestic violence towards men rises dramatically

Men are encouraged to come forward if they are suffering at the hands of a partner. Photo: ITV

Figures seen by ITV News, reveal that the number of male victims of domestic abuse in the West Country has almost doubled in the last five years.

There were over 4 and a half thousand cases last year alone.

Paul Chivers, who's from Swindon, was subjected to violent abuse by his wife.

He has described how he lived his life in fear of his wife who on one occasion left him needing 8 stiches on his head after hitting him with a hairdryer.

He and his daughter now live alone. Credit: ITV West Country

His partner has since been jailed for 16 months after being convicted of unlawful wounding.

I lived a day to day, walking on eggshells, those sorts of things, being coerced into situations I really didn't want to be in.

– Paul Chivers

Only 20% of domestic abuse cases reported to the police since 2012 were from male victims.

The charity Mankind Initiative who carried out the Freedom of Information requests to police forces across the country say that it is underreported due to the stigma attached to being a male victim.

Now they want to change that and encourage men to come forward if they are suffering at the hands of a partner.

According to the latest figures, since 2012 there's been a fivefold increase in the number of men who's been the victims of domestic violence.

On the face of it, it's a dramatic and worrying increase. But a charity that helps such victims says the rise, in part at least, is the result of changing attitudes.

Mark Brooks from the Mankind Initiative says in some ways the increase is encouraging:

The charity acknowledge that the majority of domestic abuse victims are women but say work still needs to be done to help men trapped in violent relationships.

Organisations that can help: