Providing support to people whose lives have been affected by domestic abuse

The short answer to the above is that men experience, and are affected by, abuse in much the same way that women are.  It is widely accepted that the majority of domestic abuse victims are women but abuse towards men happens much more than is often expected.  Evidence suggests that about 40% of domestic abuse victims are men, in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

Whilst in many cases men are stronger than women, this doesn't necessarily mean it is easier to escape the abuse or the relationship.  Abused men have fewer resources available to them e.g. very few refuge options, less face-to-face support in many areas, more disbelief about them being victims and major legal obstacles, especially when it comes to gaining custody of his children from an abusive mother.   However, men and women have the same rights to protection from domestic abuse.

Men are often more reluctant to report abuse by a woman as they feel embarrassed, they are worried they won't be believed, or sometimes they fear that the police will assume that since they are the male they are the perpetrator of the abuse and not the victim.  An abusive woman may do a variety of things to make up for any difference in physical strength e.g. she may destroy the man's possessions, attack them in their sleep, catch them by surprise or use a weapon/object.

Behind Closed Doors works with men who are victims of domestic abuse offering support from our male Outreach worker (for high risk and practical needs) and from the Prevention and Recovery Service (lower risk, emotional and information needs).

Additional Useful Links include:-

ManKind Initiative, tel 01823 334244,

Men's Advice Line, tel 0808 801 0327,


In 2006 I married a woman I had known for about two years.  I didn't realise at the time what I was letting myself in for.  

Within a couple of years she had become nasty and verbally abusive towards me for no apparent reason.  In those two years, I had taken out a second mortgage at her request to set up a shop for her.  Soon she wouldn't discuss anything with me of any importance unless it was to her advantage and particularly if it involved money.  After an argument she had with the landlady of the shop she was renting, my wife got into the car and as I drove away, in her rage she hit me with her fist on the side of my face - almost causing me to lose control of the car.  That was the start of the physical abuse towards me.

To cut a long, painful story short, after already suffering two years of terrible verbal abuse I realised the situation was now becoming very bad and dangerous and I decided to report the physical attack to the police.  I simply wanted an Officer to come to the house and tell her she couldn't act like that. The Police explained that unless I made an official complaint which would result in her arrest, there wasn't much they could do. I thought if I did that, it would make the situation worse and I still believed we could 'sort things out'.

The verbal abuse continued on a daily basis with four more physical assaults in the home: The last one involving a knife in 2013. Now I was becoming worried.

One man’s story…

Now that she had isolated me from friends and relatives by her behaviour I felt  I was in a desperate situation and things now could only get worse for me - I needed help to take back control of my life again.

I contacted my local Adult Social Services department who put me in touch with Behind Closed Doors (BCD).  Within 24 hours I was talking to an Outreach Worker from the organisation at a location specified by me.  I chose a male member of BCD to talk to.  He listened …… and listened.  The relief of talking to someone who understood exactly what I had been going through all those years was overwhelming.

BCD arranged for me to see a Solicitor who applied to the Court to put in place a Non-Molestation Order as we were both still living in the same house.  Two months later she breached the Order and was removed from the house.  She is keeping away now but I have the Police, my Solicitor and BCD still supporting me.

Even after the legal and practical issues were sorted, BCD offered me some support from their Prevention and Recovery Service to talk it through.   I refused the first time but a few weeks later, decided to give it a go … I am really pleased I did.  

I really appreciated being able to get answers to some of the questions going round my head, it was like the pieces of the jigsaw came together and I could understand what and how it had happened.  The work-tools we did have become like a 'bible', reminding me it wasn't my fault or because of weaknesses in me and I feel stronger.   This extra recovery support was the 'icing on the cake' and really helped me to focus on moving on.

If you need urgent help, call 999 immediately

If you are unsure and need advice, please call 0113 222 4202

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