Terminology

Terminology

We refer to the statistics ‘one in four women' and ‘one in six' men; however caution must be exercised in reading this too literally. BCS data suggests that 47% of men who experience domestic abuse are in fact referring to a single incident as opposed to a pattern of controlling behaviour. This means that the statistic is more likely to be 1 in 13 men experiencing comparable levels of domestic abuse as women. In addition, men have a mean average of 7 incidents and women a mean average of 20.

A lack of male specific research also means that much of the evidence base will be gendered - having been conducted upon women. Therefore caution should be exercised to ensure that inaccurate assumptions are not drawn about male victim's needs and experiences which are often distinctly different from those of women.

Therefore, to reflect the majority of cases and for ease of reading, this website refers to victims/survivors of domestic violence as female and perpetrators as male. However, this is not meant to imply that domestic abuse does not occur in same-sex relationships or by women to men. All statutory services provide their services on an equal basis to both men and women. Thus most work undertaken benefits both genders and all sexualities.

Finally, wherever possible, the term ‘domestic abuse' rather than ‘domestic violence' will be adopted to avoid confusion that the abuse has to involve physical violence.