MLAs told not to sideline men who are victims of 'domestic abuse' amid pressure from feminist activists
and live on Freeview channel 276
The statistic appears in a two-page bulletin which has been sent to all 90 MLAs by a group called Split the Difference, which was holding a one-day conference at Stormont on Monday, alongside the Men's Federation NI.
The meeting – which came on the heels of International Men's Day, Sunday November 19 – was co-sponsored by the DUP's Paul Frew and Michelle McIlveen and SDLP man Patsy McGlone.
Organisers said that the event, and the bulletin to MLAs, seeks to "highlight the significant gaps in support, protection and regard that male victims of abuse can encounter and the urgent need for positive action by government departments to address this."
The bulletin says that it is a "myth" that the "overwhelming majority of domestic abuse victims are female".
Instead, it says "PSNI data indicates that roughly one in every three adult victims of domestic abuse are male. This is consistent with ONS data trends for England & Wales."
Delving into the PSNI's statistics from 2001 to 2021 shows that 29.3% of recorded domestic abuse victims are male.
"For all victims to be equally safe they must be equally seen by those with the power to protect them, and sadly structural barriers encountered by male victims can be exacerbated by the persistent promotion of myths, stereotypes and victim blaming," said the activists in their message to MLAs on Monday.
The PSNI has been under intense pressure in recent years from feminist activists who want to see wrongdoing against females prioritised by the police.
At the same time, instead of talking about "domestic violence", the PSNI and much of the justice system now talks of "domestic abuse" – a far, far more expansive term.
For instance, the PSNI definition of domestic abuse includes giving your partner “the silent treatment” or “emotionally injuring” them with words.
As the News Letter has previously reported, when it comes to serious physical violence in general men are much more likely to be victims.
From 2007/08 to 2021/22 there were 358 homicides recorded by the PSNI. Males accounted for 273 of those 358 victims, or 76% of the total.
Looking purely at homicides with a "domestic abuse motivation" over that same period, PSNI stats show that 60 were committed against females and 41 against males.
When it comes to serious assaults in general (meaning ones where an injury has been caused), males are again more likely than females to be victims.
From 2007 to 2019 there were 62,960 assaults occasioning injury involving female victims (38%), and 104,651 involving male victims (62%).
In terms of Troubles violence, males were roughly 10 times more likely to be killed than females.
And leaving violence aside, there are a host of other areas of disdvantage in which men outstrip women.
For example, men kill themselves roughly three times more often than women; NISRA says that in 2020 there were 157 male suicides (75%) and 52 female ones (25%).
Men are also far more likely to die from substance abuse. NISRA figures show there were 1,147 drug-related deaths among males from 2011 to 2021. At the same time, there were 513 female ones.
The same pattern exists for alcohol abuse. NISRA figures over the same time period show 2,070 male alcohol-related deaths and 1,020 female ones.
Men do far more dangerous work than women on average: the GB Health and Safety Executive says that in 2022/23, 129 workplace deaths – some 96% of the total – were males.
And men are far more likely to end up in jail; the average 2023 jail population in NI was 1,607 males and 78 females.