Domestic Abuse Against Men in Scotland

David Gadd, Stephen Farrall, Damian Dallimore, Nancy Lombard

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The debate about men’s victimisation by partners is one that undergoes periodic revivals of interest. These revivals occur as new commentators discover – and sometimes exaggerate - the limitations of existing research about domestic abuse and the interpretive task this research presents to those who engage with it. For simplicity, the controversy about male victims of domestic abuse can be organised around the following five themes:
1. The extent to which men and women are ‘equal victims’ of domestic abuse. Do male victims endure the same abuses as women, as frequently and with the same consequences?
2. The extent to which recorded crime statistics accurately reflect different rates of abuse - for men and women, as well as gay men and straight men - as opposed to differential treatment by criminal justice agencies.
3. The extent to which women’s violence towards male partners constitutes a reaction to the experience of prior or continuing abuse. Are women’s assaults on men typically defensive and reactionary responses to anticipated threats and/or the experience of cumulative provocation?
4. The level and nature of abuse in gay men’s relationships, and concomitantly the extent to which ‘domestic abuse’ is connected to cultural constructions of masculinity and heterosexuality.
5. The implications of evidence of men’s victimisation for service providers. Is there a need for specialist services for male victims of domestic abuse? Are male victims’ needs quantitatively and qualitatively the same as the needs of female victims?
This report documents research that aimed to examine the various positions in this controversy, focussing especially on the evidence available in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
Publisher Scottish Executive Central Research Unit
Commissioning bodyScottish Executive
Number of pages97
ISBN (Print)0 7559 3399 0
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • domestic abuse
  • men
  • Scotland


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