Domestic violence surges in Wales

family law

The number of domestic violence crimes committed in Wales rose by almost a quarter between 2013 and 2015.

Figures from Welsh police forces show that episodes of domestic abuse and violence increased from 8,272, in 2013 to 10,230 in 2015. This represents a 23 per cent upturn, however they did not all lead to convictions. Crimes that made up these figures included attempted murder, death threats, assault, rape, harassment, cruelty, neglect, stalking and criminal damage.

The busiest month each year for these reports was July, which averaged 524 incidents during this time. By contrast February had the lowest average, with just 383 reports.

A spokeswoman for the Welsh government insisted the increase in reports were a result of effective campaigning on this issue. Such programmes “aim to inform and educate on violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence issues and have focused on both victims and perpetrators, encouraging all to seek help and support” she said.

Meanwhile LGBT rights group Stonewall Cymru have claimed that as many as half of all gay and bisexual men in Wales have been the victims of abuse at the hands of a partner or family member since they turned 16 years old. This is also true of more than a third – 34 per cent – of lesbians and bisexual women, according to the organisation’s research.

Director Andrew White told the BBC that many members of the LGBT community “do not feel comfortable reporting or accessing support” when they have been abused. This is especially the case among transgender people, who “face significant barriers to support, in some cases being turned away from domestic abuse shelters” he added.

Photo by x1klima via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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25 comments

Paul Apreda - March 30, 2017 at 9:04pm

This is a remarkable piece of journalism. It seems the BBC assume that domestic violence either affects women or gay men as the only two organisations they contacted for comments were Welsh Women’s Aid and Stonewall Cymru.

South Wales Police have seen the proportion of RECORDED incidents in their area where a male was the victim jump from 16% to 23% of cases in the four year period to mid 2016. Let us remember that men are less likely to recognise domestic violence (physical force) let alone domestic abuse (emotional / psychological etc) as a reportable issue to the Police. Our own experience is that when men do report they are often belittled or derided by officers and on many occassions they are told to ‘man up’ or ‘grow a pair’ frequently resulting in officers refusing to record incidents. In one ncident in the South Wales Police area a father had his tyres slashed by the maternal grandmother while the children were in his car. When he reported this to the Police they explained to him that his autistic son would have to give evidence against the grandmother (he saw her doing it) and that the father should consider the impact on the child of reporting the offence. On another ocassion an officer sreemed down the phone at a father telling him to return the child to the mother despite their being no Court order in place over child arrangements and the father having the child on an agreed arrangement with the mother – who changed her mind and called the Police to intervene.
I have asked BBC Wales whether they even bothered to enquire what percentage of victims of abuse were men. I’ve had no reply and I suspect I wont receive one either.

I also dealt with a MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) in South Wales in relation to a father who is the primary carer for his children. The mother had just been released from a 6 month custodial sentence for perverting the course of justice by making repeated (more than a dozen) entirely false claims of assault, abuse and harassment by the father. On each occassion that the mother reported the police arrested the father often keeping him in the cells for questioning overnight, despite him having a young family with his new partner.

I reported to the MARAC that I’d assessed the father as high risk of DV using the SafeLives Risk Indicator checklist. The MARAC determined that the case was high risk – BUT – in relation to the father as perpetrator. He had accepted a caution for Battery in 2010. The MARAC then revelaed that the mother had 54 previous criminal convictions including Assault with a deadly weapon (a knife) against a Police officer. She however only presented a Medium risk to the father.

Our charity has now decided to adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ policy in relation to sexist policing in Wales and will be assisting individuals to make formal complaints each and every time they are treated inappropriately.

Stitchedup - March 31, 2017 at 3:22pm

If a woman gets the first allegation in and the man makes a counter allegation, the man’s allegation is often dismissed by the Police as a tit-for-tat allegation; or worst, the counter allegation is itself treated as evidence that the man is an abuser. It’s a no win situation for men.

JamesB - April 1, 2017 at 2:44pm

Thanks for this post. I was especially interest in the similarities with myself. It does also put strains on new relationships the ex getting you arrested and in cells.

The point about accepting a caution for something also rang true, so happy I did not sign that bit of paper the police put in front of me. Instead I perhaps got a warning for assault (or whatever she made up) despite their being no evidence because it did not happen.

The point is I think that a warning is not on your record as proven law breaking but a caution is and the first will not show up when employers search police database but caution will. As was seen in your example where the acceptance of the caution was held against him, there was probably no evidence. I would advise people that if they have been arrested then the police are not their friend, quite the opposite. What you need to do is ask for yellow pages or internet access and find a decent criminal law solicitor from a company who also does family law, then get them down the station, as they are free when it is criminal law.

It is unfortunate that the police have soured the ability of families in difficulties to talk to them (they will take the easy option of siding with the woman without listening to the man and arrest the man). Better to go to mediation or a friend or Reverend or Rabbi or Imam or someone else but do not expect a police officer to do anything other than arrest the man.

Lynne Blore - March 30, 2017 at 9:48pm

Interesting comment that ” 23 per cent upturn, however they did not all lead to convictions.” so presumably the numbers are based on allegations, some of which were not proven. One has to wonder if the increase in part, is due to Legal Aid only being available if domestic violence is alleged. Interesting too to see that Harassment is also included in the figures – potentially one request too many from a non resident parent asking to see their children. Of course, we need to remember too that male victims of domestic abuse are, for record purposes, assigned a female gender and included in the figures for VAWG. So, all in all, pretty useless statistics to provide a clear picture on which to base assumptions.

Nemo Momenti - March 30, 2017 at 11:43pm

This is clearly fake news. There is no “surge in domestic violence in Wales”. There has been a surge in REPORTING of domestic violence in Wales, because there has been a campaign to encourage such reports. This is even admitted with the quote, “A spokeswoman for the Welsh government insisted the increase in reports were a result of effective campaigning on this issue.”
Interesting, however, to note the large number of reports of domestic violence in lesbian relationships, with an admission that this statistic is probably under-reported, demonstrating quite starkly that DV is not overwhelmingly a male-on-female issue.

Vincent McGovern - March 31, 2017 at 1:03am

‘A spokeswoman for the Welsh government insisted the increase in reports were a result of effective campaigning on this issue. Such programmes “aim to inform and educate on violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence issues and have focused on both victims and perpetrators, encouraging all to seek help and support” she said.’

Pardon me for being cynical, but I do believe there are at least TWO genders in Welsh society. One of those genders is MALE. This male can be a boy, a man, a father, even a primary carer of his children. And yet this MALE gender is significant by omission in this article, apart from the usual implication from these sources that the MALE is the PERPETRATOR of violence. So Welsh Women’s Aid and Stonewall have us believe. Has this spokeswoman ever heard the expression ‘impartial professionalism.’ Or am I being wildly optimistic in hoping for such. Yes I am.

Paul - March 31, 2017 at 1:23am

Don’t beleive it for ONE minute.
The nature of men did not change in the space of a few months. Fact is that this is mums using a slander campaign to get rid of the father of their children.
THEY ONLY RECEIVE LEGAL AID IF THEY CLAIM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
These slummy mummys are teaching each other how to do this on mumsnet and gingerbread. Log on and have a luck.
How do I know.
I was charged with harassment. (Knocking on the door and asking to see my kids)
I appealed it. They could not even prove a course of conduct.
There are some very VERY UNSAFE convictions going in against fathers all around the country.
The ladys get what they want by any means fair or foul.
If you are a father. THE LAW IS NOT YOUR FREIND.
If your freind is a soliciter, judge or barrister. Just disown him.
If you see one in the street. Spit and cross the road.
Treat them with the same contempt they treat fathers.
Thats the best advice I have for you.

Stitchedup - March 31, 2017 at 8:15am

Hardly surprising, a woman can have a man arrested, and probably convicted, for farting in Wales.

Dr Sue Whitcombe - March 31, 2017 at 9:35am

I work with children and adults in Wales affected by domestic abuse. In many cases, when a father reports physical violence or abuse from his female partner to the police, it is dealt with in a very different manner to when a mother reports violence or abuse. Often, the complaint is not recorded as a DV incident, and as such may well not be evident in the figures released by South Wales Police. There is rarely a consideration of risk to any children and no sign posting to available services (not that many actually exist!). This leaves children at risk of continued trauma and abuse, as well as the parent.

Then of course there is the well established fact that men typically do not acknowledge that they are being subjected to abuse …. Given a similar situation, a female is more likely to identify that she has been abused while a male is firstly more likely to dismiss or deny the experience, and secondly be less likely to report an incident for a number of reasons including stigma, shame and a belief that he will not be taken seriously.

Stereotypical articles such as that on the BBC do little to promote the established fact that DV affects all ages, all genders. While the issue of Violence Against Women and Girls is important, the categorisation of male victim experience as a crime against Women and Girls denies and minimises these experiences.

Stitchedup - March 31, 2017 at 11:30am

Some points to bear in mind:

We have a labour lead Welsh government that swallow feminist BS hook, line and sinker resulting in loony left feminist policies.

We have an old school loony left PCC in the form of Alun Michael who surrounds himself with a,loony left support team (read that as Cronies); current deputy PCC is Emma Wools from the Probation Service, Now we all know that the Probation Service is a fundamentally feminist organisation as is NAPO, and it appears Emma,Wools has carved a career out of feminist policies, e.g. She “has had the lead for a number of critical areas of work across Wales” including ” •Strategic lead for implementing a Whole System Approach to working with women who come into contact with the Criminal Justice System in Wales in recognition of their differing needs and diverting them away from the CJS and into community based support, wherever appropriate.” In other words, letting Women off the hook so that there’s more prison spaces to incarcerate men for doing sod all. Her predecessor is Sophie Howe, the “labour insider” and feminist controversially appointed by Alun Michael along with other Labour cronies and who has since been appointed as the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales causing equal levels of controversy. If anybody was ever in any doubt about Sophie Howe’s credentials, they were laid bare during “The Big Questions” a couple of Sundays ago. A debate to discuss “forgiveness”, a subject that could not be more wide ranging, was hijacked by a pack of feminists and used as an opportunity to demonise men and aggressively push the feminist domestic violence/violence against women and girls agenda. A young academic from Swansea University, Dr Ashley Frawley, dared to suggest that women are told to be offended by male attention and “There’s a moral panic around rape. There’s a tendency to inflate the idea of male violence to epidemic levels.” The feminists, including Sophie Howe, were positively foaming at the mouth, the poor young woman was descended upon by a shouting angry mob as Nicky Campbell struggled to keep order and control, it was horrendous!!

(*Edited by the moderators – please see comment policy here)

Stitchedup - March 31, 2017 at 11:39am

Oh, and by the way, the gender breakdown of the South Wales PCC team is Female 17, Male 9, disability 0.

Stitchedup - March 31, 2017 at 11:45am

Hi Cameron, not sure if I did anything wrong but I replied to a comment I submitted before it had been moderated and now both comments have disappeared.

Cameron Paterson - March 31, 2017 at 12:00pm

Can you see them now?

Stitchedup - March 31, 2017 at 12:02pm

Yep, can see them now.
Cheers.

JamesB - March 31, 2017 at 12:17pm

By pass the PCC (assuming you mean police complaints commission) and take your case to a no win no fee solicitor and sue them whenever possible. The PCC is an anachronistic body for when the Police cared what the public thought and saw themselves and members of it and protecting it. Now it just serves to try and calm the public and stop them from suing them, a damage limitation exercise.

For serious misconduct, like taking bribes, perhaps you can get that dealt with and officer gone, but given that complaints are mostly about justice and compensation for not getting it it is better to go to a lawyer instead as, for example, kind words doesn’t get you money or the wrong time spent in a police cell, which makes them unfit for purpose.

Paul Apreda - March 31, 2017 at 2:12pm

Hi James – I think PCC in this context refers to the Police & Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael. I once asked him in a public meeting why he thought there was such a disparity between the Crime Surve of England & Wales level of reporting by men and his own figures – which at the time were around 15%. His reply was ‘I’m sick and tired of this campaign to undermine the protection of women!’

JamesB - March 31, 2017 at 2:39pm

Thanks Paul, I got sick and tired of being arrested by them and spending hours in police cells without any evidence, if I had my time I would have sued them, out of time on that now. I remember once I had a new girlfriend coming round and I was on a promise for some kinky stuff and the bloody police knocked on the door. I thought ‘do I open it or not?’ then I thought ‘I have done nothing wrong, I will open it’ then I get arrested by a WPC (the male PC with her raises his eyebrows when she starts the caution) and end up in cell for 12 hours. Oh, they were generous enough for me to call my new girlfriend for me. Apparently, it was the Positive Intervention Policy. Wasn’t very positive in my books. Bloody coppers. Happened a few times until the police got fed up with my ex and the complaints, I went to the PCC about 5 times. I should have sued.

Agree we should have PCC (elected commissioner, like US elected sheriffs). Not sure on the loony left thing. The left unfortunately have been hijacked by kamikaze feminists determined to drive it into the ground, evidenced by falling socialist votes everywhere. A feminist portfolio is like Ezzie Izzard and that Beret, worth many votes, to the other side.

JamesB - March 31, 2017 at 2:50pm

We never got round to the kinky stuff either. With all the kids involved and stuff. Didn’t get the time back. Time is money. Just like that scene from layer cake where the girl puts on all that stuff and takes all that time getting ready and then goes back to the room to find the bloke has been kidnapped. I was and am not happy with the police for that, I should have sued, would have been an interesting financial claim putting a monetary value on that time which I was forced to spend in a police cell will a metal toilet for company instead, a very poor substitute.

JamesB - March 31, 2017 at 8:42pm

I meant I went to the IPCC many times. I don’t live in South Wales but the police here seem to have the feminist mantra every morning also, we must protect women and lock up men. Perhaps it should say that on the doors of their cars as they cruise around taking the piss out of everyone, judging them and their appearance (I’ve been in the back of a police car too many times, ‘To lock up men and protect women’. No I do not have a criminal record.

Fair play to the London mayor putting them back on the beat and bringing back the local policeman to actually talk to the people they are supposed to serve.

Stitchedup - March 31, 2017 at 2:38pm

Yes, I’m referring to the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales.

JamesB - April 1, 2017 at 2:51pm

For the author I would like to point out that it is not a crime if there is no conviction or proof. It is an allegation. That you call it a crime does not look good for standards or lack of bias in the article and tends to indicate that all are crimes only some got away with it which is appalling bias and approach and theory.

Paul - April 3, 2017 at 9:17am

Just had a meeting with CAFCAS. He was going to just dismiss me and say it kids dont want to see you there is nothing the court can do. Ect but I insisted on taping the interview. I asked if I could tape it first but didnt get back to me (he was going to ignore me) so i sent an email saying CAFCAS dont appear to have a policy on recording interviews. Got a call back same day. ‘OK you can record interview’ lol
First time in two years ANYONE has listened to account of what has taken place.
Thats ANYONE…
Police dont listen. Courts dont listen.
A probation officer turned around to me. While i did community service for a crime which did not exist. Which I have now appealed and quashed.
He said ”The problem with domestic violence is men”
I said to him ‘Thats a big statement right their. I disagree TOTALLY !!’
This is the kind of sexism which is ingrained in our legal system.
Anyway I have now got a finding of FACTS hearing to look at the possability of ‘PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME’
So im FINALLY gonna get heard.
Happy days !!!

(Comment edited by moderators. Comment policy: http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/comment-moderation-policy/)

Paul Apreda - April 3, 2017 at 10:38am

Hi Paul
Really well done on the recording of interviews with Cafcass. Are you in England? I ask because I want to press Cafcass Cymru for a policy committment about parents recording their interactions with their staff.
One piece of advice I would like to share with you is DONT use the word Syndrome in your case. In my experience the use that word is the ‘get out’ that some professionals use to avoid recognition of PA. They claim that it requires a medical diagnosis – so rather than argue the point about interpretation go with persuading the Court to take action on the essential element – ie the alienation of your child. Hope that helps
Paul

Lynne - April 3, 2017 at 10:56am

That is a great result! Well done you.

Paul - April 3, 2017 at 1:13pm

Thanks guys, yes I am in England. Thanks for the advice about ‘syndrome’ ill argue its not me using the term its the widly accepted term used by psycology professionals with PHD’s. Im simply following their example.
What I ment to say was that in my email to CAFCAS I said They don’t seem to have a policy on the issue of recording interviews. I will raise the issue with my MP.
If you want to get a result use the term ‘MP’ make sure they know your will do it.
A soliciter will cost you money every time you get in touch. An you are not garunteed a result. A letter to your MP costs exactly nothing. Not even a stamp. And these organisations hate been contacted by an MP. THEY HATE IT !
They get results.
Fight the good fight people.
All around me I see good dads stepping up to the plate.
Doing the school run, the home work, the night feeds, anti natal classes, taking paturnity leave. Men have really stepped up to the plate there are some real top class dads out their they deserve a better deal than what they get legally.
For me to be treated the same as some Jeremy Kyle scrote shows how sexest and wrong the system is.
No child would choose to be without their father. I beleive even the Yorkshire ripper gets visits from his kids.
Kids are never old enough to decide not to see half their family. Its rediculous.
They are clearly under preasure from others.
Familys dont give up on each other so easily.

Sorry. This gets me fired up !!

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