Women Turn Perpetrators of Domestic Violence in Scotland

by Tanya Thomas on Aug 26 2008 9:18 AM

In a surprising revelation, the truth of domestic violence in Scotland has come to light. Victims of such abuse and campaigners for men’s rights blame an under-equipped system which has left Scottish men helpless in the face of violent attacks by partners.

A new organization called 'Men's Aid Scotland' is seeking charitable status to secure funding to provide the counseling and advice services that currently do not exist.

"We are trying to raise the profile but we are finding it very difficult to get recognition. They see women as always being the victims, never the perpetrator," the Scotsman quoted the organizer, Jackie Walls, as saying.

"It is totally unreported. We are trying to flag this up and say 'please see there is a need for services'. We need to do a pilot project and get statistics," she added.

Jackie said that she took the issue to the Scottish Parliament, and was given a list of numbers of support services.

While two support services were in England, they told Jackie that they only took calls from Scotland out of goodwill as they knew there was nothing available north of the Border.

She also sought help from Jim Tolson, the MSP for Dunfermline West, who wrote to Stewart Maxwell, the Holyrood minister for communities and education, about the issue.

Tolson said that he received a reply telling him there was no need for extra resources.

"There should be an equivalent agency to help men as there is for women and children. I wrote to the minister and got a reply on 7 May saying there is no need for such a service and it is covered by things like Victim Support. I don't think that's correct and I want to continue to press him and the Scottish Government and get a credible response to this to make sure there is a proper dedicated facility," he said.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said that a recent study had suggested there was no need for an agency or refuge with a specific remit to support male victims of domestic abuse.

Jackie, however, believes that between a quarter and one in six men are victims of domestic abuse, depending on which research is subscribed to.

"They deserve the same support as women, " she added.