One-in-four gay or bisexual men in Scotland have experienced domestic violence in the past year, but face many barriers to accessing support, according to studies led by Glasgow Caledonian University researchers.
One victim told them: “The police do not take it seriously. I think it was a complete lack of training. They didn’t know how to treat it because it was man-on-man. There’s just a complete lack of empathy or understanding from the police about same-sex relations.”
Another participant said of intimate partner violence (IPV): “To be a man and even admit that you were in an IPV relationship, I mean, it knocks confidence, it knocks your self-esteem, and self-worth. The hatred for yourself. The hatred for allowing it. There’s a huge stigma around men coming out as domestic abuse victims, because we’re men, we should be able to deal with it and fight back.”
The Press Association quoted a Police Scotland spokesperson saying: “Where we receive a report of domestic abuse, victims will be listened to, and it will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.”
Findings in the We are INVISIBLE!” Same-Sex Male Relationship Intimate Partner Violence research paper included victims often staying in abusive relationships due to a fear of being lonely, in the belief it is more challenging for gay or bisexual men (GBM) to find a long-term partner than heterosexuals, and a common view statutory services are not designed to support GBM and wider LGBTQ+ needs when domestic abuse occurs.