Statistics from the ManKind Initiative say that more than a third of domestic abuse victims are male, according to a report from the Independent. The stats were published in the newspaper after a man from Peterborough, UK, came forward with his own personal account of being a victim of abuse.
Mark Brookes, Chair of ManKind Initiative, spoke about the man’s incident as well as the many other domestic abuse cases experienced that go unnoticed.
“While [his] case is awful we should not be overly surprised that domestic abuse can happen to men too. We need a real sea change in public attitude and recognition in that domestic abuse can affect anyone… There are still too many barriers that men face in feeling comfortable in coming forward and getting help.”
Ken Gregory, 65, sustained second- and third-degree burns across 14 percent of his body in March, 2013 after his now ex-wife, Teresa Gilbertson, 60, poured boiling water over his head during an argument. Speaking to BBC News, Gregory has urged other men of domestic abuse to come forward, saying that “being attacked by a woman is nothing to be ashamed of.”
“I had never imagined something like this would happen to me. As a man who is a bit older and who isn’t exactly small, there is a perception that you can’t be a victim of domestic violence. I was worried that people would assume that it was my fault and she was the victim – there is still a general perception that, as a strong man against a weaker female, you must have been the protagonist.”
Mr. Gregory said he intended to visit the grave of his previous wife who passed 30 years ago when the incident occurred between him and Teresa. After agreeing to a mutual divorce, Teresa then attacked Gregory by pouring boiling water from a jug over his head. Ken said it was “unbearable, searing pain. I’d never known anything like it.”
The retired BT manager said that the stigma of male domestic abuse needs to be lifted and has agreed to showcase his scars and speak about his own ordeal.
“It should be the same message that they put out for women many years ago: don’t be frightened, you don’t have to put up with it.”
Teresa Gilbertson is due to be sentenced on March 24. Ken Gregory’s case is just one of many that show male victims of domestic abuse should feel comfortable coming forward and to not be embarrassed.