MANY male victims of domestic violence are too ashamed to report the abuse. Carl Brown talks to a man who is willing to break his silence in a bid to raise awareness of the widespread, but often ignored, problem.

“I was on the bus with my ex-partner when she started to attack me, the police arrived and immediately wanted to arrest me.”

For a year David Hyatt suffered the misery of regular violent attacks at the hand of his ex-partner.

Despite the problem being widespread, he believes policy makers, domestic violence charities and wider society are not addressing the issue.

According to Home Office statistics, one in five men have experienced domestic abuse since they were 16.

The figure for women is one in three, but the figures also show nearly half of all victims are men.

“There is always an assumption that the man is the perpetrator of violence but it is not true,” Mr Hyatt said.

Mr Hyatt is concerned about plans to create a register of abusive partners, fearing it will include male culprits but not violent women.

He also believes the charity Women's Aid is too influential and publishes “anti-male” propaganda.

The charity insists women are more likely to experience repeated and more severe forms of violence, including sexual abuse, and are more likely to suffer sustained physical, psychological or emotional abuse.

It says all domestic violence should not be tolerated but support services for men should be provided separately from that for women for safety reasons.

Mr Hayatt says he was so embarassed by the abuse that he could not seek help.

He said: “A couple of hours a month for a whole year she would beat me, and then when I held her wrists, kick me until my legs were black and blue, spit in my face and kick me in the groin.

“The rest of the time she was affectionate, so I would stay with her - exactly the same as female victims.

“My life was made a misery but I did not report it because of the stigma and humiliation attached to it.”

Mr Hyatt believes the Government is focusing too heavily on tackling abuse against women and children, at the expense of protecting male domestic abuse victims.

He is concerned about plans to create a register of abusive partners, fearing it will include male culprits but not violent women.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Domestic violence must be regarded as a serious crime irrespective of gender or ethnicity.

It impacts across all communities but we recognise that women are much more likely to suffer domestic violence.

"Nevertheless the government takes the issue of male victims extremely seriously.

"The Home Office funds the Men's Advice and Enquiry Line; we also support the work of the men's coalition."

If you are a male victim of domestic abuse, call the Mana and Initiative helpline on 01823 334 244 or visit