I spent some time speaking to the Founder of Dads Advocates, Nathan Wilson, about his experience with male victims of domestic abuse and those who have been able to get to a refuge. He informed me that despite certain organisations advertising that they do take in male victims of domestic violence, many of the men who come to him have been turned away, leading to yet another uncomfortable truth; even if the courage is summoned to seek help with their experiences, the scepticism and stigma attached to male victims of domestic violence is enough for refuges to seemingly make efforts to avoid putting their name to their letters which the victim can provide to a firm like us to apply for Legal Aid, presumably, to avoid repercussions if that victim turned out to be no victim at all.
Because of this, rather than spending a fortune on legal fees, many men make these applications and attend Court proceedings by themselves as litigants in person. This means that these men are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to the scrutiny of Court proceedings when they otherwise should have obtained the support to which they may well be entitled. Legal Aid is a luxury that seems out of reach for them; unfortunately, until the status quo shifts, I don’t see this changing.
While this might not be explicitly related to the Depp v Heard trial, it plays a significant role in the wider issue at hand; when it comes to domestic abuse, men are underrepresented in society at an astonishingly low level.
Thankfully, organisations such as Dads Advocates and the ManKind Initiative are on the up and come to support men who have found themselves in abusive relationships and are struggling with escaping them. They provide advice and even courses on how to deal with their circumstances from people, like Nathan, who have experienced it first-hand.