Preventing and Responding to Sexual and Domestic Violence against Men: A Guidance Note for Security Sector Institutions

Sexual and domestic violence (SDV) presents a serious security threat in all societies and one that security sector institutions such as the police, justice system, armed forces and prisons are increasingly beginning to address. Historically, SDV was thought to almost exclusively affect women, yet recent studies in several countries have indicated that there are also large numbers of male victims. These men often share similar security needs with female victims, but they also experience gender-specific barriers to accessing security and justice caused, in part, by the fact that the issue of SDV against men remains shrouded in silence and misconceptions. With this in mind, this guidance note is designed to serve as a tool to enable security sector institutions to provide a more effective, gender-sensitive approach to preventing and responding to SDV against men.

The first half of this publication provides an overview of the characteristics and incidence of SDV committed against men as well as an outline of who the perpetrators and victims are and what impact these forms of violence tend to have on the victim. It then highlights how these factors translate into gender-specific barriers to reporting and why the security sector should seek to overcome them. The second half of the publication begins with a collection of recommendations on how security sector institutions can improve their ability to prevent and respond to SDV against men. This is followed by some suggested self-assessment questions designed to help these institutions understand how they currently respond to SDV against men with the aim of identifying areas of further work.

- When looking for a brief introduction to sexual and domestic violence against men

- When assessing how a security sector institution currently responds to sexual and domestic violence against men

- When looking to improve the response by both security sector institutions and other involved actors such as civil society organisations and the health sector to male survivors of sexual or domestic violence

The first half of the guidance note provides an introduction to the concepts for those conducting background researcg. The second half consists of organised lists of good practices for those looking to improve the response of a given security sector institution. 

The publication provides a brief and practical introduction to this topic. 

The publication gives a broad overview and its recommendations will need to be adapted to specific contexts. 

See final section on resources.