Seeing the horrific experiences that Taylah went through on Newsnight (34 minutes in) was quite distressing as were the experiences of Armanie - who was victim during a same-sex relationship (How do Women's Aid and Refuge deal with that ideologically?). No one for any minute wishes to belittle their stories but what strikes anyone looking at the report is that it fails to mention domestic/partner abuse against teenage boys - whether in a heterosexual or gay relationship.
Troubling is the issue that the facts the BBC use throughout the video and also where they cover the story online are all from Women's Aid and the Home Office and only highlight female figures.
Certainly, from the British Crime Survey every figure for a woman has a male equivalent (see ManKind Initiative 21 key facts) so saying that 1 million women were victims in 2011 is fine as a statistic (it was 1.2 million) but then deliberately choosing not to state that 800,000 men also suffered that year is sexist.
It is sexism by omission because the producers and researchers of the piece must have consciously chosen not to include male teenagers and male equivalent figures when the figures for women are from the same source and the same table (ManKind's source list indicate page 101 here). The BBC also say 30% of women have suffered from domestic abuse since 16 but so have 17% of men - again in the same British Crime Survey reports.
The statistics on the Newsnight report also refer to refuge and funding cuts. No one wants to see refuge cuts and women being turned away but there are hardly any refuges for men to be turned away from or services to be cut. That is never tackled.
Keeping on the statistics front - it was good that BBC raised the issue of teenage abuse but again as the British Crime Survey shows for 2009/10 - 12.7% of 16-19 year old women are victims of domestic abuse (7.3% partner abuse) but 6.2% (3.6%) of men are too in that age group - one in every three.
Why does the BBC not mention that?
The whole commentary on the piece was about support for female teenage victims. If Newsnight had not produced a sexist report it would have been about teenage women and male victims.
Male teenagers do not even get a look in (the Home Office's £2 million pound campaign about teenage partner abuse did not implore girls not to hit boyfriends, or girlfriends for that matter).
This is a continuation of a trend where the BBC and other parts of the media one minute ensure male victims are mentioned - BBC Breakfast makes great play about it (even the Guardian do here but the the Telegraph do not - even for the same story on legal aid), but then they take one massive retrograde step backwards.
Newsnight story was another classic piece of sexual and gender discrimination against men - this time male teenagers who are victims of domestic abuse.
You can tell the frustration from teenage boys or those men who were victims of domestic abuse when they were a teenager about not being included through the comments on the Radio 1 Extra piece. Those frustrations show sexual discrimination against male victims of domestic abuse is alive and kicking.
Posted by Skimmington