Listening to tales of domestic abuse is certainly one of the more uncomfortable parts of being family law experts.
However, it is sadly too common an occurrence and this disturbing topic does need highlighting from time to time.
It is fair to say when most of us think of domestic abuse we think of a woman who is the victim doing her utmost to survive maltreatment from her partner.
However, whilst generalisations are something we are all prone to, there are cases, which can help all of us see issues in a different light.
In the aftermath of a court case, which has received some significant media coverage, it seems sensible to further highlight the awful treatment of a young man called Alex Skeel at the hands of his girlfriend.
After all, Jordan Worth, has been jailed for seven and a half years after starving Mr Skeel, throwing boiling water over him, and hitting him with a hammer.
This 22-year old man received multiple injuries, and was also denied contact with his family as Worth took control of him.
At Luton Crown Court, Worth admitted grievous bodily harm, wounding with intent, and coercive controlling behaviour, and it is the UK’s first conviction for coercive control involving a woman.
Some newspapers said Mr Skeel could have died from the burns he received last summer. However, fortunately a neighbour contacted police after hearing a commotion from the couple’s home.
The court heard an astonishing catalogue of barely believable treatment, which included him being hit on the head with a beer bottle and on the hands and in the face with a hammer. To add to this, she broke his mobile phones so he couldn’t contact anyone for help.
This poor man has since had several operations on his brain, head and hands.
There’s no denying that the scale of the abuse and the fact he is male made it such a noteworthy case.
Whilst such extreme violence is thankfully rare, we all need to take into account that it can be difficult for some men to find a voice when being treated like this.
Domestic abuse arrives in many forms, both mental and physical and although women generally are the victims, as Mr Skeel’s tale shows this is not exclusively the case.
The media has analysed this extraordinary story and it should in some way help to give a platform for men who are being abused.
However, we at Keelys, like all good family law experts, wish the debate to focus more widely on domestic abuse as an issue rather than the fact Mr Skeel is male.
Domestic abuse covers all walks of society and it is vital that everyone does all they can to help victims. Too many suffer horrifying lives due to this behaviour. It is society’s duty to lend a helping hand to those in need when we have the chance to do so.