The toll of men suffering domestic abuse in Yorkshire is rapidly rising.

A Freedom of Information request to West Yorkshire Police has revealed that 9,276 men across West Yorkshire reported they had been victims of domestic abuse in 2016.

This compares to 7,502 in 2015 and 6,227 in 2014.

Ian McNicholl, a domestic abuse survivor and Ambassador for the ManKind Initiative, a charity which supports male victims of domestic abuse, said: “I never came forward to the police when I was experiencing abuse and it nearly cost me my life. These figures show there are males right across West Yorkshire who have come forward and told the police.

“Therefore, if you are experiencing domestic abuse or suffering from the symptoms of domestic abuse you are not alone and help is out there for you. Please don’t be like me, please call West Yorkshire Police or speak with friends and/or family and get the help you need. I can assure you that the action you take today will be life changing ... it could even be lifesaving.”

Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind Initiative, said; “The number of males coming forward to the police sends a clear reminder to those who come into contact and support victims of domestic abuse across West Yorkshire that they must ensure there are properly resourced support services for male victims.

“This includes making sure staff are fully trained to look for and spot the signs in a male victim, know how to help and who or where to get help from, making proper assessments of their risk and needs which could include adequate emergency housing provision or obtaining injunctions. It is also important that there are more awareness campaigns to encourage men to come forward and also to change society’s view that men cannot be victims of domestic abuse.”

ManKind Initiative

The Home Office says male victims (39%) are more than three times as likely as women (12%) to not tell anyone about partner abuse. Only 10% of male victims will tell the police as a comparison to 27% of women.

The figures for female victims during the same period were 34,978 (2016) 31,690 (2015) and 28,193 (2014) respectively.

A high profile case in Kirklees led to the death of father-of-two David Butterfield.

Hairdresser Michelle Spencer, 48, admitted murdering 43-year-old Mr Butterfield at their home in Shirley Terrace, Gomersal, on January 13 this year.

Murder victim endured a 'history of unreported abuse' at the hands of Michelle Spencer

She stabbed him through the heart and has been jailed for life with a minimum of 13 years.

In the case at Leeds Crown Court in June Simon Waley, prosecuting, said the couple had been together for around 16 months.

He added: “It is also right to say inquiries during the course of the investigation revealed a number of witnesses who gave evidence of the fact they had seen injuries on the deceased during the course of the relationship and had heard accounts from Mr Butterfield about how he had received those injuries.”

Dave Butterfield pictured with his girlfriend Michelle Spencer

That included saying they had seen bruising, particularly to his nose, “and they had received accounts from him they were at the hands of the defendant.”

She was also alleged to have punched him on one occasion.