Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) Teacher’s Toolkit on Ending Gender-Based Violence
Thank you for raising concerns about the presentation of statistics and evidence on male victims of domestic abuse in the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) Teacher’s Toolkit on Ending Gender-Based Violence and Abuse in Young People’s Relationships.
We have investigated the issues in your letter and agree that the way the statistics and evidence are presented is misleading.
On issue 1, the statement about the percentage of young people experiencing intimate partner violence who are female could be misinterpreted as saying that 95% of all young people experiencing intimate partner violence are female. As you point out, the figure is based on a small sample and may not be representative of all young people. It would be helpful if the toolkit clarified this statement, for example, by adding a caveat about the representativeness of the data, or if it used more representative SafeLives data.
On issue 2, we agree the statement that “a large proportion of male victim-survivors have been in same sex relationships so that the perpetrator is male” is unsourced and is not supported by the available evidence. In addition, the phrase “a large proportion” is vague and should be quantified. We consider that a source should be provided, and the statement revised in light of available evidence.
With regards to the statistics from Galop research, we consider that it is implied the statistics relate to same-sex relationships because the bullet point is about violence and abuse in same-sex relationships. However, the toolkit could be clearer about the groups covered by the statistics, and again, give an indication of the representativeness of the data.
On issue 3, you give three additional examples of unsourced and/or unevidenced claims. We share your concerns about the presentation of these statements as statistical ‘facts’, particularly the second statement about the lesser impact of abuse on men and boys, which could be perceived as minimising the experience of male victim-survivors of domestic abuse. In our view, all numerical statements should be sourced and evidenced, to support appropriate use and minimise the risk of misinterpretation.
The toolkit seems like a valuable resource for teachers who want to educate their students about gender-based violence. Rather than recommending the withdrawal of the toolkit, we are keen for the toolkit to be revised to ensure it is evidence-based, factually accurate and supports understanding.
We discussed these points with the analytical team at MOPAC and recommended that it addresses these issues in the toolkit. They agreed that the presentation of the statistics could be improved, having themselves investigated the concerns. MOPAC also acknowledged areas for improvement around its quality assurance processes, given the toolkit is developed by an external provider.
Since we spoke to MOPAC, the external provider has made a number of changes to the toolkit, including:
- Adjustments made to reflect limitations of the source information or other contextual information added.
- Evidence made clearer and sourced appropriately, or statements amended or removed.
- References made clearer throughout the toolkit.
MOPAC expects to publish the updated toolkit soon. We would encourage you to share your views on the updated toolkit with the MOPAC team to support its development.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) published its updated Teacher’s Toolkit in August 2023