Mr Skeel, aged 22, spoke to the BBC at length as part of an effort to fight the stigma around male domestic abuse. Official figures show that in the year ending March 2018, some two million British adults had experienced domestic abuse, one-third of them men.
Police in England and Wales recorded almost 150,000 incidents of abuse against men in 2017 — more than double the number reported five years earlier. Alex met his girlfriend when they were 16 and for a while everything was fine. But before long Jordan had isolated him from friends and family and even took over his Facebook account.
It took 18 months for the mental abuse to turn violent. “She used to hit me with a glass bottle and demand, ‘What are you thinking about?’ Then it was a hammer … one time it was a laptop charger, she swung the plug at my head and blood gushed out … she slashed me with knives and then came the boiling water.” It was when a neighbour called the police about the screaming that the abuse came to light. “I could feel my body shutting down,” Alex said. “She denied me food and I’d lost kilos in weight and doctors told me I had been 10 days from death.”
Why didn’t he leave? “We had two kids together and my fear was that if I left, she would turn her abuse on them.”