I read with interest the BBC article ‘Male domestic abuse victims ‘sleeping in cars and tents‘ so I decided to query our database.
Through the period of March to September we have seen an overall increase of 21% of incoming requests when compared to the same period in 2019; a considerable rise but what is even more significant is the 52% increase in requests for help from male domestic abuse victims.
The number of male victim requests we have received over the last 5 years is around 7% of the total number of requests received, this number has risen to 10% for March to September 2020, that’s an increase of almost 50%.
But why have we seen this increase? I communicated with one male victim who told me what many already know, that the reported number of male victims has always been lower than the reality and that most men have, in normal times escaped by going to work; sadly during the lockdown and whilst being encouraged to work from home again they can’t. This is something that many of us in the sector are worrying about as increasing restrictions are put on all of us as Covid-19 cases accelerate.
None of this is unique to men or women, we have seen many reports from numerous organisations and sources showing an increase in demand for Domestic Abuse support and resources, the common denominator is lockdown.
Lockdown created and continues to create many frustrations. Perhaps men previously had more choice to leave rather than stay in the home which for a long period of time was almost completely taken away, even now there are restrictions with ever more on the not so distant horizon.
The increase in men coming forward is positive but puts a huge burden on those organisations supporting male victims, we are lucky to be able to cope with an additional overall 30% increase but smaller agencies seeing increases of 50% are facing massive stretches on their resources.
Despite the stretch these organisations are there to help and we encourage anyone suffering to reach out.
Mark Groves CEO
Respect – Men’s Advice Line
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. They provide emotional support and practical advice and can give you details of specialist services that can give you advice on legal, housing, child contact, mental health, and other issues.
The ManKind Initiative is a charity offering information and support to men who are victims of domestic abuse or violence. This can include information and support on reporting incidents, police procedures, housing, benefits, and injunctions. They can refer you to a refuge, local authority or other another support service if you need it.