A growing number of men are reporting being victims of domestic abuse.
According to the Irish Examiner, the majority of newly reported male victims of domestic abuse are LGBTQ, migrants, or from other minority backgrounds. And specifically the past three months have seen this significant rise with 5,500 people reaching out. This information is coming from Men’s Aid, a UK-based organization dedicated to providing practical advice and support to men who have been abused. Men’s Aid says it’s on the course of supporting around 8,000 people by the end of this year.
“In quarter one of this year, we supported 25 different nationalities; this would include people who are South American, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern,” said Men’s Aid CEO Kathrina Bentley. “Their barriers are a bit different because English might not be their first language.”
Not only is the language barrier difficult, but supporting male victims through COVID-related isolation, cultural differences, refugee camps and other refugee-related situations, and more makes supporting these newly reported cases hard.
“We have one man at the moment sleeping in his car,” said Bentley. “He contacts us every couple of days. He has left his wife. She threatened to kill him, so it is not safe for him to go back to his house. Because there are no shelters, he has nowhere to go. He is one of many South Americans in this position. He hasn’t told his friends who are living here. He hasn’t confided in his own community. It’s just easier for him to continue sleeping in a van.”
Besides those difficulties, male victims also deal with the obstacles of socially enforced shame and fear. With society’s “masculine ideal” saying that men should be strong, stoic, and immovable, it’s hard to call out for help against domestic abuse.
Though, Bentley adds that word of mouth may have played a factor in the increase of reports in the past three months. For instance, she brought up the story of one client who heard about Men’s Aid after his workplace became aware of the abuse in his relationship.
“Sadly, he’s been experiencing abuse for a number of years. Financial abuse, physical abuse, physical assault, and coercive control. But the help came through his workplace.”
Bentley also added that LGBTQ relationships experience the same sorts of abuse as straight relationships.
“In the last three months, we’ve seen an increase of members of the LGBT community coming forward. So men in relationships with men, whether they are a husband or partner, and an increase in disclosures of coercive control, physical assault, and, sadly, rape as well,” she said.
She then added, “For the abuser, it is all about power and control, regardless of gender. And so, what they’re looking to do is dominate or control their partner. So, it’s the same disclosures that we’re hearing, it’s just that their partner is the same gender.”
Men’s Aid and Men’s Aid Ireland both provide several services to clients such as a legal information clinic, court accompaniment, counseling by phone or in person, onne to one practical support, and more. If you live in the UK and are a male victim of abuse, you can call Men’s Aid at 03335670556. If you live in Ireland, you can call Men’s Aid Ireland at 015543811.
Source: The Irish Examiner,