Domestic abuse: Hope for UK men who are victims

Male victims have hardly had support in domestic abuse.

Last Updated: Sep 05, 2010, 23:23 PM IST

London: While domestic abuse may be a
much talked about menace, its male victims have hardly had
support.

But, now Women`s Aid in Leicestershire, a charity
organisation catering to women victims of such violence is
extending its services to men in Leicester, which has a
substantial population of Indian-origin people.

Leicester has a large population of Indian origin
people, which includes people who were born in India and later
moved to Britain, as well as people who were born and brought
up in Britain.

Many parents and men from this economically successful
community prefer to marry women from India for cultural
reasons, rather than marry those born and brought up in
Britain.

In several instances, such marriages do not work out
and victims of domestic abuse include both men and women.

However, unlike the support existing for women
victims, there is not much help available for male victims who
rarely reveal being battered by their wives or partners.

The charity organisation Women`s Aid in Leicestershire
has now decided to provide a counselling service for male
victims of domestic abuse after a growing number of men
prepared to speak out about violent partners convinced it that
the service is needed.

The new service directed at male victims of domestic
abuse is called the Adam Project (Action against Domestic
Abuse for Men), which is the first such dedicated service for
men set up by a branch of Women`s Aid.

The group, which has been supporting female victims
for more than 30 years, formally agreed a change in its
constitution to lift the limitation on supporting only women.

It provides emergency accommodation to women but
cannot offer the same service to male victims at the moment.

Leicestershire police believe men from all
communities were the victims in up to one fifth of the
15,000-plus reports of violence in the home reported to them
last year.

Pamela Richardson, chief executive of Women`s Aid in
Leicestershire, said: "Although the majority of abuse is
experienced by women, we know men can also be victims.

"Domestic abuse is not acceptable whether the victim
is male or female. We understand it can be difficult for men
to ask for support".

Sergeant Pete Williams, domestic violence officer for
Leicestershire police, said: "Our statistics suggest men make
up around 20 per cent of victims, so this is a really positive
step".

PTI