Several years ago, before I became a therapist, in my role as a community development worker, I sat on the board of the local authorities domestic violence group, tasked with tackling and supporting victims and survivors of domestic, or partner abuse.
On the rare occasions that the victim of domestic violence was male, we were initially unprepared and ill equipped to support male victims of domestic abuse.
That was a long time ago and yet today in a major capital city like London, there is still no provision or proper refuges aimed at specifically helping men. A 2010 study by Parity, a group campaigning for equal rights for men and women, stated that more than 40 per cent of victims of domestic violence are male.
Startlingly, BBC London more recently reported, there are no refuges in London (and only 18 nationally) that serve men. That is despite, between 2012 and 2016 nearly 80 percent of new domestic abuse reports are from male victims of domestic violence.
Now a new campaign aims at raising awareness and helping more men to speak up and tell someone that they are victims of domestic or partner abuse.
The new campaign #nolessofaman was highlighted by ITV. Harbour working across the North East of England are working to better support men with this campaign.
I have now worked with many men who have suffered domestic abuse, online Counselling seems to make it a little easier to speak out and share experiences.
The stigma and the lack of proper resources have until now, made it very difficult for men and boys to speak out about domestic abuse, the hope now, that it will be somewhat easier.
Many men choose to share their story and fears online with a counsellor, feeling safer and less stigmatised, talking to a professional man online.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or partner abuse, whether it be physical, sexual, emotional or financial, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support.
Harbour on: 03000 20 25 25 (24 hours)
Paul Parkin – online counsellor/therapist and coach for life