MALE victims of domestic abuse have will be able to phone up and receive professional counsellors after a new helpline was launched on Monday.
The support line, which can be accessed by dialling 1800 816 588 is run by the Men’s Development Network (MND) and is open for 36-hours every week between Monday and Friday.
Research from Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence shows that 88,000 men across Ireland have been severely abused by their partners at some point in their lives.
The helpline will provide an opportunity for those being abused to recieve help, advice and support in full confidence from professionals who are trained to aid gender-based domestic violence cases.
MDN’s CEO Sean Cooke said that while statistically more women are victims of domestic abuse, men are far less likely to report it to gardaí.
“Cosc estimates that approximately 6% of men and 15% of women have experienced domestic abuse at some point in their relationships,” he said.
“While more women are affected than men, only 5% of men report incidents to gardaí, indicating that the majority of men suffer alone.
“Everyone affected by crime has the right to seek support and justice, but our research shows that most men suffer their abuse in silence because they are ashamed and believe it makes them less of a man.
“This is the opportunity now for them to get to maybe talk to somebody, a professional, even to talk through what is happening.
“Not so much around addressing the issue, but even to talk it through is the first step in trying to deal with it.”
The helpline’s initial rollout is working towards facilitating 5,000 calls a year.