International Men’s Day is an annual awareness day held on 19 November every year, created to raise awareness of key issues affecting men and boys. This year we’re focusing on male victims, exploring the reasons they can find it hard to disclose experiences of domestic abuse, and raising awareness of Respect's Men’s Advice Line as a free and confidential way for them to seek help.
We know that many male victims struggle to speak out about their experiences of abuse. Some fear they won’t be believed or taken seriously by services like the police. As explored in this BBC article, this isn’t just a fear, but a reality for many male victims. The Men’s Advice Line team frequently speak to men whose disclosures were dismissed by services or loved ones.
Some male victims don’t recognise that what they’re experiencing is abuse, and others aren’t aware that men can be victims at all. Many are ashamed, which can make it hard to open up.
“This is extremely embarrassing for me. I’m a healthy, successful man in my mid forties. I shouldn’t be emailing you.”
For male victims from Black and minoritised backgrounds, these obstacles can be compounded by language barriers, distrust of the police, fears around immigration status, and a lack of culturally competent services.
“I’m not from the country. I came here on a marriage visa. I’ve been suffering from my partner attacking me. Her family tried to kill me.”
The Men’s Advice Line is here to give all male victims the validation and confidence they need to talk about their experiences. Our Helpline Advisors support men experiencing abuse in heterosexual & same-sex relationships, and they are specially trained to provide non-judgmental emotional support & signposting to vital services that can help keep victims and their children safe. The helpline also offers a free telephone interpreting service, so male victims who don’t speak English can access support.
As well as support and signposting, our expert Advisors work in partnership with Women’s Aid to book free rail tickets for male victims escaping abuse, and with Victim Support, Nacro & Shelter to help victims across Greater London to find emergency accommodation. By contacting the helpline, victims are taking the first step towards a life free from abuse.
“I was at a point where I could find no help elsewhere. One call to the Men’s Advice Line clarified everything in my head, validated me, and prevented my imminent suicide.”