Men’s Advice Line
What is the Men’s Advice Line?
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse. We offer advice and emotional support to men who experience abuse, and signpost to other vital services that help men keep themselves and their children safe.
Who can call the Men’s Advice Line?
The Men’s Advice Line is aimed at men who are experiencing domestic abuse, but we also accept calls from concerned family members, friends or practitioners and frontline workers who need advice on how to best support a male victim of domestic abuse.
Is the call confidential?
Is there a screening process for callers?
No. All callers are offered the best help possible. No one has to prove that they are a victim to get a service. We ask callers whether they have used violence or abuse not to ‘catch them out’, but to understand the level of risk they’re at: in cases where both partners in an abusive relationship use violence and abuse the level of risk is higher and the potential for severe harm is increased. We advise men to find alternative ways of responding to their partner’s violence in order to help them become safer. We use the same approach with women who contact the Respect Phoneline (Respect’s helpline for perpetrators): we ask them how they respond to their partner’s violence and abuse, whether they use violence and abuse themselves, and we help them come up with safer strategies.
The Male Victims Toolkit
Does the Respect Male Victims Toolkit refer to how a helpline or the Respect Men’s Advice Line operates?
No. The Respect Male Victims Toolkit is designed for frontline workers who support male victims of domestic abuse in a face-to-face setting. It is not a model of work for the Men’s Advice Line. It uses valuable insight and data gained from over 31,000 calls to the Men’s Advice Line (Respect’s helpline for male victims of domestic abuse). It would be impossible to use the assessment tools contained in the Respect Toolkit for Male Victims in a helpline setting, as it would take 3-4 hours to do so.
What is assessment, what is screening and are there differences between these?
Assessment is a process in which questions are asked to better understand the needs of the client to ensure the service provides the right type of support. The client is then offered specific support and advice within the service and is not turned away except in exceptional circumstances. Screening, however, is an approach to establish whether a potential service user is eligible for a service. For example, a counselling service for 16-25-year olds will ask potential service users how old they are; this is a ‘screening question’. The service will inform those outside this age bracket that they cannot be offered support and direct them to a different service. These are very different approaches.
Does Respect's Male Victims Toolkit recommend screening or assessing male victims of domestic abuse?
The Respect Male Victims Toolkit does not recommend screening male victims of domestic abuse. It recommends that all service users, male and female, should be assessed, so that their support needs can be met in the best way possible. Respect does not screen male victims. Where services do use screening methods these should use them for both male and female service users – not making assumptions that one client group should provide evidence or proof that is not asked by another client group.
Does the Respect Male Victims Toolkit recommend different assessments for male and female victims of domestic abuse?
No. On the contrary, we recommend that organisations supporting female and male victims of domestic abuse must ensure that their assessment processes are consistent and cohesive. Respect does not recommend the use of a separate assessment process for male and female victims, as there is a risk that one client group might inadvertently be discriminated against. We recommend that organisations should decide that both female and male service users are proactively asked about their use of violence and abuse when assessed, or that neither male or female service users are asked. We have included this recommendation in the Respect Toolkit for Male Victims of Domestic Abuse, page 39.