For the second episode of Mathew Lewis-Carter’s series, UNspoken, he interviewed Respect’s Head of Services, Ippo Panteloudakis about the realities male victims face and the complexities of domestic abuse.
In this 27-minute video, Ippo unpicks some of the gender-based stereotypes and stigmas surrounding domestic abuse. It is more common for women to reach out for help when something is wrong. Men often struggle to do the same, not only when they experience domestic abuse, but also in terms of their mental health and well-being.
Ippo speaks about how because of social expectations around masculinity and gender, some men struggle to accept they can be vulnerable to abuse. This prevents many men from seeing themselves as victims. Those same stereotypes of masculinity make men feel that they must solve problems on their own, and that it’s a sign of weakness to ask for help.
“That’s why we’ve been saying for years that domestic abuse affects men too, talk it over. It’s the first thing we want men to realise, that when something is wrong, it’s okay to talk about it and normalise those discussions.”
Ippo brought attention to how things for male victims have been improving in the UK in the last 15 years or so. Respect has been running the Men’s Advice Line for 13 years, and this year we received additional funding to increase capacity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Two years ago, the Home Office published a Male Victims’ Position statement, the first ever of its kind in the UK. However, there still remains a long way to go and still much more awareness and support is needed for male victims of domestic abuse.
Raise your personal awareness about male victims of domestic abuse and find out more from Ippo in episode two of UNspoken