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Men urged to come forward and report domestic abuse

A domestic abuse case against a man was recorded in the West Midlands every 52 minutes during the first month of March's lockdown, figures show.

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Police in the region recorded a total of 921 incidents against men between March 23 and April 26, according to a Freedom of Information request to the force.

Concerns have been raised that men will be forced to remain in their homes due to the restrictions brought in due to Covid-19.

Domestic abuse survivor Ian McNicholl, an ambassador for Men Reaching Out, said: "These figures show that domestic abuse has no prejudice as there are males right across the West Midlands who have come forward and told the police.

"I would ask all professionals to undertake an urgent review of their internal policies and procedures to ensure that they are male victim friendly whilst it is vital that councils, the police and crime commissioner and partners in health and housing fund local services to support them as they rightly do female victims.

"It is also important that there are more awareness campaigns to encourage men to come forward and also to change society’s view that men cannot be victims of domestic abuse.

"If you are experiencing domestic abuse or suffering from the symptoms of domestic abuse, please call the police or speak with friends and/or family and get the help you need.

"I can assure you that the action you take today will be life changing, if could even be lifesaving."

Figures from the Office for National Statistics, from 2018, showed women were more likely to tell someone about partner abuse – with more than 80 per cent saying they would, compared to just over half of all male victims.

It has led to concerns being raised over men potentially "suffering in silence" over the issue – with campaigners trying to tackle the stigma surrounding the issue.

A male domestic abuse survivor, from the Black Country, said: "I started to reach out to identify support services in Birmingham including the Single Point of Access for domestic abuse, only to be told that support is only available for females in the city.

"Unfortunately, they could not help me or direct me to other local services.

"The only help I identified were for gay, bi-sexual and transgender males. As a heterosexual male that service is not accessible by me.

"Six months after the relationship ended, luckily, I managed to access some support from a volunteer counsellor.

"I also considered fleeing to another city with more help and support, because I remained fearful of going out in Birmingham in case I bumped in to my ex-partner.

"I quickly realised very few services or safe housing are available for males (and their children) across the UK."

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