There are various unique issues on this subject in that men do find it difficult to recognise they are victims and when they do, find it hard to report it because they are treated very differently by statutory and voluntary services. Society also treats this differently and you will often hear the comment of ‘man up’ or ‘be a man’, so it is little wonder men find it extremely difficult to report or even talk about it.
If a man is subject to domestic abuse he has no where to go, as currently in the UK there only 11 refuge beds for men, compared to 4000-7000 for women. The nearest refuge bed for a man in Cornwall is in Weston Super Mare and it has one bed; this is compared to 3 dedicated centres for females in Cornwall. Roughly the Government spends £6.5 million per year on female anti-abuse projects/campaigns and almost zero for men.
These figures speak for themselves and highlight this forgotten area. I asked the gentleman who presented this evidence what can we (Cornwall Council) do to highlight this area. He said get the message out on this type of abuse and if you can, fund or build a refuge for men in Cornwall. The later will be tricky without money, but that does not mean it should not be attempted. From my viewpoint I will make sure this topic is in the final report and then make sure it is acted upon.
One last point, here are the contact details of ESTEEM, please pass them on:
Office – 01872 226981
Mobile – 07825 220232
Website – http://www.esteemmen.co.uk/
(NB: figures have been sourced by ManKind Initiative and come from various Government Departments)