Surge in calls from male domestic violence victims

There has been a surge in calls to a support group for male victims of domestic violence since Covid-19 restrictions were imposed last March.

Men’s Aid Ireland said that during lockdown it received “up to a 100% increase in calls” on some days.

It pointed out that there were no refuges or safe beds in Ireland for men and their children looking to escape domestic violence.

“Since mid-March, calls to Men’s Aid helpline have jumped from an average of 12 calls a day to between 16 and 26,” said Andrea McDermott, the charity’s social care team leader.

She said that since lockdown they have received 2,018 contacts to its helpline and email support.

She said men contacting them report all types of abuse, including hitting, punching, slapping, biting and kicking “and in particular men being hit with weapons”.

She added: “Men report being hit when they are vulnerable, when they have their back turned or asleep in bed.” She said men report being abused emotionally, mentally, financially, sexually and being coercively controlled.

“During lockdown we received up to 100% increase in calls on some days,” Ms McDermott said.

“Often work or college was a small escape for some men but this was no longer available.There are no safe beds or refuges in Ireland for men and their children who are experiencing domestic violence to flee to, and so men were reporting that they could not escape their abuser.”

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