Men in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to seek support if they are the victims of domestic abuse.
The appeal is being made by the New Era domestic abuse service in Staffordshire ahead of International Men’s Day tomorrow (19th November).
The organisation supports adults, young people and children, as well as those perpetrating abuse in the home.
One local victim, who asked not to be named, said it was important men spoke out.
“Despite the fantastic support available locally, I believe there’s still a taboo around men and domestic abuse, as well as the type of person it can happen to.
“The reality is it can happen to anyone – even to professional men like me. But it’s really important not to be afraid or regard it as a weakness.
“Sometimes you’re so involved in your own situation that you don’t realise what’s happening to you, which is probably another reason why someone might not seek specialist support.”
The New Era client sought help from the service after opening up to a friend about how he was being coercively controlled by his female partner.
“Over time, she started to control different aspects of my life – including who I spent time with – to the point where I felt completely cut off from most of my friends, even people I’d known for years, which left me feeling isolated and really down.
“I didn’t challenge her about it, because I didn’t want to cause an argument, but I realise now that only served to reinforce the control she had over me.
“The support I got from New Era has been brilliant. Through my dedicated advisor, I learned about healthy and unhealthy relationships and lots of other things that I’d never thought about before that will help me with future relationships.
“Perhaps most importantly I learned to believe in myself again and be positive about myself.”
Chantelle Thompson, New Era’s head of service, said making the initial contact was often the hardest part of overcoming domestic abuse.
“We know from our work supporting survivors how difficult it can be to take that all-important first step to seek support.
“However, because of traditional stereotypes, it can sometimes be even harder for men, who might be embarrassed to admit they’re being abused by their partner – whether their partner is a woman or a man.
“Although the majority of victims we support are women, it’s important anyone affected by domestic abuse knows we’re here for them and can support them through our team of specialists.”Chantelle Thompson, New Era
In addition to having a male victims’ specialist worker, New Era also has dedicated advisors working with survivors of domestic abuse from the LGBT+ and Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
New Era’s 24-hour confidential helpline for victims is 0300 303 3778.
The helpline for people who want support to change their abusive behaviour is 01785 601690, which is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.