Charity calls for male domestic abuse shelter
Official statistics revealed there was an 80 per cent increase in the number of police reports from men claiming they were victims of abuse over a three-year period. In 2012, only 9,245 reports were made to the Met Police but by 2015 that number had shot up to 16,681.
Domestic violence charity Respect has a dedicated advice line for male victims which, according to the organisation, sees an average annual increase in calls of 15 per cent. As many as a fifth of people seeking help from this service reportedly come from men in London – around 3,000 calls every year.
Despite these figures, there are only 18 shelters or safe houses available to men throughout England and Wales and none of these are in the capital. The closest facilities for male victims in London are as far away as in Leicester, Poole and Worcestershire, the BBC reports.
Respect’s operations director Ippo Panteloudakis said that men who suffer from domestic abuse “have nowhere to go” and that this needs to change. Without a dedicated safe house, the only options are homelessness or to “carry on living with their abusive partner and risking injuries and severe mental health problems”.
Last year a survey by The Law Society found that many domestic violence victims are unaware that they are eligible for legal aid. While 47 per cent did not know they could apply for such help, 20 per cent thought they would not qualify for it.