COVID-19 Press Release 25.06.20

Over 1,000 male victims of domestic abuse reach out for help since Covid.

Men’s Aid Helpline has received over 1,000 contacts from men who are experiencing domestic abuse since the start of the Covid pandemic.

25% of the calls came from Dublin; however, male victims from every county across Ireland reached out for information and support.

The confidential Helpline reports show the main reasons for the calls are:

  • Dads seeking family law and court information, wanting to ensure access to their children.
  • Substance abuse – Whilst substance abuse is not the reason for the abuse, the abuse is still there even when their partner is not drinking or taking drugs, but it is exasperated because of the substance misuse.
  • Mental health and suicide ideation – Men are experiencing severe anxiety from the emotional and psychological trauma caused by the abuse. Many men availing of the one to one counselling offered by Men’s Aid.
  • Physical abuse – Men are being attacked physically too. This is something that is not usually considered due to gender and size. Men often feel they are not going to be believed and will be laughed at if the physical abuse is coming from a woman. It is back to the misconception that size and gender are a factor when it comes to physical abuse.
  • False allegations – Men are being threatened with false reports being made to Tusla, Gardai as a form of control or if they try to leave the relationship, or don’t do as they are told by their male or female partner.

The violence experienced by men is resulting in men living in cars, garden sheds and friends’ spare rooms. It is imperative that refuge beds are made available for all men in the Programme For Government.

Seamus Scott, Chair of Men’s Aid Ireland, said, “These high figures are shocking and heart-breaking; yet we welcome the fact that men are coming forward and seeking our help and support services. We have found families are playing a part too with many mums, sisters and neighbours contacting us for information on behalf of a dad, brother or friend. The message we want all men to know is that they are not alone, we are here to help, so please get in touch.
We recognise as a society we need to do so much more work for all victims of domestic abuse in Ireland and we want to ensure both men and LGBT+ men know they will be supported. We know the reporting levels to Gardai is very low but we are hopeful in time more men will break the silence. We are here to support them.”

The highest volume of calls received are from Dublin, Cork and Galway; however, calls have been received from every county across Ireland.

The charity is asking for donations towards their Emergency Covid 19 Fund in order to expand the Helpline team. See www.mensaid.ie for further information.